Riyadh – Mubasher: The higher education market in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest single education market in the combined Arabian Gulf region, according to Colliers International.
A total of 1.62 million students were enrolled at higher education institutes across Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, the research showed that the demand for higher education in the Kingdom is driven by factors including demographics, increase in private sector participation, economic diversification and Saudi Vision 2030, according to a white paper by Colliers.
“When combined, those factors are set to increase demand for the provision of private education both in coverage and quality. This is supported by the growth in population which stood at 34.2 million in June 2019, rising from 27.1 million in 2010. Similar to other GCC countries, Saudi Arabia also has a young population profile igniting sustainable demand for higher education in the long term,” Mansoor Ahmed, Director of Healthcare, Education and Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), said.
“Based on the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), a population growth rate of 2.5% per annum, the total demand for higher education enrolment will reach 2.3 million in 2030, compared to 1.62 million in 2017. This means that the Kingdom will require an additional 640,000 new places by 2030,” Ahmed added, noting that the private sector must take the lead and focus on opening branch campuses of International universities targeting those facilities that currently host the majority of the Saudi students overseas.
Colliers expects demand for education in Saudi Arabia to move from traditional courses such as Islamic Studies, humanities and business administration to Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and renewable energy.