Alpen Capital has announced the publication of its GCC Education Industry report. By focusing on the growth potential of the respective GCC member nations, the report presents an outlook for the pre-primary, schooling (primary and secondary), and tertiary segments of the education sector.
“All segments of the GCC education sector is poised for consistent growth in the future driven by growing focus on quality education, increasing population, increased private sector participation and strategic plans of various governments in the region to improve the education system through reform programs,” said Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director at Alpen Capital.
“Despite the challenges that private providers face in terms of high initial investment and running costs, the education sector remains an attractive investment opportunity across the region,” she added.
Alpen Capital in its GCC Education industry report expects the total number of students in the GCC region to grow from an estimated 10.2 million in 2011 to 11.6 million in 2016, registering a CAGR of 2.7 per cent. Growth in the total number of students in the pre-primary and tertiary segments is expected to outpace the growth rate of primary and secondary segment. The pre-primary segment will see a growth rate of 11.2 per cent, followed by tertiary segment at 4.8 per cent, primary segment at 1.7 per cent and secondary segment at 1.6 per cent.
The share of students in the pre-primary segment is expected to increase from 5.3 per cent in 2011 to 7.9 per cent in 2016, while the share of tertiary students is expected to rise from 12.0 per cent to 13.4 per cent during the same period. This is due to the fact that these segments are currently under-penetrated and expected to grow at a relatively faster pace.
The share of students in private schools is expected to grow from 21.1 per cent in 2011 to 30.4 per cent in 2016. Private school enrolment in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow the most in the region, at a CAGR of 16.6 per cent between 2011 and 2016, followed by Qatar at 6.0 per cent and Bahrain at 5.9 per cent. Higher demand for education will also propel growth in the number of schools in the region. By 2016, the region is likely to have a total of 51,450 schools; out of which 20.6 per cent will be private schools.
Favourable government policies in the GCC encouraging private sector participation also help to accelerate the reach of good quality education to the general masses and this is also likely to drive the growth of the education sector.
Private schools earlier catered primarily to expatriates but there is a growing interest in private education amongst GCC nationals, as a result of which, an increasing number of them are shifting to private education for their children.
Alpen Capital also expects technology to play a key role in improving the quality and teaching methods of the education in the future. The region is witnessing increasing use of technology in the education sector
Shortage of skilled teachers continues to be a major challenge for the GCC education sector.
Despite these challenges, the GCC Education sector is poised for robust growth in the future on the back of increasing population, rising private sector participation, and increased willingness of parents to ensure high-quality education of their children.