Saudi Arabia’s newest Rhodes Scholars

Three Saudi Arabian undergraduates have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes scholarship to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Oxford next year, all of whom are alumni of one or more of KAUST's leading Young Talent Development programs.

As one of the world's most renowned and competitive scholarships, the Rhodes Trust selects just 100 international recipients annually, identifying "young leaders of outstanding intellect and character who are motivated to engage with global challenges, committed to the service of others and show promise of becoming value-driven, principled leaders for the world's future."  2021 is also the first year ever in which three Saudi Arabian citizens were awarded scholarships within one cohort:  This represents not only a truly impressive achievement for these students as individuals, but also a confirmation of the vast opportunities that the Kingdom's rapidly expanding educational ecosystem has afforded, and that KAUST champions by fostering the next generation of Saudi scientists, thought leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

Ghadah Mohammed T Al Shalan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2021, expected)

Ghadah has participated in multiple KAUST Youth Talent Development programs, from campus Olympiad Training Institutes in 2015, '16, and '17 (receiving the International Physics Olympiad Bronze Medal as the first Saudi female recipient), to the SRSI in 2016, researching solar cells under the mentorship of KAUST Professor Omar F. Mohammed, to joining the KGSP in Fall 2017 as a freshman Physics major at MIT.  As a KGSP student Ghadah has demonstrated both academic excellence and pre-professional acumen, engaging in research internships both at MIT and internationally, as well as serving as President of the MIT Arab Student Organization, and as a teaching assistant for the Physics department. 

Omar Mohammed H Alshangiti, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2021, expected)

Omar completed a KGSP Foundation Year at the University of Washington in 2016, during which time he gained admission to the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign to pursue a double major in Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering as a KGSP undergraduate student starting in Fall 2017. Omar has enhanced his stellar undergraduate performance through enrichment opportunities facilitated by his participation in the KGSP, including an internship in Reservoir Engineering Technology with Aramco Americas in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as a competitive Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with the Center for Extreme Events Research at the University of California, San Diego. 

Mneerah Abdullah Saud, Brown University (2020)

Mneera completed a Foundation Year at the University of Pennsylvania through the KGSP in 2015-16.  She then went on to earn a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at Brown University in 2020.

The KAUST Gifted Student Program (KGSP): a unique program tailored to support a select group of the Kingdom's most talented youth as they earn STEM-based bachelor's degrees at premier U.S. universities, and in preparation for future graduate studies at KAUST. Throughout their undergraduate programs, recipients benefit from unmatched academic, developmental, and professional support.

TheSaudi Research Science Institute (SRSI): an 8-week summer residential program on KAUST campus that enables young Saudi students who are among the top academic performers finishing the eleventh (11th) grade of high school from throughout Saudi Arabia to conduct university-level research under the mentorship of KAUST professors.  Students enroll in the SRSI to participate in a rigorous mentorship program that includes academic lectures, research experimentation, and intensive academic writing and presentation practices, with an emphasis on advanced theory and research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Olympiad Training Institute: a residential initiative focused on providing Saudi grade 6-12 students with the support needed to compete and excel in national and international Olympiad competitions in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Informatics, and Sciences

KGSP Foundation Year: Designed exclusively by and for the KGSP, the KGSP Foundation Year prepares students for undergraduate success through college-level coursework in calculus, lab sciences, and academic writing taught at partner universities in the United States, as well as activities that foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and cultural adjustment.  In addition, students receive personalized guidance and support on undergraduate university selection and applications from a dedicated advising team.  Together, this ensures that graduates of the Foundation Year are extremely prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the top universities to which they have gained admission.