Saudi Arabia ELT market report provides in-depth analysis of an evolving market
15 November 2023

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Saudi Arabia ELT market report provides in-depth analysis of an evolving market

15 recommendations to attract Saudi students are now available in a report published exclusively for British Council-accredited ELT centres.  

English Language Market Report: Saudi Arabia 2023 was co-produced by English UK and the British Council, researched and written by specialist market research organisation BONARD. 

> Download the report or watch the launch webinar

A guide to navigating trends in Saudi Arabia

Building on extensive primary research, the study represents a comprehensive resource for accredited UK ELT centres on how to navigate the most recent trends in student recruitment in Saudi Arabia.

The report also offers "in-depth marketing and recruitment strategies that resonate with Saudi students' needs and preferences," says the executive summary.

"Building on first-hand views of leading organisations and market experts in the field, Saudi and UK organisations can work together to ensure Saudi students receive the best possible learning experience in the UK."

"The importance of acquiring proficiency in English language extends beyond the needs of individual Saudi citizens; it is now essential to the broader economic transformation and development of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Practical information on an evolving market

Jodie Gray, chief executive of English UK, welcomed the report's publication:

"This is exactly the kind of practical market information our members need to thrive as they rebuild and grow after Covid and Brexit. This is one of our biggest markets, but it is evolving in new ways we all need to understand. This is part of our commitment to support our members and UK ELT in understanding and reaching valuable and potential markets, and offering the best possible English language learning experience to students."

Mike Welch, the British Council's director of global operations (teaching), added:

"We have been delighted to work with English UK on a series of market reports to support our accredited ELT centres and this one, disrupted by the Covid pandemic, has proved very timely. I'm sure it will be very useful to centres already welcoming Saudi students as well as those hoping to enter this market."

How ELT fits into Saudi Arabia's vision

The report says: "A key objective driving developments in the education field is to transform Saudi Arabia from a petroleum to a knowledge-based global economy. This is defined in Saudi Vision 2030, which was first announced by the Saudi government in April 2016."

It adds: "Saudi students are increasingly pursuing higher education abroad and taking English language programmes to facilitate this. The shift will encourage more students to look for ELT classes independently and pay for their education." Driving factors include the end of the King Abdullah scholarship scheme in 2020, more demand for ELT skills, the UK's electronic visa waiver for Saudi nationals and a growing desire for international study experiences.

Presenting evidence on evolving market trends around scholarship and self-funded students, the report "evaluates Saudi students' needs and preferences while offering practical recommendations to accredited UK language centres seeking to expand their presence in this market."

Its 15 recommendations are in three categories:

  • awareness building and marketing
  • recruitment
  • facilitating strong bilateral relations


Note: accredited non-members can request a copy of the report by contacting the Accreditation Unit at the British Council.

Other reports co-produced by English UK and the British Council

Other reports in the series include Europe Future Outlook, published in 2021, English Language Market Report: Japan, published in 2020 and English Language Market Report: Thailand published in 2018.
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