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Saudi Arabia
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Diagram of the education system

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Key

  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • Education system in Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2019)
  • Tertiary attainment is lower in Saudi Arabia than in most OECD and partner countries. Only 74% of tertiary-educated adults are employed, one of the lowest employment rates for tertiary-educated adults among OECD and partner countries.
  • Woman are less likely to work despite improving gender equality in tertiary education attainment. In 2018, only 41% of tertiary-educated women were employed in Saudi Arabia, the lowest rate among OECD and G20 countries with available data, compared to 94% of tertiary-educated men, one the highest rates across countries.
  • Enrolment of 3-5 year-olds is much lower than on average across OECD countries, particularly among children under 5.
  • Profile View

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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Educational outcomes

    Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest percentages of 25-64 year-olds whose highest education level is a short-cycle tertiary education degree. (0.2 %, rank 38/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the percentage of 25-64 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the highest among countries with available data. (23.6 %, rank 8/46 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest percentages of 25-64 year-olds whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (0.1 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    Saudi Arabia has one of the smallest shares of 25-64 year-old men whose highest education level is a short-cycle tertiary education degree. (0.2 %, rank 37/40 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the smallest shares of 25-64 year-old women whose highest education level is a short-cycle tertiary education degree. (0.2 %, rank 38/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the share of 25-64 year-old men who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (23.9 %, rank 5/46 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the smallest shares of 25-64 year-old men whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (0 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Saudi Arabia has one of the smallest shares of 25-64 year-old women whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (0.1 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Saudi Arabia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.3 %, rank 39/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Saudi Arabia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.9 %, rank 42/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Saudi Arabia is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (39.5 %, rank 37/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the percentage of tertiary students enrolled in private institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.1 %, rank 41/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the proportion of new female entrants into master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is relatively low. (44.8 %, rank 23/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from a doctoral or equivalent programme in Saudi Arabia ranks as one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.1 %, rank 37/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to obtain a master's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (1.3 %, rank 36/38 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest percentages of female graduates from tertiary programmes. (53.1 %, rank 4/6 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (37.8 %, rank 40/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (24.4 %, rank 1/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.5 %, rank 5/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.7 %, rank 5/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.8 %, rank 44/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.9 %, rank 43/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of services is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.3 %, rank 39/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of arts and humaties in Saudi Arabia is relatively large. (39.3 %, rank 1/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of sciences, journalism and information in Saudi Arabia is relatively small. (3.4 %, rank 43/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law in Saudi Arabia is relatively small. (3.8 %, rank 42/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Saudi Arabia is relatively small. (3.2 %, rank 44/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Saudi Arabia, international students from Latin America and the Caribbean are least represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.4 %, rank 38/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, international students from Asia are most represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.8 %, rank 10/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, international students from Europe are least represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.3 %, rank 39/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, international students from Africa are highest represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.4 %, rank 4/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20 Ratio, rank 8/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (74 %, rank 42/44 , 2018) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • In 2018, 44% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 35% in 2008, on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults also reap higher earnings, although this varies by field of study. Their advantage increases with age too: 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education earn 38% more than their peers with upper secondary education while 45-54 year-olds earn 70% more.
    • While engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information and communication technologies are two fields most commonly associated with the best labour market outcomes, only 14% of graduates earned a degree in the former and 4% earned a degree in the latter in 2017.
    Visualisations
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    • Although graduation from upper secondary education increased by 6 percentage points between 2005 and 2017, 15% of 25-34 year-olds did not attain upper secondary education in 2018, on average across OECD countries.
    • In some countries, vocational programmes are prominent at the upper secondary level. On average across OECD countries, 40% of first-time upper secondary graduates earned a vocational qualification in 2017; in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, more than 66% of this population did.
    • At the lower secondary level, the average class shrank by 6% while teachers' statutory salaries increased by 8% between 2005 and 2017, on average across OECD countries.
    Visualisations
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    • In 2017, more than one in three children under the age of three were enrolled in early childhood education and care services, on average across OECD countries - an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2010.
    • Between the age of 3 to 5, on average across OECD countries, 87% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2016 on average across OECD countries. However, as a share of GDP, expenditure on early childhood development is lower.
    Visualisations
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    • In 2016, expenditure per tertiary student amounted to USD 15 556, approximately one-third of which was devoted to research and development.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at the tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
    • OECD countries spent an average of 3.5% of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary institutions in 2016, and public expenditure at this level increased by 18% since 2005.
    Visualisations
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    • About 10% of primary and secondary teachers are under the age of 30, on average across OECD countries.
    • While the teaching profession is dominated by women, the share of female teachers decreases with the level of education taught: almost all teachers at the pre-primary level are women, however they make up less than half of the teaching force at tertiary level.
    • Salaries tend to increase with the level of education taught, but teachers' earnings remain between 78% and 93% of the earnings of other tertiary-educated adults.
    Visualisations
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Saudi Arabia

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2019 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.