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A Women-Only University in Saudi Arabia Is Now Opening Its Library Doors to Male Researchers

In a landmark move within Saudi Arabia’s higher education sector, one of the Kingdom’s most renowned female-only university is finally opening its doors to men. Princess Nourah University (PNU) is making history one again after announcing that it will allow male researchers and visitors into the university’s library on Saturdays. Earlier this year, it announced that it has launched Saudi Arabia’s first driving school for women.

Discussing the university’s latest announcement regarding male visitors, Dean of Library Affairs Hanan Al-Saqiyah explained that the university cares about serving every layer in society and its library “is a beacon of knowledge in various fields […] The library will be open for male visitors on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 aims to offer every layer of society accessibility to knowledge. The university supports national research and men and women alike to pursue higher education and to publish research papers to become important contributors to the academic sphere.”

Al-Saqiyah also explained that male visitors to PNU will be given access to all of the university’s library’s services including borrowing books, photocopying, and access to its digital data, publications, and halls.

PNU is a leading higher educational institution for women in Saudi Arabia, engaging in key initiatives and partnerships designed to provide women with the support they need to excel. For instance, last month, PNU partnered with tech giant Dell to train and certify Saudi Arabia's first female data scientists. According to Arabian Business, the university's College of Computer and Information Sciences said it has successfully trained 57 female data science and big data analytics students this semester with an additional 103 students certified in cloud infrastructure.

Speaking to the news site, Auhood Alfaries, Dean of the College of Computer and Information Sciences, said, "Building a comprehensive curriculum to cover the essential knowledge area for the computing disciplines and to equip our students with the skills required for the future workplace is a priority for Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University. We strive to continually evolve to contribute towards building a knowledge-based economy, in alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030.”

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