Qatar remains the "highest performer" in primary and higher education segments compared to other GCC nations, Alpen Capital has said in a new report.
The progress made within Qatar’s education sector has “attracted” the attention of private sector participants, which has led to a number of private schools establishing a base across the country to meet the growing demand across the K-12 segments, Alpen Capital noted in its report on ‘GCC Education’.
The government of Qatar has introduced several reforms and made investments in the education sector. The country has initiated its National Vision 2030, which deems education as a basic foundation for the progress of society.
As part of its long term strategy, the SEC plans to provide continued financial and human resources support to advance education for the purpose of sustainable development.
“The Qatari government has prioritised the development of the education sector, which is important for achieving the economic diversification and the plan to become an education hub of the region. The sector has been expanding at a rapid pace to meet the rising demand from nationals and expatriates on the back of the back of government led growth across economic sectors.
“Qatar is also witnessing a shift towards increasing preference for private education, which is resulting in an influx of international institutions. Such institutions offer diverse curricula and are particularly beneficial for the expat population,” Alpen Capital noted.
The quality of education in Qatar has continued to maintain its high standards, “ranking among the highest” in almost all education parameters for 2017-2018.
The establishment of international schools in Qatar, fuelled by an increase in demand for private schools, has facilitated access to high quality education and has led to an improvement in education infrastructure across the country.
As per the 2017-2018 Global Competitiveness Report, Qatar ranked 5th for its quality of higher education and training, 10th for quality of primary education, and 6th for the quality of its higher education and training.
Total student enrollments in Qatar grew at a CAGR of 8% between 2011 and 2016), witnessing the highest growth across the GCC.
The overall Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in the country stood at 62.2% in 2016, driven by high enrolments rates in the primary and secondary segments.
Between 2011 and 2016, pre-primary schools witnessed a CAGR of 9.3%. This can be attributed to the growing awareness among nationals of the importance of pre-primary education. Although education is not mandatory for children below the age of three years, the segment reported a GER of 60.1% in 2016.
Primary and secondary schools accounted for over 83.8% of the student enrolments in the K-12 education system and recorded a GER of 103.7% and 92.5%, respectively, in 2016.
Enrolments at primary and secondary education levels increased at a CAGR of 7.9% and 6.2%, respectively, between 2011 and 2016. The total number of K-12 enrolments grew at a CAGR of 7.5% between 2011 and 2016, whereas the share of K-12 enrolments to total enrollments declined from 92.8% in 2011 to 91.0% in 2016. The tertiary segment recorded the fastest growth, growing at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2011 to 2016.
In the same period, student enrollments almost doubled from 15,352 to 28,480 students in 2016.
“However, the GER of 15.4% at the tertiary education segment continues to be the lowest in the GCC due to a preference for students to study abroad,’ Alpen Capital noted.
The total K-12 private school market segment grew at a CAGR of 10.2% between 2011 and 2016, while the public school segment grew at a CAGR of 4% during the same.
Enrollments at private schools in Qatar across all levels have continued to grow rapidly during the five-year period, on the back of rising expatriate community and increasing preference among nationals for private schooling, Alpen Capital said.