Saudi Arabia: 1/3 of University Students Never Make it to Graduation

From Thomson Reuters Zawya – in WES / WENR

In 2016, there was a thirty percent drop out rate among Saudi university students, according to data released by the Ministry of Education. This could, in part, be due to a growing mismatch between educational training and the demands of the labor market.

While the greatest need is for jobs requiring specific vocational and technical training, only about four percent of students are on this specialized career track. At the same time, many students are focusing on specializations that don’t fit the needs of the labor market, and universities are not changing their curricula to redirect their paths.

To fill resulting job vacancies, the county has turned to recruiting foreign workers. The skills gap will likely continue to disincentivize Saudi students until something is done to align university curriculum with labor demands.


Povl Tiedemann
March 2017


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