Saudi Arabia’s education system has gone through an astonishing transformation. When the Kingdom was established in 1932, education was available to very few people, mostly the children of wealthy families living in the major cities. Today, Saudi Arabia’s education system includes 24 public and 8 private universities, with more planned; some 25,000 schools; and a large number of colleges and other institutions. The system is open to all citizens, and provides students with free education, books and health services.
While the study of Islam remains at its core, the modern Saudi educational system also provides quality instruction in diverse fields of arts and sciences. This diversity helps the Kingdom prepare its citizens for life and work in a global economy
There are numerous public and private training institutions that produce thousands of graduates in the technical and mechanical sciences, health care, agriculture, teaching and other areas every year. Most of the Kingdom’s vocational training centers and higher institutes of technical education are operated by the General Organization for Technical Education and Vocational Training (GOTEVOT), along with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Social Affairs.
The Ministry of Education runs vocational secondary schools, and several other government agencies operate institutes or training centers in their particular specialties. There are also a number of private training centers meeting the needs of the marketplace.
Saudi Arabian universities and colleges offer a number of short term cultural and language courses for foreign students. There are also many Islamic study courses available for those wishing to learn the basics or doing in depth study.