education in saudi arabia

In the last few years, the education system in Saudi Arabia has completely changed. This happened due to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia government’s firm belief in the importance of education. It is the main building-block of the national renaissance. Education in Saudi Arabia is available for all citizens without any required fees. 

Education in Saudi Arabia

The education system in Saudi Arabia consists of different parts, which forms one of the best education system in Gulf Area.

We’d illustrate each part to give you a kind of guidance to better understand of the entire picture, as follows:

Education initiatives in Saudi Arabia

The ministry of education has launched many initiatives to develop and support the educational process in Saudi Arabia. Some of these initiatives are:

Research and Development Support Initiative:

  • It aims at supporting the process of research and development with all its needs.

The Housing Subsidy Initiative:

  • It aims at providing suitable houses for employees in the ministry of education.

The Saudi Digital Library Initiative:

  • It aims at saving the efforts of researchers.

Developing Digital Skills in association with Misk Charitable Foundation Initiative:

  • It aims at getting the Cambridge International Certificate in digital learning.

Ryadee (Pioneer) Initiative:

  • It aims at investment in public education.

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Schools in Saudi Arabia 

Schools in Saudi Arabia can be divided according to the curriculum into 3 main categories:

Public Schools: 

  • There are only open for citizens, residents and Muslim non-residents.
  • They are owned by the government.
  • They follow the national curriculum.

Private Schools:

  • They are privately owned. 
  • They follow the national curriculum. 

International Schools:

  • They follow international curriculums regarding to the school (American, British, Indian,…..and so on.) 

Schools can also be divided according to the stage of education into: 

  • Pre-school Stage (Kindergarten in Saudi Arabia) 
  • This stage aims to qualifying students to join the primary stage. 
  • It comprises children from 3 to 5 years old. 
  • In some cases, students join Montessori Schools, which develop children’s’ skills and thinking. 

Primary Stage:

  • It comprises students  from 6 to 12 years old.

Intermediate Stage:

  • It comprises students from 13 to 16 years old. 

Secondary Stage:

  • It comprises students from 17 to 19 years old. 
  • Note: In international education, it comprises students from 14 to 17 years old. 

Here is a list of many schools in Saudi Arabia:

  • Al-Andalus International School.
  • Al Hammad Academy. 
  • Dhahran School.
  • British International School of Jeddah. 
  • Philippine Sunrise International School. 
  • SEK International School Riyadh. 
  • Palm Crest International School. 
  • Saud International School.

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STEM education in Saudi Arabia

  • STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning in the 4 main branches (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). 
  • It promotes mental skills like analytical and critical thinking, design, and problem-solving. It Also promotes behavioural skills like responsibility, co-operation and organization. 
  • It is project-based education. Students learn to use modern applications and tools which make him more open-minded.
  • Stem education makes students fully prepared for the upcoming real life and careers. It also makes them more than willing to get the best scholarships.
  • In Saudi Arabia, women get  involved in STEM education more than men.

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SEK education in Saudi Arabia

  • SEK international school is located in Riyadh.
  • It welcomes students from 3 years old to 17 years old.
  • Technology, arts, sports and community service are main aspects in SEK education.
  • The academic year starts in September.

SEK education in Saudi Arabia offers:

  • Individual  education based on early learning .
  • Experimental education.
  • Promotion of motor, sensory and linguistic abilities.
  • Education develops social, emotional and cognitive skills.
  • It starts from the Pre-school stage, then the primary stage, middle years stage then providing Diploma. 
  • This school has the flexibility to choose between the three learning models according to the surrounding circumstances: 
  • Face-to-face learning.
  • Hybrid learning (Blended learning).
  • Distance learning.

The SEK group of schools consists of 10 schools:

  • SEK International School Les Alpes in France.
  • SEK International School Dublin in Ireland.
  • SEK International School Doha in Qatar.
  • SEK International School Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
  • SEK International School El Castillo in Spain.
  • SEK International School Ciudalcampo in Spain.
  • SEK International School Santa Isabel in Spain.
  • SEK International School Atlántico in Spain.
  • SEK International School Catalunya in Spain.
  • SEK International School Alborán in Spain.

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Special education in Saudi Arabia

  • This education aims to provide the educational opportunity for students with disabilities as general public education will not be suitable for them.

Types of disabilities included:

  • Blindness.
  • Deafness.
  • Intellectual disabilities.
  • Autism.
  • Physical disabilities.

Examples of schools of special education in Saudi Arabia:

  • Rowad Alkhaleej special education school in Riyadh.
  • AlNakheel special education school in Riyadh.
  • Love and care play school in Riyadh.

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Scholarships in Saudi Arabia

In the last few years, education in Saudi Arabia has become a great destination for international students. This happened due to its progress in global universities ranking and scientific research. This is a list of the most common and important scholarships in Saudi Arabia:

Islamic Development Bank Scholarship

  • It is a fully funded scholarship.
  • This scholarship is for undergraduate, master and doctoral students.
  • This scholarship is announced every year in December and the deadline extends to February. 

