Expat students rejecting Saudi private unis for studying abroad

Published:  8 Sep at 6 PM
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Saudi Arabia’s private universities are failing to attract expat student, most of whom are choosing to gain their degrees in overseas centres of excellence.

According to local academics, only 30 per cent of expat students are taking degree courses at the Kingdom’s private universities. The majority are returning to their home countries to study, with high tuition fees given as the main reason.

Saudi’s private universities are a convenient alternative for expat students who cannot be admitted to government universities. However, private educational establishments at university level have a poor reputation for academic achievement and are considered to be aiming at profit margins rather than acceptable degrees.

Saudi educationalists claim that several of the universities have a strong tradition of academic excellence, even although they are admittedly extremely expensive to attend. Medical courses are popular with the children of wealthy Saudis, but most expat families cannot afford the extortionate fees.

Local students are heading for Egypt, Jordan and other Gulf State educational facilities, whilst expat students are more likely to choose a European university. Fees charged to students from overseas by British universities soared several years ago, but Germany is known to give a high standard of education along with reasonably priced course fees.
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