Foreign university degrees
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Dubai: King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has posthumously awarded a master’s degree to a dedicated student, Kholoud Batoa, who passed away two years ago. The university made this exceptional decision after thoroughly reviewing and discussing her thesis.

Dr. Fatima Youssef, the supervisor of Kholoud Batoa’s master’s thesis, lauded the extraordinary commitment and determination displayed by the late student. Dr. Fatima stated, “The master’s thesis was discussed for the student, who tragically passed away while actively working on her research. She was incredibly diligent and dedicated, always expressing her hope that her parents would be proud of her success and that she would fulfil her life’s dream.”

During the challenging period of Ramadan amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Kholoud worked on her thesis, often meeting with her supervisor after Taraweeh prayers to make progress. Dr. Fatima noted that Kholoud had reached an advanced stage in her study, focusing on the impact of green coffee extract supplements on body weight and fat levels in adults in Saudi Arabia.

However, as fatigue began to take its toll on Kholoud, medical examinations revealed that she was suffering from oesophageal cancer. Tragically, she passed away just two weeks after her diagnosis. Dr. Fatima, deeply moved by Kholoud’s dedication, decided to fulfil her wish and see her thesis through to completion.

Dr. Fatima expressed her gratitude to the support she received from the university, particularly Professor Nahla Kahwaji, the new Dean of the College, and the Deanship of Graduate Studies led by Dr. Saud AlvSalami and Dr. Kholoud Al Saleh. They wholeheartedly endorsed the unique procedure to award the degree to Kholoud posthumously.

The discussion committee, consisting of Dr. Etemad Huwait as an external discussant and Dr. Arwa Turkistani as an internal discussant, completed the necessary procedures and conducted the discussion. The event was attended by a large number of Kholoud’s family, classmates, undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty members. The committee unanimously recommended granting the degree to the late student, Kholoud Batoa, in recognition of her exceptional dedication and academic achievements.