(MENAFN - Arab News) Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari has signed SR 2.8 billion worth of contracts for a number of new projects in various universities.
The contracts were signed at the headquarters of the ministry in Riyadh yesterday, a statement of the Higher Education Ministry said.
The institutes that benefit from the latest contracts include the universities of Jazan, Taif, Shaqra and Tabuk, as well as the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University and King Abdulaziz, King Khaled and Al-Jouf universities.
"University campuses are major arms of development in provinces and governorates in the country," the minister said, adding that the completion of the projects would have a positive impact on the graduates of those universities that have become role models for integrated universities.
The contracts involve the creation of a number of scientific colleges and completion of major infrastructure projects in the Kingdom.
The new projects include construction and equipping of a medical college, laying cable and high-tension lines on the Jazan University campus, and equipping its College of General Health at the cost of SR 374.8 million.
Another contract signed yesterday was for the second phase of the construction of the College of Engineering as well as equipping the College of Computer and the College of Medicine on the Taif University campus at the cost of SR 160 million, according to the statement.
The contracts signed for the Shaqra University were for the construction of a college of education and a college of applied medical science at the cost of SR 202 million. The University of Tabuk will get a college of education at the cost of SR 117.5 million.
The contracts also provide for a men's and women's medical college, college of arts and humanities and the building for a higher institute for the imams and speakers besides the television circuit and distance education second phase in the Taibah University in Madinah at the cost of SR 536.5 million.
It also includes the construction of the second phase of the College of Medicine, a college of engineering, a faculty of the preparatory year, and operation and maintenance of electronic systems and communication system at the university.
Aside from this, a students' hall will be built at a cost of SR 474.5 million.
As part of the latest contracts, the Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz University will get independent buildings for various faculties for SR 163 million, while the buildings of the colleges of science and literature for girls in Balqiran, Rijal Almae and Mahayel Asir under King Khaled University will be furnished and equipped.
The minister said the new projects are part of the second phase of the higher education projects inaugurated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah a few months ago. The king had opened the first phase of more than 16 university campuses at the cost of SR 81 billion before that.
The minister also signed contracts for a number of university hospitals, academic facilities and utilities in various universities for SR 5.3 billion early this year.
There will be 42,000 new seats at the government universities compared to last year, while the total capacity of the Kingdom's universities are put at 348,369 students.