Saudi seeks to amend private education regulations to attract top institutions abroad


Saudi Arabia is working on legislation to amend the country’s education regulations to attract the world’s top educational institutions to open branches in the Kingdom.

The Ministry of Education, represented by the Agency for Private University Education, is reviewing executive and organizational rules of the Private University Education Regulations.

It aims to increase foreign investment opportunities in preparation for attracting the world’s top institutions and to facilitate the opening of their branches in the Kingdom.

The initiatives are under the umbrella of the university system, which will contribute to a strategic transformation in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives.

As part of its overall strategy, the ministry wants to increase private sector involvement and attract foreign investments, which will have a role in improving the outputs of university education and entering global competitiveness.

The ministry’s initiatives reflect the size of the anticipated returns on educational economic growth rates.

According to the most recent statistics released by the Statistics Center of the ministry, the total number of students enrolled in private colleges and universities has reached 86,000 in 15 universities and 42 licensed private colleges in the Kingdom. This includes nine non-profit universities. There are a total of 409 academic programs, which enhance the chances of successful investment in this sector.

The Agency for Private University Education monitored the most important challenges that some private university institutions were having with regard to investing within the Kingdom.

Numerous meetings were held with the relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Investment, the Ministry of Commerce, the MODON Authority, the Education and Training Evaluation Commission, and the General Department of Investment and Privatization at the Ministry of Education.

These meetings were intended to study the investment opportunities available in university education and the possibility of marketing them abroad, as well as to address the difficulties and challenges faced by investors.​

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