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Kuwait last week (13 October) announced a new four-year plan for higher education, which includes the creation of a new university offering science and technology courses.

Speaking to the Kuwait News Agency, the country's minister of education Adel Al-Tabtabai explained that the strategy included 68 projects that would cost a total of 500 million Kuwaiti Dinars (US$1.7 billion).

Al-Tabtabai also revealed plans to set up a new university inside the Kuwait University campus in Shuwaikh.

The university will offer advanced science courses in electronics, communications, and sea and environment science, among others.

Marking the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan on 14 October, Kuwait's amir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said the best investment is in Kuwait's people.

He called upon educational institutions to develop teaching programmes that support the nation's scientific advancement.

On 15 October, the United Arab Emirate's cabinet approved the country's federal budget for 2007, which puts public investment in higher education at record levels.

US$2 billion were allocated to general, higher and university education, 33 per cent of the total budget.