Saudi Arabia’s Higher Education Ministry has issued three tenders for construction work at various universities across the kingdom. The local Alnaim Architects Engineers & Planners are the consultant on each of the projects.

The tenders are:

  • Mizaahmiah University: Construction of a new three-storey College of Applied Medical Sciences and associated facilities; total built up area is 35,000 square metres (sq m); tenders are due by 5 February 2014
  • Northern Border University in Rafha: Construction of a new three-storey College of Art & Science for Women and associated facilities; total built up area is 30,000 sq m; tenders are due by 9 February 2014
  • Al-Majmaah University: Construction of a new three-storey College of Education for Women and associated works; total built up area is 30,000 sq m; tenders are due by 19 February 2014

In September, the ministry issued 11 tenders for construction work at various universities across the kingdom. Alnaim Architects Engineers & Planners was also the consultant on each of those schemes.

Saudi Arabia has made education a top priority as it seeks to address rising unemployment and rapid population growth. At the end of 2012, the official joblessness rate of Saudi nationals was 12 per cent, but for young people, the rate is far higher. Among those aged 20-24, unemployment is more than 40 per cent, with about 70 per cent of females in that age bracket unable to find work.

Government funding of higher education as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) is higher in Saudi Arabia than anywhere else in the world, as the kingdom has allocated 25 per cent of its budget ($54.4bn) to build 539 new schools and 15 new colleges, as well as expand its scholarship programmes, which already fund 120,000 Saudi scholarship students abroad.