Amal Shuqair is the Deputy Minister for Scholarships at the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia. Her role comprises preparing and setting up the scholarship programs for Saudi students and overseeing their implementation.
This is not Shuqair’s first role in a Saudi ministry, as she had earlier occupied the position of Assistant Deputy Minister at the Saudi Ministry of Municipal, Rural Affairs and Housing.
As for her academic background, Shuqair earned her undergraduate degree in computer science from King Saud University and then gained her masters and PhD from the University of Central Florida in Industrial and Computer Engineering.
In a podcast she recently appeared on, Amal Shuqair discussed her childhood, background, experience, and allowed the audience to get to know her better.
When asked about her childhood Shuqair mentioned that she has moved a lot when she was younger because of her father’s job, and that allowed her to gain communication skills due to her having to meet new people every time.
With the role that she currently occupies, it is important to have certain, and so she mentioned how she learned discipline, time management, and being detail-oriented from her father.
When asked about women's empowerment, she stated it is imperative to give resources to people in order to empower. Shuqair mentioned that giving women the freedom of choice and action because of the availability of resources will ultimately support them building and shaping their lives in the way they want. With her involvement in the scholarship program, we are sure the program will continue to flourish.
Saudi Arabia has long been known for investing in its youth, especially in their education. The Saudi scholarship program, that has been refreshed recently this year, aims to send 70,000 students from the kingdom abroad by 2030. The updated approach is well-calculated as it aims to feed into the local labor market back home pertaining to the different paths:
“The Pioneers Path” sends local students to undergraduate and graduate programs in different sectors to the top 30 academic institutions in the world.
“The Providers Path” matches students to undergraduate, graduate, and “training” programs in defined sectors with specific labour market needs.
“The Research & Development Path” is made for scientist and PhD students.
“The Promising Path” is created for students going into precise industries such as manufacturing tourism in undergraduate, graduate, and “training” programs. These programs are usually located in South Korea, Japan, and Germany.