International Education

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Education Fairs

With Thanks To: Gerd Hoad, MEETES 2002


Saudi Arabia: Education Profile


Saudis have a voracious appetite for education, with thousands travelling overseas each year to universities and other educational establishments, and, thousands more attending the Kingdom's own rapidly advancing universities.


The Education Ministry remains focussed on its desire to further the country's education system. Presently

the Kingdom boasts eight universities' and 11, 856 public schools (including 1, 475 secondary schools), in addition to several thousand private schools.


For some years the Saudi Government has regarded education and training as a priority, allocating in excess of a quarter of its massive annual budget in support of this sector. Recently there has been particular emphasis on

training and vocational studying to develop a Saudi work force to meet the demands of the growing Saudi economy and resultant job market. This demand is sure to continue with 50% of the 20 million-plus population under the age of 16, and a birth rate in excess of 3. 5%.


The development of vocational training is being led not by the Government sector, but by the ever-growing private sector. The programme of encouraging privatisation and inward investment into the Kingdom through new factories will result in an increased demand for a better-educated and highly skilled indigenous workforce. The General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training (GOTEVOT) is the lead Government Department, its aim to reduce the unemployment rate of around 20% among Saudis and reduce its dependency on immigrant workers.


Traditionally, institutions trying to recruit Saudi students have either exhibited in Dubai or participated in road shows. In recent years the Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions has established an unparalleled exhibition. The Middle East Education and Training Exhibition Showcase (MEETES) is now recognised, both domestically and internationally, as the only dedicated education and training exhibition in the Kingdom. MEETES offers visitors the opportunity to compare worldwide availability of institutions, courses, products and services.


Interest in e-Iearning, or distance learning, has increased over the past year, especially in bringing computer training into the Saudi home. With unprecedented growth in the Kingdom of home computers, Internet cafes, ISPs and faster connections, previous editions of the show witnessed a shift towards distance learning. Exhibitors at MEETES 2002 will be at the forefront of promoting these services to the end-user.


Both MEETES 2002 (15-20 September) and MEETES 2003 (25-28 March) will again enjoy the support of international exhibitors from Canada, Malaysia, the UK, and the Gulf. Whether as a visitor or exhibitor, MEETES should figure in your calendar.


For further information on MEETES, please complete and fax or mail back to:

AI-Harithy Company for Exhibitions UK Limited

The Glassmill, 1 Battersea Bridge Road London SW11 3BG UK

Tel: +44 (0)20 7223 3431 Fax: +44 (0)20 72284229 E-Mail:

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