Secretary-General of the Higher Education Council (HEC) Dr Muhammad Al-Saleh has announced that for the upcoming academic year Saudi universities are increasing student intake by 15 to 20 percent, mainly for specializations that are needed by the labor market. He went on to say that HEC is also reviewing the subjects being taught at the women's colleges with a view to adding new and more relevant specializations. There are currently 72 women's colleges with an estimated 195,000 students.
Dr. Al-Saleh explained that the entire spectrum of university courses is being restructured, with plans to allocate more places to medicine, pharmacology, engineering and languages, and to establish more departments for the sciences. Allocations are being reduced for a number of courses, and some universities have already closed admission to social sciences and the humanities for 2004-2005.