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Population, Education

King Faisal University, Qura University, Ad Dammam, King Abdulaziz University, King Fahd University of Petroleum

Education in Saudi Arabia is free but not compulsory. In the 1998-1999 school year the country had 11,506 primary schools with a total enrollment of 2.3 million pupils; secondary schools enrolled 1.8 million students. Some 94 percent of Saudi adults were literate in 2001, a dramatic increase from the less than 3 percent literacy rate in the early 1960s. In recent decades, teacher-training institutes have been established with the aim of reducing the country’s great dependence on other Arab countries for teachers. King Saud University was founded as the University of Riyadh in 1957; the Islamic University, in Medina, in 1961; King Abdulaziz University, in Jiddah, in 1967; King Faisal University, in Ad Dammam, in 1975; and Umm al-Qura University, in Mecca, in 1979. Founded in Riyadh in 1953, the Islamic University of Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud attained university status in 1974. Three other institutions for advanced learning are the Technical Institute (1964), at Riyadh, the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (1963), at Dhahran, and a college of Islamic studies, founded in 1933, at Mecca. Additional institutes for religious training are located in Riyadh and other cities and towns. Instruction at the higher levels is frequently in English, which, after Arabic, is Saudi Arabia’s major language. Altogether, some 349,600 Saudis were enrolled in institutions of higher education in 1998-1999. Every year a number of qualified young Saudis enroll for advanced study in Europe and the United States.

Article key phrases:

King Faisal University, Qura University, Ad Dammam, King Abdulaziz University, King Fahd University of Petroleum, King Saud University, Dhahran, advanced learning, university status, Technical Institute, Mecca, advanced study, Arab countries, Medina, literate, Minerals, recent decades, Arabic, pupils, towns, cities, school year, primary schools, teachers, aim, secondary schools, Instruction, United States, students, Europe, English, higher levels


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