Riyadh Governor Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Wednesday laid the foundation stone for the Prince Muhammad University (PMU) in Al-Khobar in the Eastern Province, Arab News reported today.
"This is a great work as it aims at promoting education of our young men and women in modern science and technology," Prince Salman said at the launching ceremony, Arab News reported.
The university, which is based on the American model for academic programs and administrative organization, is named after Eastern Province Governor Prince Muhammad bin Fahd who donated the land and the cost of the engineering college. PMU will offer degrees in business administration, engineering, information technology and interior design.
Prince Muhammad hoped the new university would play a major role in building future leaders in different areas of knowledge and its applications.
PMU is scheduled to begin classes in September and the campus is expected to be completed by 2008. The university, whose instruction will be English, plans to accommodate 5,500 students within the next five years. The university will provide scholarships for outstanding students, including girls, and those unable to meet the SR54,000 [$14,400] tuition.
Prince Turki bin Muhammad, deputy chairman of the university's board of trustees and chairman of the Educational Services Company (Taaleem), said the university would cost SR300 million [$80 million].
"We have taken the help of the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC), a coalition of 32 American universities, to operate our university for the next two academic years," Prince Turki said. Prince Turki told Arab News that the university has plans to establish branches in a number of provinces and plans to establish partnerships with international universities.