Defense Minister Prince Salman on Wednesday opened the first phase of a university campus project in Al-Kharj and laid the foundation stone for the university\'s administrative and support deanship building. \"I am very happy to visit the Prince Salman University and meet its staff and students,\" the minister said. He noted the Kingdom\'s educational progress and said there are 24 public and eight private universities. During the ceremony Prince Salman honored prominent personalities who had contributed to the establishment of the university, including Al-Kharj Gov. Prince Abdul Rahman bin Nasser and Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities. Earlier, Prince Salman was briefed on the university\'s various projects by Abdul Rahman Al-Senaidy, supervisor of projects. They include buildings for the college of engineering, college of applied medical sciences, community college, college of science, a mosque, 282 housing units for staff and a hostel to accommodate 1,500 students. Prince Salman visited an exhibition held by the university that provides information about its various deanships, colleges and departments. The visit also covered the university’s advanced laboratory facilities. The minister expressed his satisfaction over the facilities at the university and hoped that it would be able to compete with other institutions of higher learning in the country. He also thanked Abdul Rahman Al-Asimi, the university’s president, and its staff for their contributions. Prince Salman later watched a documentary on the university’s history and development and its various activities. Prince Abdul Rahman thanked Prince Salman for his generous support to the university. “We also appreciate Prince Salman’s contributions to the development of Al-Kharj when he was the governor of Riyadh,” he added. In another development, Prince Salman visited King Abdul Aziz Palace in Al-Kharj and inspected the plan to renovate the palace. Speaking to reporters after the visit, Prince Salman commended the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities for renovating the palace. “Preservation of these heritage buildings is essential for our younger generation to understand their history,” the minister said. “This visit reminded me of my childhood days with my father,” he added.