Education

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's capable and skilled labour force is built on the firmest of foundations: a strong schools system, based around small classes, and the world's seventh-highest spending on education.

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Some 6.5 million students aged 5 - 18 are in primary and secondary education. A further 100,000 children attend pre-primary classes between the ages of 3 - 5 years old.

With an average of only 11 students per teacher, Saudi Arabia has some of the smallest, most favourable class sizes in the world.

For foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, there is a choice of 17 major international schools, mainly in Riyadh and Jeddah but also in other cities such as Jubail and Yanbu.

Saudi Arabian higher education is centred on 25 public universities, plus 28 private universities and colleges. Most degree courses are 4 - 6 years and more than 122,000 students graduate each year - over half of them women.

Among KSA's public universities, Umm Al-Qura University was established as early as 1949, and King Saud University in 1957. Public universities are relatively large by international standards, having an average of 27,770 students and 1,747 teaching staff.

Saudi Arabia's specialist universities include King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), based in Dhahran Technology Valley; and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST),Jeddah.

In Riyadh, Princess Nora bint Abdulrahman University has over 52,300 female students, 2,000 staff and is the largest women's university in the world.

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