Saudi Arabia announces education system overhaul

Saudi Arabia announces education system overhaul
As part of the Human Capability Development Programme, changes will be made in all stages of education in the kingdom, state media has said.
2 min read
16 September, 2021
Nursery, school and university learning will all be affected by the new education programme [Getty]

Saudi Arabia  has announced the launch of a new programme meant to revamp the country's education system.

As part of the Human Capability Development Programme, changes will be made across the education sector, from early years to adult learning, state news outlet Saudi Press Agency said on Wednesday.

The programme is aimed at "aligning educational outcomes with the needs of the labor market, and localizing high-skilled jobs through the reskilling and training of citizens", the news outlet said.

The plan is part of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ‘Vision 2030’, which seeks to move away from oil as the primary source of financial equity in the economy amid Saudi’s labour market, which records an unemployment rate of some 11.7 percent.

Riyadh has said that the ‘Vision 2030’ initiative is a blueprint for social and economic reform in the oil-rich country. The program was launched in 2016.

Saudi Arabia was one of the"fastest risers" in the world's best universities for 2022 index, according to an authoritative report released earlier this month.

Universities in the Arab kingdom and in Egypt rose higher in the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine's world university rankings in four years than any other countries, including China.

"The success for these nations was largely driven by major improvements in scores for research impact – based on citation analysis," Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at THE wrote in an article for the World Economic Forum's website.

Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz University reached 190th place - the first time a higher education institution in the Gulf kingdom has reached the top 200 in the rankings.

Fifteen Saudi universities made it to the rankings in total, five of which landed in the top 400.

Riyadh said in its Saudi Vision 2030 framework that it wants to have five universities in the top 200 by the end of the decade.