KGSP students represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s future scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders. As both individuals and as a community, they reflect the KAUST mission of driving scientific discovery through excellence in education and cutting-edge research, and share a commitment to fostering innovation, economic development, and social prosperity throughout the Kingdom and the world.
Selection to the KGSP is extremely competitive, and currently by invitation only. Successful applicants are Saudi Arabian students in their final year of high school who demonstrate impressive academic credentials within STEM fields, meaningful extra-curricular achievements, and who share the KAUST ethos of continuous discovery. Learn more here.
The KGSP is administered by the Office of Strategic National Advancement at KAUST, under the direction of Vice President & Senior Associate to the President, Dr. Najah Ashry. Strategic National Advancement directs the university's strategy to serve Saudi Arabia's transformational priorities: Through initiatives in young talent and Saudi workforce development, social responsibility, and national engagement, the Office contributes to a thriving innovation ecosystem by building knowledge capacity, creating opportunities, and strengthening impact.
KGSP College Admissions, 2020
With summer in full swing, former Foundation Year (FY) students are now eagerly preparing for their first semesters as college freshman!
Designed exclusively by and for the KGSP, the Foundation Year’s university preparatory program engages students with college-level coursework at partner institutions across the United States, while also guiding them through the undergraduate admissions process. A dedicated advising team provides personalized expert guidance on university selection and the application process, while outside of the classroom students work with an Essay Coach, are connected to tutoring services when needed, and participate in campus and community activities. This all ensures that graduates of the Foundation Year are primed for success at the competitive universities to which they gain admission.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic early this spring, this year’s group of FY students also faced additional and unprecedented challenges: Throughout, the KGSP has been committed to assisting students in navigating those issues through additional academic and support services, regular communications, coordination with home university departments, and expertise on remote learning strategies, and health and safety best practices.
Despite an undoubtedly different Foundation Year experience, the students’ hard work and dedication, bolstered by the KGSP’s undergraduate admissions expertise, resulted one of the most successful admission cycles in the Program’s history. This includes a record number of admittances to the Massachusetts of Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (8 and 13, respectively!), four Ivy League admissions (Brown, Columbia, and Cornell), as well as many others including Carnegie Mellon, John Hopkins, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, UCLA, University of Texas at Austin…the list goes on! The accomplishments of this year’s class reflect not only their academic aptitude, but also their resiliency and determination—skills that will serve them well as a new generation of leaders.
Moaaz Fayumy, a FY student at University of Washington, will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) this fall. Moaaz plans to study Electrical Engineering and is looking forward to competing with bright minds from all over the world, expressing that, “your community is what pushes you toward achieving your goals and taking advantage of every available opportunity.”
Yosef Alsuhaibani, a FY student at University of Pennsylvania, will attend Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and major in Computer Science. Yosef reflected that, “Being a CS major who appreciates math and liberal arts, I looked for universities that excelled in both those areas, as well as some other unquantifiable features such as uniqueness, school spirit, and the culture of CS in that school”. Throughout the application process, Yosef was greatly appreciative of the support he received from KGSP, including essay coaching, and guidance on how he could improve his college applications. He is happy to be a part of the CMU student body and to take advantage of the unique CS academic culture and the plentiful research opportunities offered.
Layan Kazem, a FY student at the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign, is excited to study Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). “One of the most important things to me is research opportunities,” Layan expressed. “I was looking for universities that provide research areas that interest me, in order to have a fun time learning, and provide great experiences that will help me in my future studies”. At RPI, she is eager to meet different people with different backgrounds, to share their experiences together, and to learn from each other.
The first semester of college is an exhilarating and novel time for students, and the KGSP prepares them with the confidence and the knowledge needed to reach their goals. Congratulations to all our rising freshman!
Foundation Year students attend the College Fair during the 2020 KGSP Convocation in January, meeting with current KGSP undergraduates from each university