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GCC education sector to see $150bn investments

The education sector in the GCC is expected to witness investments worth $150 billion over the next couple of years due to growing population, said a recent study by Alpen Capital, a leading investment bank with an extensive presence in the GCC and India.

The total number of students in the region is expected to grow at a 3 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2020 to reach 13.7 million, stated Alpen Capital in the ‘GCC Education Industry Report.’

The education sector in the region is undergoing an exciting phase of growth, as the total number of schools is expected to rise at a 2.4 per cent CAGR from 2013 to 2020, concurrent with the increasing number of students, it added.

Alpen Capital report presents the growth prospects of the GCC education sector, based on the current developments within the sector, key market dynamics, and the existing investment opportunities in the region.

The scope of the report encompasses the pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational training segments across all GCC nations. Further, the report profiles the six GCC countries as well as some noteworthy private educational institutions in the sector.

Commenting on the findings, Sameena Ahmad, the managing director, Alpen Capital, said the growth of the GCC education sector is driven by factors such as population growth, increasing number of expatriates, the rising importance of high-quality education in the society, and a growing spending propensity.

“The sector is gaining additional momentum from governments across the GCC that are acknowledging the need for an education system capable of producing industry-ready graduates. Thus, with increased focus on improving the quality and reach of education in the region, the sector presents an interesting investment opportunity,” she added.

Enrolment increase at private schools is expected at a 6.7 per cent CAGR between 2013 and 2020, due to the quality of education they offer and the favorable demographics in the region, said the report.

The contribution of the pre-primary segment to the total enrolments in the industry is expected to increase from 5.8 per cent in 2013 to 7.4 per cent in 2020. Also, the tertiary segment is likely to see a surge in its share of the total enrolments from 14.8 per cent in 2013 to 16.5 per cent in 2020. The primary and secondary segments are anticipated to drop their share to 76.0 per cent in 2020 from 79.4 per cent in 2013, it stated.

In the GCC, the UAE is the most developed education market and an emerging education hub, while Saudi Arabia is the largest market, accounting for over 75 per cent of the gross enrolment within the GCC, said the Alpen Capital in its report.

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