Saudi king to award $2,000 to students studying abroad

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Tens of thousands of Saudi students studying abroad will each be receiving $2,000 from the government to support their education.

King Salman approved on Wednesday a recommendation made by his son and heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to grant students abroad on government scholarships and those studying at their own expense the financial boost.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency also reported that the king approved another recommendation to expand the country's overseas scholarship program to include Saudi students who meet certain requirements and are studying abroad at their own expense.

In 2016, the kingdom began restricting its generous multibillion-dollar overseas scholarship program in an effort to slash government spending.

Saudi media report there are currently 90,000 Saudis studying on government scholarships abroad, compared to more than 200,000 in 2014.

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