The Arab Open University (AOU) celebrated yesterday the graduation of 1395 students (476 males and 919 females) representing the 12th and 13th batches for the academic year 2017-2018 at the King Fahad Cultural Center in Riyadh under the patronage of HRH Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz and presence of Prof. Mohamad Al-Zakari, AOU President, and Dr. Ali Alshahrani, Saudi Arabia AOU Director.
Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, the patron of the ceremony, said: "My late father Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, the founder of the University, believed in the promising and bright future for the University, and he fulfilled his promise in supporting the University to be a non-profit higher education institution serving Arab communities through providing knowledge, science, and practical skills enabling learners to contribute to the development of their countries.”
Prince Al-Waleed added, "Today, and after more than 20 years of the initiative of the AOU establishment in 1996, the University takes pride in:
- Being the first higher education institution operating in nine Arab countries.
- The first Arab university has applied the concept of international partnership with the Open University in the UK, a prestigious university in open learning.
- The first university in the Arab world adopted the system of open learning based on quality and accredited internationally and locally, using the latest information technology in teaching.”
Prince Al-Waleed pointed out that the launch of the University came from the belief that everyone in the Arab world has the right to contribute to the national development of his/her country. However, there are many individuals, both female and male, who have not had the appropriate educational opportunities due to either their economic or social conditions or the conditions of time or living in remote areas.
He also added, “Since its inception, the University had a number of achievements, including:
Providing opportunities to those who desire to complete their higher education regardless of gender, race, and color; therefore, the AOU hosted students from 96 nationalities worldwide.
The University also served more than 200,000 students in various academic programs.
The graduation of More than 41,000 students, from all AOU branches, more than 55% of them were females in order to empower them in the Arab world.
The Saudi Arabia AOU branch is the largest AOU branch with more than 72,532 students have in this branch and more than 16,261 graduated.”
Prince Al-Waleed concluded by congratulating the graduates.
For his part, President of the University, Prof. Mohammed Al-Zakri stressed on the great interest given by the late Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, May Allah have mercy on him, to education, and he added, “what is happening today is a continuation of his great and consistent support to all the AOU branches in the Arab world.”
Dr. Ali Al-Shahrani said that this ceremony came as the culmination of the students’ efforts during the previous study years. He stressed the commitment of the University to provide a high-quality education allowing students to complete their higher education and contribute to offer practical solutions to the issues of employment. At the end of his speech, he wished the graduates success.