RIYADH – King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, on Wednesday launched a SR20 billion girls’ university project in Riyadh, the first exclusive state university for women in the Kingdom.
The King named the university after Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman, the sister of King Abdul Aziz, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
‘Nourah’ in Arabic means ‘light.’
The university will offer courses in subjects like medicine, pharmacy, management, computer sciences and languages. With a planned built up area of three million sq.m., the university will be among the world’s largest for women.
“Higher education for girls in the Kingdom has achieved a dimension never reached before,” said Minister of Finance Ibrahim Al-Assaf during the foundation-stone laying ceremony at the site outside Riyadh.
“It’s the living proof of our leadership’s vision to strengthen the role of women and their contribution to society in accordance with our Islamic values, and a shining example of the great efforts being made to improve and extend education,” he said.
The campus will be ‘green’, featuring energy-saving and environment-friendly features.
For example, 40,000 sq.m. of solar paneling would provide 16 percent of the campus heating and 18 percent of the power required for air-conditioning.
The campus will also boast a water recycling plant capable of producing 8,000 cubic meters of water every day for university green areas.
Campus buildings have also been designed to make maximum possible use of sunlight as a natural lighting system.
Dr. Khalid Mohammed Al-Anqari, Minister of Higher Education, said the project will be the best model yet in the field of higher education. “It is an important addition to a series of significant achievements which emphasize the Saudi leadership’s abundant attention and support to the march of science and education,” he said.
Dr. Al-Angari praised the King’s resolve to bring female education on a par with education for males.
‘Dream come true’
Princess Al-Jawhara Bint Fahd Al-Saud, president of the new university, described the occasion as “a dream come true.” She said the university currently has 13 colleges in Riyadh catering to 26,000 students. The colleges are annexed to King Saud University and will now be assimilated into the new Princess Noura Bint Abdul Rahman University for Girls.