Saudi enrollment more than doubles at American colleges


December 18, 2005|By THE NEW YORK TIMES

Urgently trying to improve relations with the United States, the Saudi Arabian government has been promoting a scholarship program that has more than doubled the number of Saudi enrollments at American colleges and universities since last year.

The program, aimed in part at reducing widespread hostility in the Saudi public toward the United States, has reversed a steady plunge in Saudi students that started immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The Saudi government offered 5,000 students full four-year scholarships, complete with living allowances. About two-thirds of the 5,000 students enrolled in American schools this fall, the State Department said, and the number would have been higher had the United States been able to process all the visa requests.

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