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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 2020)
  • On average, 1% of all upper secondary students enrol in VET programmes in Saudi Arabia, a lower proportion than the OECD average of 42%.
  • In 2018, 21% of 3-5 year-olds were enrolled in early childhood education and care programmes and primary education in Saudi Arabia, compared to 88% on average across OECD countries.
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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 37/41 , 2019) 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 10/46 , 2019) 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 , 2019) 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 , 2019) 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 37/41 , 2019) 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 , 2019) 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 , 2019) 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 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate of 6-14 year-olds in Saudi Arabia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (95.2 %, rank 39/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.3 %, rank 41/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    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. (3.9 %, rank 40/41 , 2018) 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. (14.3 %, rank 41/41 , 2018) 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. (44 %, rank 34/42 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 15-19-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.8 %, rank 39/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of upper secondary 20-24-year-old students enrolled in vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4.1 %, rank 38/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary general programmes is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (47.3 %, rank 44/45 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, Saudi Arabia has one of the smallest shares of women graduates from tertiary programmes. (53.1 %, rank 30/36 , 2018) 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 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively low. (0 %, rank 42/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively low. (0 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) 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. (18.1 %, rank 2/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (29.7 %, rank 10/43 , 2018) 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. (7 %, rank 10/43 , 2018) 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. (6.4 %, rank 6/42 , 2018) 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. (8 %, rank 38/43 , 2018) 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. (6.2 %, rank 42/43 , 2018) 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. (1.2 %, rank 38/43 , 2018) 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 , 2018) 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 , 2018) 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 , 2018) 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 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In Saudi Arabia, the percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary is relatively low. (0.1 %, rank 43/43 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Compared to 2015, total governement expenditure is relatively low. (82 Index, rank 46/46 , 2017) 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 1/41 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52.5 %, rank 42/42 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51.1 %, rank 38/40 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in short-cycle tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (25.1 %, rank 25/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (40.8 %, rank 30/39 , 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. (19 Ratio, rank 9/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff in post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low in Saudi Arabia. (2.2 Ratio, rank 19/19 , 2018) 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 43/44 , 2019) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • While 37% of 15-19 year-old upper secondary students are in vocational programmes, the share increases to 61% among students over 25.
    • The most popular fields of study among vocational graduates vary at different levels of education. While engineering, manufacturing and construction is the most common broad field at upper secondary level, at short-cycle tertiary level, most students graduate from business, administration and law, or health and welfare.
    • Combined school and work-based learning can help students transition smootly into the labor market. However, only one -third of all upper secondary vocational students are enrolled in school and work-based programmes on average across OECD countries.
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    • Between the age of 3 to 5, 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • The estimated expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in ECEC and primary education amounts to an average of 0.6% of GDP. Only in Iceland and Norway does it equal or exceed 1.0%.
    • The ECEC workforce is at the heart of high-quality education. On average across OECD countries, there are 14 children for every teacher working in pre-primary education (ISCED 02).
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    • In 2019, 45% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 28% among 55-64 year-olds, on average across OECD countries.
    • On average across OECD countries, 17% of first-time tertiary entrants enter short-cycle tertiary programmes. The employment rate of adults with a short-cycle tertiary degree is 4 percentage points higher than those with an upper secondary vocational attainment and they earn 16% more, on average across OECD countries.
    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that 38% of young adults across OECD countries will graduate from tertiary education for the first time before the age of 30 (excluding international students).
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    • In 2017, total expenditure amounted to approximately USD 9 100 per student in primary institutions and USD 10 500 in secondary institutions on average across OECD countries.
    • After increasing between 2005 and 2012, total expenditure on primary to tertiary institutions as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) has fallen to 4.9% in 2017 on average, below its 2005 value of 5.1%. This is due to educational expenditure rising more slowly than GDP over this period, growing by 17% while GDP grew by 27%.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
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    • There are relatively few young teachers (under the age of 30), and the proportion decreases with the level of education. Young teachers make up 12% of the teaching population in primary education, 10% in lower secondary education and 8% in upper secondary education, on average across OECD countries.
    • While instruction time for students increases at higher educational levels, statutory teaching time in public institutions decreases: teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 778 hours per year at primary level compared to 680 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • Between 2005 and 2019, the statutory salaries of primary and secondary general teachers - with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications - increased by 2-3%, despite salaries falling after the 2008 economic crisis, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data.
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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/

    Reference years displayed in the Education GPS correspond to the most common year of reference among countries for which data is available on each variable. Some countries may have provided data refering to another year, to know more about possible exceptions on data please click on the "Download Indicator" link on each variable. When a year of reference corresponds to a school year encompassing two years, the reference reads as follows: 2018 for school year 2017/2018.

    *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.