Cultural scholarships to some of the world’s top universities are to be offered to Saudi students in an educational first for the Kingdom.
Saudi Minister of Culture Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud announced the launch of the country’s first cultural scholarship program which will provide specialized learning opportunities for male and female students at prominent international institutions.
Archaeology, design, museums, music, theater, filmmaking, literature, visual and culinary arts, will be just some of the fields of study available at Ph.D., bachelor’s and master’s degree levels.
Prince Badr said that education was the main pillar on which the Kingdom’s cultural sector was being built, backed by the great support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi artist Rashed Al-Shashai welcomed the launch of the ministry’s scholarship program and its ongoing promotion of the arts and culture.
“Arts education is important; it will surely produce new talent and grow the arts sector significantly.
“Although many have had success after years of trial and error and without having an educational degree in the arts, through gaining experience and understanding, I believe graduates will return with an understanding of new concepts of contemporary art, as their education should open their horizons.
“We, in Saudi Arabia, need more art critics, more curators and individuals who will provide a better understanding on the culture of arts, with experience gained from abroad and applied organically here,” said Al-Shashai.
Rayan Alayesh, a culinary arts graduate from Le Cordon Bleu cookery school in London, struggled to achieve his goal of becoming a chef in Saudi Arabia. However, the experience he gained from working with top chefs in the British capital provided him with the knowledge to return to the Kingdom and realize his ambition.
“The culinary degree is a key to entering the field, but the most important part of it all is the experience and training received afterwards from a reputable and accomplished chef to gain the right skill sets in order to translate theory into practice,” he said.
The developing Saudi movie industry also offers growing opportunities for talent through organizations such as the Red Sea Film Festival Foundation, which aims to promote film culture.
Applicants will be able to register online for the cultural scholarship program from Jan. 19, 2020.