The Council of Higher Education was formed according to law No. (3) in the year 2005 under the chairmanship of the Minister of Education and a number of members not less than ten members with expertise and scientific status.

All universities, both private and public, are controlled by the Higher Education Council (HEC) which was established in 2006 in order to regulate, promote and monitor the higher education sector. The council is chaired by the Minister of Education and it has ten other members. The Secretary General of the HEC is Professor Riyad Hamzah who was appointed to this position in May 2011.

The HEC’s mandate is three-fold: improving the performance of universities, monitoring and evaluating provision, and regulating new study programmes. The HEC is concerned with university affairs in various aspects– administrative, scientific, research and students– which include the preparation of the general policy for higher education and scientific research, creating regulations regarding the admission of students to institutions of higher education as well as proposing amendments to the laws and regulations of higher education in light of the development of the general policies in the Kingdom, and issuing regulations and resolutions organizing the academic, financial and administrative affairs with respect to higher education. Furthermore, it sets the terms and criteria for the licensing of different types of higher education institutions including private higher education institutions, prepares annual reports on higher education performance issued by higher education institutions and competent governmental authorities, recommends appropriate remedies for such performance and actions for its development, prepares annual reports for the cabinet on higher education and scientific research status with relevant recommendations and promoting private investment in higher education.

In accordance with the Higher Education Law no. 3 of 2005 and the approval of the Higher Education Council Resolution no. (566/2019) article no. 1 adopted at session no. (46/2019) dated on December 22, 2019.