History Establishing Saudi Arabia’s first university was a response to the educational and professional needs of a young nation. Abdulaziz Al-Saud, proclaimed the King in 1932, and began laying the foundations for modernizing his country and establishing an educational system. In 1953, Saud, the eldest son of Abdulaziz, acceded to the throne upon his father's death. He would soon institute the Council of Ministers and establish the Ministry Education. Prince Fahd, who would eventually become the Saudi King himself, assumed the office of the first Ministry of Education, and following the first session of the Council of Ministers, he announce, “We will shortly establish the first Saudi University, this is a foregone conclusion. This university will be one of the most prominent houses of culture and sciences and will be worthy of our country where the light of Islamic faith and civilization has emanated.” The Kingdom's first institute of higher education, King Saud University, was subsequently opened in Riyadh in 1957. Prince Fahd was committed to promoting higher education, and once said, “I am interested, before anything else, in supporting higher and vocational education in this country in order to add a new and illustrious chapter to our glorious history. Establishing a Saudi university with all its colleges, institutes and laboratories, built according to the highest of standards, is my immediate concern.” In 1957, according to the dictates of the Royal Decree No. 17, Prince Fahd announced the founding of King Saud University, established in order to, “Disseminate and promote knowledge in Our Kingdom for widening the base of scientific and literary study, and for keeping abreast with other nations in the arts and sciences and for contributing with them discovery and invention”, in addition to reviving Islamic civilization and articulate its benefits and glories, along with its ambitions to nurture the young virtuously and to guarantee their healthy minds and ethics.” KSU: A History of Success Students began studying in the College of Arts in the 1957-58 academic year. Since that time, KSU has gone through many stages of developments, and its administrative organization has developed and adapted according to the diverse needs and expanding role of the nation. A great many of changes would take place in the coming years, such as the establishing of new colleges and opening of new branches throughout the Kingdom. Below is a collection of some of the most significant changes and developments to take place at King Saud University since its founding in 1957:
•Between 1958 and 1960, three colleges are established: the College of Sciences, the College of Business (now the College of Public Administration) and the College of Pharmacy. •Royal Decree No. 112 grants King Saud University independent status with its own budget; the University was now responsible for higher education, promoting scholarly research and advancing the sciences and arts in the country. The Minister of Education was to be Rector of King Saud University, while the administrative positions of Vice Rector and Secretary General were established and each college and institute was required to have a dean, a vice dean, and a university council. (1961)

•The College of Agriculture is established; in the same year, control over the Colleges of Engineering and Education, having been under the Ministry of Education in cooperation with UNESCO, is assumed by the University (1965)

•The name King Saud University is changed to the University of Riyadh (1967)

•The College of Medicine (1969)

•Arabic Language Institute for non-Arabic speakers, as well as the Deanships of Admission and Registration and Students Affairs and Libraries (1974)

•The College of Dentistry and the College of Applied Medical Sciences are added to the Riyadh campus and the launching of the Abha campus with the College of Education (1976)

•The Graduate College assumes role of supervising and organizing all graduate programs in the various departments of the University (1978)

•The College of Medicine at Abha (1980)

•A branch in Qassim opens with the Colleges of Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, and Economics and Administration (1981) •Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the University of Riyadh goes back to its original name of King Saud University at the orders of King Khalid bin Abdulaziz. The Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education replaces the Center for Community Service and King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH) is formally opened (1982)

•The Colleges of Computer and Information Science Sciences and Architecture and Planning (1984)

•The Institute of Languages and Translation (1991), but becomes the College of Languages and Translation (1995)

•The Council of Higher Education approves the creation of the Center for Consulting and Research, which would eventually be renamed the King Abdullah Center for Consulting and Research (1996)

•King Saud University Community College in Jazan and the College of Sciences at the Qassim campus (1997)

•King Khalid University is accorded university status in southwest Saudi Arabia. The branch of Imam Islamic University becomes an independent university. After unified regulations for graduate studies are established for Saudi universities, the Graduate College becomes the Deanship of Graduate Studies, while the Deanship of Academic Research is established in accordance with the dictates of the System of Academic Research (1998)

•The College of Medicine is established at the Qassim campus, and the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education was turned into the College of Applied Studies and Community Service (2000) •The Community College in Riyadh (2001)

•The College of Science at Al-Jouf is established, and the College of Engineering is opened at Qassim, which becomes an independent university. Community colleges are approved for Al-Majma’ah, Al-Aflaj, and Al-Qurayyat (2003)


Past Rectors of King Saud University :

Dr. Abdulwahab bin Mohammed Azam (1957-1959)

Sheikh Nasser Al-manqour (1959-1960)

Abdulaziz bin Muhammad Al-Khwaiter (1961-1971)

Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Fadha (1971-1979)

Mansour bin Ibrahim Al-Turki (1979-1990)

Ahmad bin Muhammad Al-Dhubaib (1990-1995)

Abdullah bin Muhammad Al-Faisal (1995-2007)

Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Othman (2007- 2012)

Badran A. O. AlOmar (2012-2024)​

Abdullah S. Al-Salman (2024-Present)