Umm Al-Qura University is a public university in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is considered one of the most prestigious university in the entire Islamic world due to its unique location in Makkah Al-Mukarramah. It was established as the College of Shari`a (Islamic Law) in 1949 before being joined by new colleges and renamed Umm Al-Qura by royal decree in 1981.Although it started primarily as an Islamic university offering degrees in Islamic Law and Arabic language studies, it offers scores of degrees in Technology Management, Business Management, Islamic Economics, Marketing, Engineering, Technology, Medicine, Education, Architecture, as well various Applied Sciences.
In 1949 King Abdulaziz Al Saud established the College of Shari'a (Islamic Law) in Makkah, making it the first higher education institution in the country. It constituted the kernel of Umm Al-Qura University and its most prominent college. It was followed by the establishment of the Teachers' College in 1952. This continued until 1959 when the College of Shari'a took the responsibility of teachers' preparation and became the College of Shari'a and Education. In 1962 the College of Education was established as an independent college.
In 1971 the Colleges of Shari'a and Education became part of King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and constituted its branch in Mecca. However, The University of Umm Al-Qura was established in 1981 by the royal decree number 39 in 1981 and the colleges of Shari'a and Education were detached from King Abdul Aziz University and joined by new departments to form the new university. It has student exchange programs with Purdue University, Tufts University, and King's College London.