Establishing Saudi Arabia’s first university was a response to the educational and professional needs of a young nation. Abdulaziz Al-Saud proclaimed the King in 1932 and began laying the foundations for modernizing his country and establishing an educational system. In 1953, Saud, the eldest son of Abdulaziz, acceded to the throne upon his father's death. He would soon institute the Council of Ministers and establish the Ministry of Education.
Prince Fahd, who would eventually become the Saudi King himself, assumed the office of the first Ministry of Education, and following the first session of the Council of Ministers, he announces, “We will shortly establish the first Saudi University, this is a foregone conclusion. This university will be one of the most prominent houses of culture and sciences and will be worthy of our country where the light of Islamic faith and civilization has emanated.” The Kingdom's first institute of higher education, King Saud University, was subsequently opened in Riyadh in 1957.