Saudi Arabia to set up world’s largest women-only varsity

October 29th, 2008 - 6:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Oct 29 (IANS) The world’s largest university exclusively for women is to come up in Saudi Arabia, with Saudi King Abdullah scheduled to lay the foundation stone.The Riyadh Women’s University will be the world’s largest institute for higher studies when the project is completed in 2010.

The university will have 13 colleges and will cover an area of eight million square metres north of the Saudi capital.

“After we received instructions from higher authorities to establish a full-fledged university, we have consulted international engineering houses for the purpose of designing a world-class campus that can accommodate 40,000 students,” Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf told the Arab News newspaper.

“It will be the largest specialised campus for women in the world,” he said, adding that the buildings of the campus will be completed within the next two years.

The university’s colleges will include those for medicine, dentistry, nursing, naturopathy and pharmacology.

University president Princess Al-Jowhara Bint Fahd, while lauding King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan for the project, said that the university will usher in a new era for women’s education in that Gulf nation.

“We want to make it a leading international institution,” she said.

The university will have tie-ups with major universities inside and outside the country to promote research programmes, she said.

“We have devised its educational programmes after consulting different ministries, including the ministries of labour, commerce and industry, and economy and planning,” Princes Al-Jowhara said.

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