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King Saud University recently made a significant leap in its quest to achieve international leadership when seven of its colleges received international accreditation.

The accreditations were based on reports submitted by six international agencies that made evaluation visits to KSU during the last two years.

The KSU colleges that have earned international accreditation were the College of Dentistry, the College of Pharmacy, the College of Medicine, the College of Engineering, the College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, the College of Science and the Riyadh Community College.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Othman described the colleges’ international recognition as the “crowning of KSU’s efforts for quality and development,” attributing the success to the concerted efforts and joint action with local and international accrediting bodies who have conducted detailed and comprehensive reviews of the colleges’ academic programs.

“This achievement would have been impossible without the help of God and the diligent concern and unlimited support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [HRH King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud] and the country’s education leadership,” a delighted Dr. Othman exclaimed.

The evaluation teams include the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE), the National Council for Accreditation (NCA), the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA), the Accreditation Agency for Study Programs in Health and Social Sciences (AHPGS), the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), and the Evaluation Agency for the French Research and Higher Education Board (AERES).

The process, the Rector said, included the evaluation of institutional academic and administrative achievement and goals, the colleges’ scientific programs and equipment and supporting technical facilities. He added that other criteria considered were faculty aptitude and attitude, development of the admission and registration system, and self-evaluation system imposed by the colleges. The self-evaluation system is linked to the recognition of strengths and weaknesses in the curricula, their relation with societal institutions and the job market, and the colleges’ effectiveness in conveying to the students an understanding of job market requirements not only in the Kingdom, but the region and world.

Vice Rector, Quality, DevelopmentDr. Hamad Al-Sheikh, KSU’s Vice Rector for Quality and Development, said he expects the Colleges of Architecture and Planning, Computer and Information Sciences, Applied Medical Sciences, Nursing, Languages and Translation, Law and Political Science, Tourism and Archaeology to receive accreditation within the next academic year. “Final dates have been set for the international academic accreditation teams to visit these colleges,” he said.

The Vice-Rector spoke of KSU’s pride in its partnership with the national and international accrediting bodies. He said these bodies play an integral role in improving the quality of the educational process in higher education institutions throughout the world and said he believed that the process of gaining accreditation plays a major role in continuous development needed for KSU’s quest of international leadership.

He concluded his comments by congratulating members of the accredited colleges and lauded their efforts to fulfill the university’s objectives of continuous improvement.

The KSU College of Pharmacy, the first college of its kind in the Kingdom to be accredited, received accreditation for its Bachelor of Science and doctoral programs in pharmacy from the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP), a prominent international pharmacology accrediting body serving colleges throughout the world. The CCAPP is composed of representatives appointed by the Association of Deans of Pharmacy of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada, the Canadian Pharmacists Association, the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities and The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada. There is also a non-pharmacy member on the council.

The College of Science received academic accreditation for its entire program, with 15 facets in all being evaluated, from ASIIN e. V., a German Accreditation agency which specializes in assessing programs in engineering, informatics, natural science and mathematics. The accreditation was activated on April 1, 2011 and will remain in force until September 1, 2016 when another evaluation process will be conducted.

The College if Dentistry’s accreditation was granted by the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE). The ADEE, according to Dr. Al-Sheikh, lauded the infrastructure and the volume and quality of research produced by college members, research groups, and research chairs.

The College of Applied Studies and Community Services in Riyadh was evaluated in May by the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) which was particularly impressed by the College’s programs and procedures and the satisfaction expressed by its graduates, students, and employers. In 2010, the College also received academic accreditation from the American Council on Occupational Education.

King Saud University’s King Khalid and King Abdulaziz hospitals was granted accreditation from Accreditation International Canada and the the College of Engineering program accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. The KSU Rector and University Council diligently monitor the progress of each KSU college, emphasizing the importance of achieving international accreditation.

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