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MENAFN - Arab News - 19/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Research chairs in some Saudi government universities are suffering a financial crisis because of their sponsors' lack of commitment, reported Al-Youm newspaper.

The newspaper said that universities might withdraw the sponsorships from uncommitted sponsors and finance the stagnant chairs from its own budgets or look for other sponsors.

An official has claimed the problem is not financial.
Dr. Fahad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Askar, Dean of scientific research in Imam Mohammad Bin Saud University, explained that some research chairs were created after sentimental promises rather than scientifically determining the need of their existence.

He said that the IMSU do not have any stagnant projects because it showed its reservation regarding many ideas and only approved the ones it studied intensively.

He said that IMSU terminated 8 projects and have not since re-financed them because of changes in conditions. Dr. Al-Askar explained that corporate financial sponsorship is different from individual sponsorship in that the amount stands between SR 6 and 15 million and is paid either once or separately.

The newspaper said a recent study showed that the total number of research chairs in Saudi Arabia is 221. The study claimed that none of these chairs came out with results as planned.

The study criticized allocating one-third of the chairs for human studies. The criticism is based on the fact that human studies is not a priority to the national economy. It suggested many medical and engineering applications to be themed for research chairs.

Although 4 percent of the government budget is dedicated for scientific research, individuals finance most of the scientific fellowships. In fact, individuals sponsors account for 56 percent of the chairs while public institutions and societies sponsor 22.7 percent and the private sector sponsors 21.3 percent.

The study showed that the sponsors' wishes seem to be dominating academic orientation.

It also showed an error in the strategy followed in marketing vacancies.


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