The UAE nationals are the most satisfied with the education system in the Gulf region after Bahrain and just one-third of young Emiratis want to go abroad to study, according to the latest Abu Dhabi Gallup Center (ADGC) report unveiled on Wednesday.
The survey results showed that 87 per cent of Bahrainis are satisfied with local education followed by UAE (84 per cent), Qatar (73 per cent), Kuwait (68 per cent) and Saudi Arabia (64 per cent).
Almost two-thirds of Qatari and half of Bahraini nationals aged 15-29 intend to go abroad to study. While one-third of Emiratis and 28 per cent of Kuwaiti and Saudi nationals likely to go abroad if have the opportunity, the results showed.
The survey figures released by Abu Dhabi Gallup Center showed that 85 per cent of UAE nationals aged 15-29 have secondary or some tertiary education which is lower than Qatar (96%), Kuwait (93%) and Bahrain (86%). While around 85 per cent of Emiratis aged 30-44 have some secondary or tertiary education which is highest in the region.
In terms of average education attainment, GCC countries’ investments have brought them close to the levels reported in other high-income countries. Among the five GCC countries, a median of 63 per cent of country nationals say they had secondary or some tertiary education and eight per cent have completed four years of education beyond high school.
“The GCC is producing many more high school and college graduates now than it did a generation ago, but these numerical gains haven’t been matched by quality gains,” said ADGC Director and Senior Analyst Dalia Mogahed. “This is a strong indicator that there may not be enough public demand for improvement.”
The survey results showed that Bahrain is one of the brightest spots in the GCC region’s education picture with students doing relatively well on standardized international tests compared with others in the region.
Besides dramatically increased enrollment rates, education in the Gulf region has seen another profound change in recent decades with the achievement of gender parity in most countries. Among nationals aged 15 to 29 in each of the five Gulf countries, women are at least as likely as men to indicate they have more than just a primary-level education.
Among nationals 30 and older in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar, men are more likely than women to say they have had at least a secondary education.