Growth Potential of Private Education in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing rapid changes in many different Industries due to its Vison 2030 initiatives. One such industry is the education sector, specifically the Private K-12 market which is set to more than double in value from $5 Billion currently to over $12 Billion by 2023.

Education plays a key role in achieving Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 targets. Improving the access and quality of education would create a thriving economy by enabling the population  to meet growing labor market demands. Furthermore, it would create a vibrant & ambitious society who are socially responsible and able to lead a fulfilling life.

In 2016, the Saudi government developed the National Transformation Program 2020 to fulfil some of the objectives of Vision 2030. As part of the plan, the ministry of education was tasked with 8 key objectives to transform the education industry in Saudi Arabia, which in turn would strengthen the economy and provide the Saudi citizens with the key skills to become more competitive in the local and global labor market.

As it stands, there are approximately 7.7 million students in Saudi Arabia, out of which 6.7 million (87%) attend public schools and 1 million (13%) attend private schools. There are a total of 30,625 schools in Saudi Arabia, out of which 26,248 (86%) are public and 4,377 (14%) are private. Between the years 2013 and 2017, the number of private schools grew by 13%, while the number of public schools grew by 1%.

Certain factors are affecting the education landscape including the government’s push for privatization, the need for overall improvement in the quality of education, and consumers growing preference for private schools that offer value for money.

In this report, we focus on private education in Saudi Arabia by looking at the overall GCC private education market and Saudi Arabia’s position in it, challenges facing the Saudi education market that need to be addressed, and the size of the opportunity for the private education market.




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