Friday, September 25, 2009

Saudi University Breaks New Ground

From the Christian Science Monitor:
For the first time in Saudi Arabia’s history, men attending a university north of Jeddah will have special classmates – women.

The conservative country unveiled on Wednesday its first ever fully coed university, the King Abdullah Science and Technology University (KAUST). In the past, women in the notoriously gender restrictive kingdom were only allowed to take classes separately from men.

The inauguration of KAUST is meant to signal two important developments: a lauded, if politically volatile, softening of hard-line rules, and the kingdom’s rising ambitions of being a hub of scientific learning. Both aims, Saudi Arabia’s rulers hope, will help blunt the impact of extremism.

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