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Principles of Education

Educational Developments in an International Context

Yousef Abbas G00268382

Presentation Overview
We will look at the challenges facing the education system in Saudi Arabia under the following headings:
Historical Trends

Multiculturalism Social Class

But firstly,
Some facts about Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Some Facts

Saudi Arabia Formed in 1932

Language: Arabic
Religion: Islam

Capital: Riyadh
Currency: Saudi riyal King: Abdullah of Saudi Arabia Population: 28.29 million (2012)

The Education Structure in Saudi Arabia

Primary education is mandatory

Students can choose either the GSEC or CVSEC (General or Vocational Stream) in Secondary School
Classes segregated by gender Education is free at all levels System is open to all citizens
Source: World Education Services 2009

Higher Education follows the U.S. model

Trends in Education in Saudi Arabia

In 1932 education was available to very few people - usually the children of wealthy families living in the major cities
The government realised there was a need for investment in education in order to be able to compete in the global economy Today, Saudi Arabias education system includes: 24 public and 8 private universities 25,000 schools; and, a large number of colleges and other institutions 5 million students registered in the education system in Saudi Arabia today & 57% of students are female
Source: www.saudiembassy.net

Trends in Education in Saudi Arabia

Literacy levels in Saudi Arabia have increased dramatically over the past 40 years due to this investment in education
Illiterate, 13% Literate, 40%


Illiterate, 60%

Literate, 87%

Source: Ministry of Education Saudi Arabia 2012

Gender & Education in Saudi Arabia

Education is open to ALL in Saudi Arabia

Classes are segregated by gender

This segregation is in line with the cultural norms in Saudi Arabia

One fully integrated university King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
The first all female college, Princess Nora University, was opened in 1970 It recently added a $5 billion high-tech campus (2011) Now the largest all female university in the world with 50,000 enrolled
Source: Global Penn State 2013

Gender & Education in Saudi Arabia

Government is attempting to close the gender gap through;

Providing financial aid to women completing their degrees

Implementing strategies to increase the minimum marriage age thus allowing more females an opportunity to complete their education Increasing the standard of training for female teachers Increasing university and vocational school options and areas of study available to women
Source: Global Citizen Daily 2013

This appears to be having an impact as, in 2011, 57% of all graduates in Saudi Arabia were female

Multiculturalism & Education in Saudi Arabia

There are restrictions on the number of foreign nationals who may study at universities in Saudi Arabia The priority of government is the education of the Saudi people

However, in a bid to foster cross-cultural understanding, its young people do travel to western countries to study, many under the King Abdullah Scholarship programme
In 2013 alone over 34,000 Saudi students were enrolled in 3rd level institutions in the United States under this programme These periods of overseas learning allow students to experience various cultures for themselves and return to Saudi Arabia with a broader world view

Multiculturalism & Education in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian government has introduced the Tatweer reform programme to modernise the Wahaabi orientated curriculum This programme has a reported budget of $2 billion per annum

It focuses on moving away from the traditional Saudi methods of teaching & towards encouraging students to analyse and problem solve
It is also more focused on creating an education system which provides more secular and vocationally based training

Social Class & Education in Saudi Arabia

Social Class as a Percentage of the Total Population
Upper Class 2% Middle Class 33%

Lower Class 65%

Source: Various

Social Class & Education in Saudi Arabia

Despite its vast wealth as a nation, Saudi Arabia is said to have a poverty issue, with between 25% and 40% of the population living below the poverty line Regardless of status or personal wealth the education system is free and open to all This free education system is in place in order to equip the population with the skills to compete in the global economy It is hoped that this investment in education will allow all citizens of Saudi Arabia to maximise their individual potential and to develop the country as a whole

Ministry of Higher Education Promotional Video From 2011

This video is from the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia. It was published in 2011 and shows the dedication that the Saudi Government has to investing in the education of its people


So What Is The Future For Education in Saudi Arabia?

Continued investment by the Saudi Government in all levels of education A focus on the Vocational Education system A increased number of female graduates A broader curriculum based around the Tatweer Programme Increasing numbers studying at 3rd level institutions around the world

And The Result?

Better educated and more culturally rounded Saudi teachers in the future due to their wider learning experiences

More and more Saudi children and young adults enjoying the benefits of education

A highly skilled workforce better equipped to manage in the global economy


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