The Ministry of Education has suspended all parallel education programs, except in medical and engineering specialties, as well as bridging programs for health diploma certificates.
Education Minister Azzam Al-Dhakil gave directions to the rectors at the Saudi universities to suspend the programs starting from the new academic year.
The minister addressed a letter to universities saying: "Following the study conducted by the ministry on the realities of parallel education in the Kingdom, the studies confirmed that universities have unjustifiably expanded such programs which has led to negative impacts on the quality of education."
The minister added in his letter: "Because of the factors explained above and the importance of taking into account the needs of the country and labor market, as well as the ministry's continuing efforts to develop and improve the education system in line with the sustainable development in all sectors of Saudi Arabia, the ministry has decided to suspend all parallel education programs other than the medical and engineering disciplines, as well as the bridging programs for health diplomas starting from the next academic year 1436/1437". A third consultative meeting held at King Khalid University in mid-June discussed the distinguished programs and educational services provided by the Saudi universities to ensure the highest educational quality of universities and the objectives of development plans.
Meanwhile, rumors of cancellation of the summer semester at Northern Border University triggered a wave of dissatisfaction among students, who demanded the university's administration reconsider its decision so students can complete their studies and graduate on time.
A number of families said that the university canceled the semester without clear reasons. They said some students had already studied a few days into the semester.
Press spokesman for Northern Border University Mufdi Al-Sharari said inquiries were directed to relevant authorities at the university, and they said these rumors were false and the summer semester hasn't been canceled.
Certain classes have been cancelled only because not enough students registered for them, or because they didn’t have students who are about to graduate. Otherwise the summer semester is on.
For classes to continue they need to have a certain number of students; if some pupils withdraw it is normal to cancel courses to save money and effort.