Established in 2002 and opened to students four years later, Alfaisal University is part of a group of new private, not-for-profit universities in Saudi Arabia. It is located in the centre of Riyadh, the capital city, whose population grew at an unprecedented rate towards the end of the 20th century. The country’s political and economic centre, and one of the richest cities globally, its many skyscrapers offer views of surrounding desert. But at heart Riyadh remains traditional and not particularly westernised. Its climate means that temperatures can fluctuate significantly throughout the year.
AU teaches in English, which is also spoken by many locals, and is often considered one of the Saudi Arabia’s top universities for academic performance and quality of teaching.
AU’s College of Engineering is the biggest of the four colleges that form part of the institution, the others being the Colleges of Medicine, Business and Science and General Studies, the latter of which also offers a course in humanities & social sciences. As well as accounting, finance and human resources, the College of Business runs specialised courses including chartered financial analyst and certified Management Accountant.
Having been founded by the King Faisal Foundation, it is situated in the grounds of King Faisal Palace. Its relatively small size helps create something of a community feel on campus.
AU is a partner of nearby King Faisal Specialist Hospital and is linked to a large number of overseas universities as well as multi-national companies such as Boeing, BAE Systems and Shell.