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Saudi Arabia: ‘Economic fluctuation’ shrinks expatriate student numbers

March 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Image of a school in Saudi Arabia [Twitter]

There has been a 25 per cent drop in the number of expatriate students enrolled in international schools in Saudi Arabia, according to a report published in Al-Watan newspaper.

According to the report, the drop is due to economic fluctuations in the country, but numbers are expected to rise so that 50 per cent of expatriate students are enrolled in international schools by the end of the year.


    drop in the number of foreign students enrolled in international schools in Saudi

It is expected that reforms being carried out by government ministries and departments will trigger the rise.

Ziad Al-Rahma, vice chairman of the National Committee for International Education at the Council of Saudi Chambers, was quoted as saying that the economic conditions had a particular influence over those with medium-to-high paying jobs like specialists and engineers.

Some schools will most likely close as a result of the fees imposed on renewing licences by the Labour Office, he said, adding that the Saudisation of the job market is also an obstacle for schools.

The Ministry of Labour is seeking to Saudise the sector by 70 per cent despite schools claiming that it is difficult to find qualified Saudi teachers.

Al-Rahma said that some school owners have decided to operate as private, not international, schools as they believe their institutions have already met the standards required by the Ministry of Education.