Historical Contexts

The King Faisal Foundation (KFF) which was established in 1976 by the heirs of the late King Faisal, launched Alfaisal University as the premier coeducational institution for business, engineering, science, and medical education and research in the Kingdom and the region. The deeply held principle of KFF was that a well-educated population was the foundation for a strong nation. The Foundation has always promoted a pragmatic approach to furthering the opportunities for Saudi youth. The creation of a university that strives to achieve excellence in several fields is yet another important advance towards fulfilling its desire to enrich the country’s enterprising individuals with the ability to compete on a global level. Financial support provided by the King Faisal Foundation has also produced the King Faisal School, Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business, and Effat College (for women).

Plans for establishing Alfaisal University began in 1999. The first “Concept Paper” regarding the University was prepared in late 2000 with the support of the Carlyle Group. It was submitted to the Economic Offset Committee in February 2001 to qualify the University under the Economic Offset Program. Approval was received in July 2001. Four non-Saudi multinational companies agreed to become co-founders along with six Saudi organizations. In April 2003, the Offset Committee granted a multiple of eight offset credits to the non-Saudi co-founders for cash contributions. The Board of Trustees negotiated with the Ministry of Higher Education to secure an acceptable Charter that assured the independence of the University. The Charter (#10905) was approved by the Ministry on 10 July 2004 and unanimously ratified by the Board of Trustees on 25 October 2004.

Students at Alfaisal University are provided with opportunities for intellectual, cultural, social, emotional, and physical growth. Within the framework of the University founding principles, the University academic experience is complemented by meaningful student life activities and a variety of cultural events.