Minister of Education and Minister of Higher Education Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf on Saturday consented to the ministry's 2013-14 plan for scholarships. The move was taken during the third annual meeting of chiefs of Kuwaiti cultural offices in 14 countries. The meeting was also attended by Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and Chairman of the National Youth Project Jassem Al-Rubaian. Addressing the meeting, Al-Hajraf said the gathering mainly aimed to thrash out major obstacles and problems facing Kuwaiti cultural offices abroad, and listen to relevant solutions. The ministry is keen on upgrading the mechanism of such offices and on enabling them to properly play their due role, he said. The minister listed three key challenges facing the ministry in this respect as ensuring a high-quality output of the scholarship blueprint, electronically linking the ministry and overseas cultural offices and clinching contracts with new universities. In this context, he said the ministry will hold the steering and guidance forum tomorrow, with chiefs of overseas cultural offices and academic guides to be attending. The forum will focus on fresh services provided by Kuwaiti cultural offices abroad, he said, urging students and their parents to attend the event. For his part, Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah addressed the meeting by saying that Kuwait spares no effort to take care of children and youth as enshrined in the constitution. In this context, he said, Kuwait took the initiative by reassessing youth care and creating Public Authority for Youth and Sports (PAYS) and adopting a recent Amiri initiative called "Kuwait Listens", referring to governmental keenness to listen to young people and their concerns. He appreciated the effective role by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education in following up on scholarship students and their ideas, needs and expectations by holding workshops. Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education Rashed Al-Nuwaihedh said a total of 4,500 students would be given access to this year's scholarship admission plan. He said the third annual meeting of chiefs of Kuwaiti cultural offices aims to come up with recommendations that would lead to better services to students. The official added that decrees authorizing new committees on academic certificate equalization and student scholarships would be put in place soon.