- SAGIA convenes more than 100 representatives from 14 entities to explore opportunities in the Kingdom’s Higher Education segment
- Signatories exchange three Memoranda of Understanding aimed at facilitating greater collaboration and developing future opportunities
- Recent data show leading global education providers entering Saudi market on back of significant reforms
Riyadh, 08 September 2019: The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) today hosted the Saudi-UK Education Meeting at its Riyadh headquarters, convening more than 100 representatives of 14 entities from Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. Partnering with SI-UK – an advisory firm focused on supporting students applying to study in the UK – attendees explored opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s higher education segment.
Saudi Arabia’s university-aged population is rapidly expanding and is expected to reach a cohort of more than four million 18-to-24-year-olds by 2025, up from three million today. Government stakeholders have also recognized a need to engage private sector organizations to ensure higher education outcomes are aligned with job market requirements. National development and diversification plans have also outlined a need to establish strategic partnerships with apprenticeship providers, and new skills councils from industry, and large private companies.
Mr. Ibrahim AlSuwail, SAGIA’s Deputy Governor of Investor Services & Advisory, commented: “Our country is undergoing a significant economic transformation. To ensure the continued prosperity of Saudi Arabia, we must empower young Saudi men and women who will become the Kingdom’s leaders of tomorrow. This requires a commitment to education, facilitating skills transfer and creating new and valuable job opportunities by bolstering the private sector. This meeting – and the MoUs that have been exchanged today – reflect our increasing focus on promoting opportunities and facilitating international partnerships to drive the growth of this strategic market segment.”
Memoranda of Understanding exchanged at the meeting include:
- SAGIA & SI-UK – an agreement to cconsolidate and focus collaboration between Saudi government entities and higher education institutions in the UK.
- SAGIA & Saudi Engineering Council – an agreement to develop educational investments, and to attract institutions and special training providers in the field of engineering.
- Saudi Engineering Council & SI-UK – an agreement to support Saudi engineering students who plan to pursue further education in the UK
The growing opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s education sector reflect the recent reforms that have been introduced to make it easier for foreign investors to access the Saudi education market. In addition to allowing 100% foreign ownership in the sector in 2018, Saudi Arabia has undertaken a number of initiatives to encourage private investment, including subsidies for kindergarten and nursery schools, school construction financing and public-private partnerships.
The reforms to the Kingdom’s education sector come alongside a broad series of economic reforms which are enabling rapid growth in foreign investment in Saudi Arabia.