King Abdulaziz Postgraduate Scholarship Program

  • It is a fully funded scholarship.
  • It is provided by King Abdulaziz public university.
  • This scholarship is for undergraduate, master and doctoral international students. 
  • This scholarship provides financial aid to cover travelling tickets, fees, accommodation and healthcare.

Mahmoud S. Rabbani Scholarship

  • It is a fully funded scholarship.
  • It is provided by Lutfia Rabbani foundation.
  • This scholarship is for master and doctoral international students. Having the Dutch nationality can give you higher priority.
  • It is provided for students who intend to complete their studies in Netherland. 

King Fahd University Scholarship

  • It is a fully funded scholarship.
  • It is provided by King Fahd university.
  • This scholarship is for master and doctoral international students.
  • This scholarship covers travelling tickets, fees, accommodation and  monthly allowance. 

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Scholarships

  • It is a fully funded scholarship. 
  • This scholarship is for undergraduate, master and doctoral international students.
  • This scholarship covers travelling tickets, fees and accommodation. 

Faisal King Scholarship

  • It is a merit-based or financial need-based scholarship.
  • This scholarship is provided every academic year for new undergraduate students. 

Islamic University Madinah Scholarship

  • It is a fully funded scholarship. 
  • This scholarship is provided for undergraduate international students. 
  • The applicant must be a Muslim male. 

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Top universities in Saudi Arabia

Opening of King Saud university in 1957 as the first university in the Kingdom  was the starting point of establishing a great emperor of higher education in Saudi Arabia. There are about 52 approved universities in Saudi Arabia which vary between being governmental or private universities. Many of those universities have occupied advanced positions in the universities’ world ranking. Let us have a quick look.

King Abdulaziz University (KAU): 

  • It is Located in Jeddah.
  • Ranks 106 worldwide.

There are many faculties which are:

  • Arts & Humanities.
  • Medicine.
  • Engineering.
  • Earth Sciences.
  • English Language Institute.
  • Computing & Information Technology.
  • Marine Sciences.
  • Dentistry.
  • Jeddah Teachers College.
  • Environmental Design.
  • Pharmacy.
  • Applied Medical Sciences.
  •  Economics & Administrations.
  • College of Home Economics.
  • Science.
  • Jeddah Community College.
  • Girls’ College of Education for Home Economics.
  • Meteorology & Environment and Arid Land Agriculture.
  • Girls’ Faculty of Medical Sciences.
  • Institute of Tourism.
  • College of Education-Humanities.
  • Girls’ College of Education in Jeddah.

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals: 

  • It is Located in Dhahran.
  • Ranks 160 worldwide.

King Saud University: 

  • It is located in Riyadh.
  • Ranks 237 worldwide.

There are many programs like:

  • Psychology.
  • Law.
  • Economics.
  • Archaeology.
  • Environmental Sciences.

Umm Al-Qura University: 

  • It is Located in Makkah.
  • Ranks 449 worldwide.

There are many subjects like:

  • Business Management.
  • Medicine.
  • Engineering.
  • Islamic Economics.
  • Education.
  • Social Science.

Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU): 

  • It is Located in Dammam.
  • Ranks 477 worldwide.

There are many programs like:

  • Arts in English Language.
  • Arts in Communication & Information Technology.
  • Arts in Islamic Studies. 
  • Arts in Geography.
  • Clinical Pharmacy.
  • Medicine.
  • Occupational Health & Safety.
  • Biology.
  • Science in Accounting.
  • Science in Artificial Intelligence.
  • Architecture.

Jeddah University: 

  • It is Located in Jeddah.
  • It is ranked 81-90 in Arab region rankings. 

There are many programs like:

  • Law.
  • Computer science and engineering.
  • Medicine.
  • Art and design.
  • Social sciences.
  • Sport sciences.
  • Communication and media.
  • Science.
  • Applied medical sciences.
  • Business.
  • Education.

Alfaisal University: 

  •  It is located in Riyadh.

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University: 

  • It is Located in Al khobar.

Jouf University: 

  •  It is Located in Sakaka.

King Khalid University: 

  •  It is Located in Abha.

Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University: 

  •  It is located in Riyadh.

Islamic University of Madinah: 

  •  It is Located in Madinah.

King Faisal University: 

  •  It is located in Hofuf. 

Northern Borders University: 

  •  It is Located in Arar. 

Qassim University: 

  •  It is Located in Buraydah. 

Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU): 

  • It is located in Riyadh. 

Arab Open University ( AOU KSA):

  • It is located in Riyadh.
  • There are three faculties:
  • Faculty of Business Studies.
  • Faculty of Computer Studies.
  • Faculty of Language Studies.

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Conclusion 

Good education helps citizens to build their social and work life. Education is important for equality, that is why the government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and many foundations are caring about giving the chance to all distinguished students even if their circumstances are not appropriate. 

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