Top 10 Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is a great location for those who wish to specialize in Islamic studies. Apart from that, the growing prominence of Arab universities has made the country a favored destination amongst those who wish to dabble in other specializations. With its universities topping several international rankings, Saudi Arabia has proven itself to be a great place for foreign students. In this article, we will be looking at the best universities in Saudi Arabia for international students.

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How satisfied are the foreigners studying in Saudi Arabia?

According to a survey, a representative group of 217 international students has rated their Saudi educational experience a 4.01 out of 5.

What are the programs commonly taken up by foreigners in Saudi Arabian universities?

The three most popular courses for international students are the Life Sciences, Pharmacy, and Computer Science.

How many international students are enrolled in Saudi Arabian universities?

There are about 72,000 foreigners currently studying in Saudi Arabia.

What is the best Saudi Arabian university for international students?

King Abdulaziz University is considered the most prestigious university for both local and foreign students.

Best Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students

1. King Abdulaziz University

King Abdulaziz University or KAU is a public educational institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It was established as a private university in 1967 before it was converted into a state-run institution in 1974. King Abdulaziz University is considered the best university in Saudi Arabia for international students due to its great academics and high percentage of international students attending this university.

The university offers its undergraduate and post-graduate programs through the Faculties of Engineering, Economics & Administration, Law, Applied Medical Science, Medicine, Arts, Communications, Computing Technology, Meteorology, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Earth Science, Environmental Design, Marine Science, Home Economics, Tourism, and Maritime Studies.

Apart from being Saudi’s top-ranking university, KAU is also recognized as one of the best ‘young’ universities in the world.

2. Alfaisal University

Alfaisal University is a private, teaching-oriented university in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 2002, making it one of Saudi’s ‘best’ young universities.

Its academic departments are categorized into the Colleges of Medicine, Engineering, Business, Pharmacy, and Science & General Studies. All of these offer bachelor’s and master’s studies, all of which are taught in the English language. It also offers one doctorate program, which is governed by the College of Pharmacy.

Alfaisal University boasts of a big international community, with 1/3 of its student population representing 40 countries from around the globe.

3. King Saud University

King Saud University, one of the top universities in Saudi Arabia for international students, is a Riyadh-based public educational institution. Itwas founded in 1957 to remedy the shortage of skilled employees in Saudi. The former Riyadh University was named KSU in honor of its founding monarch King Saud.

Its colleges are grouped according to categories. These include the science schools (Architecture, Business, Engineering, Science, Food & Agriculture, and Computer Science) and the health colleges (Nursing, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Applied Medical Science, and Emergency Medical Service). It also has a couple of humanities schools (Arts, Education, Law, Language, Tourism, Teaching, Physical Education, and Arabic Language) and 2 community colleges.

4. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

The King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, also known as UPM or KFUPM, is a public institution based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. True to its’ name, the university specializes in the fields of science, engineering, as well as business.

The academic faculties are divided into the Colleges of Petroleum Engineering & Geoscience, Engineering Science & Applied Engineering, Environmental Science, General Studies, Computer Science & Engineering, Science, and Business. It also supports 2 community colleges.

The university is known for its collaborative ties with other prestigious universities, including MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, and the National University of Singapore, to name a few.

KFUPM is known for its strict admission process, with the acceptance rate being limited to about 10% yearly.

5. King Khalid University

Next on our list of best Saudi universities for international students is King Khalid University. Based in Abha, King Khalid University (KKU) is another one of Saudi’s top public universities. It was established in 1998 following the merger between the universities of King Saud and Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud.

The university started with just 4 colleges, namely that of Sharia and Religion Fundamentals, Education, Arabic Language, and Social & Administrative Science. Now, the university is home to 29 colleges, including that of Medicine, Humanities, Education, Science, Language & Translation, Computer Science, and Engineering.

Apart from being one of the best in Saudi, KKU is also recognized as one of the finest institutions in the Arabian peninsula.

6. Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University was founded in 1975, making it one of the older universities in Eastern Saudi Arabia.

The university colleges cover the disciplines of Medicine, Dentistry, Medical Applied Science, Science, Nursing, Computer Science, Architecture, Engineering, Business Administration, Education, Clinical Pharmacy, and Public Health, to name a few.

The former University of Dammam is known for its strict admission process that relies on the student’s grades and his/her scores in the standardized national exam.

As one of the Arab region’s best universities, the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University is particularly famous for its competitive Medicine course.

7. King Faisal University

King Faisal University is a public university with a central campus in Hofuf, Al-Ahsa. It was founded in 1975 and started with just 4 colleges. When the school as established, it only had the Colleges of Agriculture & Food Science, Veterinary Medicine, Architecture, and Medicine.

Today, the university has a total of 14 colleges that specialize in Engineering, Clinical Pharmacy, Science, Computer Science, Business Administration, Arts, Applied Studies, Education, Dentistry, and Applied Medical Science.

The university also has 4 colleges (Scientific Education, Art Education, Community, and Intermediate Health) for female students.

As one of the best universities in Saudi Arabia for international students, King Faisal University is markedly known for its high research output.

8. Qassim University

Qassim University was previously the Qassim campus of 2 institutions: the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University and King Saud University. In 2004, these branches were re-branded as the current Qassim University.

The university has a main campus in Al-Mulida, which houses the Colleges of Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Agriculture & Veterinary, Computer, Applied Medical Science, Nursing, Pharmacy, Management, Architecture, Islamic Law, Sciences, Education, and Arabic Language.

The university has an enrollment rate of over 70,000, making it one of the largest in the country in terms of student population.

9. Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University is a public university situated in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It was established in 1949 as the College of Sharia before it was given its current name in 1981.

As the first institute of higher education in the country, it used to specialize in Islamic Law education. Today, the university also offers programs in the fields of Arabic Language, Business, Education, Applied Science, Social Science, Engineering, Dentistry, Medicine, Computer & Information Systems, Pharmacy, and Applied Medical Science.

With its wide array of program offerings, Umm Al-Qura University is considered as one of the top Saudi universities for international students.

10. Prince Sultan University

Prince Sultan University is the first private university to be established in Saudi Arabia. It is owned by the Riyadh Philanthropic Society for the Sciences. The organization named the university after its first patron, Prince Sultan.

Founded in 1999 as the Prince Sultan Private College, the Riyadh-based university is home to 5 departments. These are the Colleges of Business Administration, Engineering, Humanities, Law, and Computer & Information Science.

The university’s scholarship programs are generously supported by 13 private companies.


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