No skipping class for GCC eduction industry
A report by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) highlights the education sector as one of the focus areas for GCC governments with a growing share of spending being channelled to build new schools, colleges, and universities.
The report said sector data shows that the total students in GCC region is expected to grow by 1.8 per cent to reach 11.3 million in 2020 from 9.5 million in 2010. The number of tertiary students is expected to grow by 5.5 per cent. The share of tertiary education students is expected to rise from 11 per cent in 2010 to 15 per cent in 2020, while primary education share would decline from 46 per cent to 43 per cent during the same period. Enrolment in private education sector is estimated to grow from 1.3 million students in 2010 to 1.9 million students in 2020, by 3.3 per cent during the period.
The total number of schools is expected to grow by 1.2 per cent during 2010 to 2020. Due to its huge student population, over 80 per cent of total schools are estimated to be located in Saudi Arabia. Private schools growth rate is expected to outpace that of public schools with the number of private schools in the region estimated to increase at a CAGR of 3.2 per cent during 2010 to 2020, while public schools are projected to grow at a significantly lower rate of 0.9 per cent during the same period.
Although this private-school market is relatively large in absolute terms, it nonetheless comprises a small per centage of the overall GCC education system, which has roughly 6.3 million students in 35,000 schools, dominated by Saudi Arabia. By spending, private education represents about 14 per cent of the $36 billion education market in the GCC, despite a relatively high share of private-school enrolment. This discrepancy is due to public schools' high cost of operation. Public schools spend nearly twice the amount per student of their private counterparts.
In Kuwait, KFH said the 0-25 age group is equivalent to 42.2 per cent of the total population.
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