Education in Saudi Arabia

When Saudi Arabia formally became a nation in 1932, education was largely limited to instruction for a select few in Islamic schools. Today, public education--from primary education through college--is open to every Saudi citizen.

Saudi education is noted for its religious content. As of 2016, Religious Studies average a total of nine periods a week at the primary school level, compared to an average about twenty-three periods a week total for Mathematics, Science (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Geology), Social Studies, Arabic Language, English Language and physical education. At the university level, nearly two-thirds of graduates earn degrees in Islamic subjects.

However the education system has also been criticized for "poorly trained teachers, low retention rates, lack of rigorous standards, weak scientific and technical instruction", despite generous budgets, that have compelled the kingdom to depend on large numbers of expatriates workers to fill technical and administrative positions.