Saudi Arabia’s first college of arts launched in Riyadh

RIYADH — In a strategic partnership with King Saud University in Riyadh, the Ministry of Culture has inaugurated the university’s College of Arts, marking the first Saudi institution dedicated to arts education in the Kingdom.

The launch ceremony, held at the university’s theater on Sunday, was attended by Deputy Minister of Culture Hamed Fayez, University President Dr. Badran Al-Omar, and various cultural and arts enthusiasts from across the Kingdom.

Deputy Minister Fayez, in his speech, highlighted the College of Arts as a manifestation of Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan, the minister of culture’s commitment to education and its significance in cultural growth and the development of the cultural sector under the Vision 2030 framework.

“On my first day at the Ministry of Culture, His Highness the Minister emphasized that ‘education comes first,’ and we have since worked tirelessly with the education and training ecosystem to develop programs and projects to build cultural capacities across different learning stages, from early education to supporting professionals in the workforce,” he stated.

The launch of the college is a significant step in advancing higher cultural education in the Kingdom, expected to have a profound impact on national cultural development. It aims to establish an academic path crucial for creative talents and the cultural field at large.

He further explained that this event is part of the Ministry of Culture’s strategic partnership with King Saud University.

It is one of the initial outcomes of practical efforts with local universities aimed at achieving the goals of the National Culture Strategy and the Strategy for Developing Cultural Capabilities, to meet the workforce’s needs and supply the cultural professions with highly skilled talents leading the sector towards achieving ambitious national targets.

The college, which starts with three new departments: Design, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts, “is just the beginning of ongoing cultural and scientific cooperation with King Saud University and other prestigious national universities,” he added.

After the ceremony, attendees toured an exhibition showcasing the Saudi cultural sector and the opportunities the Ministry of Culture offers students to develop their skills and work in cultural professions.

The exhibition also highlighted the goals of launching the Kingdom’s first College of Arts, including providing high-quality specialized academic programs in line with national and international standards, fostering a supportive educational and artistic environment for research and innovation, attracting outstanding and talented students with specific admission criteria, preparing graduates technically, scientifically, and professionally, and conducting specialized scientific research and studies in the arts fields.

The college houses various scientific cultural departments, including a Design department focused on teaching graphic design, fashion, and jewelry; a Performing Arts department offering programs in theater, cinema, and music sciences; and a Visual Arts department dedicated to teaching printing, drawing, sculpture, and Arabic calligraphy.

The Ministry and its cultural bodies support the College of Arts by providing expertise in these fields, assisting in curriculum development, supporting faculty members, and offering training programs for students, in addition to meeting the college’s needs.

The establishment of the College of Arts is among several projects under the cooperation agreement signed in December 2021 between the Ministry of Culture and King Saud University.

The partnership involves the Ministry and cultural bodies like the Fashion Commission, Heritage Commission, Music Commission, Film Commission, Visual Arts Commission, and Theater and Performing Arts Commission as expertise houses.

They support the university in nine cooperation areas: specialties and curricula, student affairs, research and publications, faculty members, events and symposiums, cultural professions, cultural programs, business incubators and accelerators, and cultural asset activation.

Through its partnership with King Saud University, the Ministry aims to establish specialized educational pathways in cultural and artistic fields, addressing the cultural sector’s need for qualified national cadres, increasing the number of academic specialists in various cultural professions, and creating qualified national leaders and competencies.

Saudi Gazette report


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