Saudi Arabia

  • In Saudi Arabia, 2.7% of students in lower secondary and 1.9% in upper secondary initial education repeated a grade in 2019, compared to 1.9% and 3% respectively on average across OECD countries. Boys are more likely to repeat a grade at lower secondary initial education than girls. However, in Saudi Arabia, 47% of repeaters at lower secondary level were boys, lower than the OECD average of 61%. At upper secondary level, the share of boys repeating a grade in Saudi Arabia increases to 56%, compared to 57% on average across OECD countries.

  • Across most OECD countries, socio-economic status influences learning outcomes more than gender and immigrant status. In Saudi Arabia, the proportion of children from the bottom quartile of the PISA index of economic, social and cultural status (ESCS) achieving at least PISA level 2 in reading in 2018 was 58% lower than that of children from the top ESCS quartile, a larger share than the OECD average of 29%.

  • International student mobility at the tertiary level has risen steadily reaching about 73 200 students in Saudi Arabia and representing 4% of tertiary students in 2019 (Figure 1). The largest share of foreign tertiary students studying in Saudi Arabia comes from Yemen. Students from low and lower-middle income countries are generally less likely to study abroad. However, in Saudi Arabia, they represented 81% of international students in 2019, compared to 29% in total across OECD countries.

  • Women are over-represented among primary, lower secondary and upper secondary teachers (representing respectively 82%, 68% and 60% of teachers at these levels on average across OECD countries in 2019). However, women are under-represented in tertiary education (44% of tertiary teachers on average). In Saudi Arabia, the proportion of female teachers ranged from 52% at the primary level to 52% at lower secondary level, 53% at upper secondary level, and 42% at the tertiary level in 2019.

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Note: All tertiary education includes short-cycle tertiary programmes, which are not presented separately in the figure.

1. Data on short-cycle tertiary programmes are based on nationality and refer to the Flemish community only.

2. Year of reference 2018.

Countries are ranked in descending order of the percentage of international or foreign students in tertiary education.

Source: OECD/UIS/Eurostat (2021), Table B6.1. See Source section for more information and Annex 3 for notes (https://www.oecd.org/education/education-at-a-glance/EAG2021_Annex3_ChapterB.pdf).

References

OECD (2021), Education at a Glance 2021: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/69096873-en.

OECD (2021), “Regional education”, OECD Regional Statistics (database), https://dx.doi.org/10.1787/213e806c-en (accessed on 27 July 2021).

OECD (2021), “The state of global education – 18 months into the pandemic”, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/1a23bb23-en.

For more information on Education at a Glance 2021 and to access the full set of Indicators, see: https://doi.org/10.1787/b35a14e5-en

For more information on the methodology used during the data collection for each indicator, the references to the sources and the specific notes for each country, see Annex 3 (https://www.oecd.org/education/education-at-a-glance/EAG2021_Annex3.pdf).

For general information on the methodology, please refer to the OECD Handbook for Internationally Comparative Education Statistics: Concepts, Standards, Definitions and Classifications (https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264304444-en).

Updated data can be found on line at http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-data-en and by following the StatLinks 2under the tables and charts in the publication.

Data on subnational regions for selected indicators are available in the OECD Regional Statistics (database) (OECD, 2021). When interpreting the results on subnational entities, readers should take into account that the population size of subnational entities can vary widely within countries. For example, regional variation in enrolment may be influenced by students attending school in a different region from their area of residence, particularly at higher levels of education. Also, regional disparities tend to be higher when more subnational entities are used in the analysis.

Explore, compare and visualise more data and analysis using the Education GPS:

https://gpseducation.oecd.org/

The data on educational responses during COVID-19 were collected and processed by the OECD based on the Survey on Joint National Responses to COVID-19 School Closures, a collaborative effort conducted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS); the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); the World Bank; and the OECD.

This work is published under the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of OECD member countries.

This document, as well as any data and any map included herein, are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

The statistical data for Israel are supplied by and under the responsibility of the relevant Israeli authorities. The use of such data by the OECD is without prejudice to the status of the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and Israeli settlements in the West Bank under the terms of international law.

The use of this work, whether digital or print, is governed by the terms and conditions to be found at www.oecd.org/termsandconditions/.

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