Events > Schools Mission to Saudi Arabia

Schools Mission to Saudi Arabia

15th to 18th March 2020

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Mission overview

In March 2018, during the visit of HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the United Kingdom confirmed its strong support for Vision 2030; the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s programme for economic diversity and social reform. It was agreed to establish a government-to-government partnership to support the comprehensive reform of the Saudi education system, using the expertise and capacity of the UK education sector. Sir Anthony Seldon was appointed as the Special Representative for Education to support Vision 2030.  

A priority area is to increase the UK private education sector participation in the Saudi education system. We see opportunities in partnerships with public, private local and private international schools and demand in early years. There is a specific opportunity for special schools. Today there are 5.6M school-aged children with 12% enrolled in private schools; these figures are forecast to grow to 7.8M by 2030 with 25% in the private sector. Current operators of private schools have fees ranging from $3,700 to $20,500. Recent royal decrees now allow 100% foreign ownership. Boston Consulting Group predict that Saudi Arabia’s private education market will double from $5 billion in 2016 to $12 billion in 2023.

Learning from the schools mission that was run in January 2019, this mission will visit both Riyadh and Jeddah and have a focus on partnerships with Saudi companies and international schools in Saudi Arabia. 


By joining this mission, participants will have the opportunity to: 

  • engage with potential investors, local partners and existing private schools;
  • meet with senior officials from the Ministry of Education;
  • participate in networking events; 
  • better understand the operating; environment and partnership models for private schools; and,
  • work with local DIT staff on follow-up.  

Proposed Itinerary

  • Sun 15 March – Travel to Riyadh
  • Mon 16 March – Political, economic and education briefings by Embassy and British Council. Meeting /workshop with Ministry of Education and meetings with Saudi partners. Networking reception  
  • Tue 17 March. Travel to Jeddah, meetings with Saudi partners and networking reception
  • Wed 18 March – Return to the UK

The final programme will be confirmed in due course and is subject to amendment.

Application and costs  

The mission is aimed at UK-based schools and operators with the capability for overseas expansion or partnerships. The mission is also suitable for representative bodies. On request, we can provide further information on Saudi Arabia and the education opportunities to allow you to assess if this market is suitable for your organisation.

Applying to participate in this trade mission

If you are interested in being a part of this exciting education trade mission, please apply below by 15 January 2020. Spaces are limited and to ensure the best match with the opportunities available, applications will be reviewed, and organisations selected to take part. 

The education trade mission is free but participants are responsible for their airfare, accommodation, visas and insurance.  DIT will provide local group transport, venues and overall coordination. 

For more information please contact:

  • Simon Burke, DIT Education Middle East lead, simon.burke@trade.gov.uk; or,
  • Vipul Bhargava, DIT Education International Schools Specialist, vipul.bhargava@trade.gov.uk, tel 07825 195 872.

We look forward to receiving your application and welcoming you to the mission. 

Application deadline:  5pm on Friday 15th January 2020

apply now

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