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Study finds Middle East youth prioritising education

Currently 97% of teens in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are attending school and almost all of them plan to go for higher education

UAE students
Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
While 90 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 19 attend school globally, 97 per cent of these youth in the UAE and Saudi Arabia attend school or a higher education institution. Picture for illustrative purpose only
Gulf News

Dubai: Nationals from the UAE and Saudi Arabia have outperformed their global counterparts when it comes to the number of youngsters attending school, a recent report by research companies AMRB and TRU has stated.

While 90 per cent of youth between the ages of 12 and 19 attend school globally, 97 per cent of these youth in the UAE and Saudi Arabia attend school or a higher education institution. Egypt also scores well with school attendance with 91 per cent of its youth in school.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted with more than 2,000 teenagers in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam, Cairo and Alexandria. AMRB and TRU conducted the same study in 40 other countries to compare how teenagers spend their time and included activities such as attending school, sleeping, watching television, using the internet, hanging out with friends, and playing videos.

The organisations undertook the study to better understand consumers of the future. On the whole, the study found the current generation of youth is very optimistic about the future and consider themselves global citizens. "They wish to be educated, have good jobs and thus be successful. At the same time they realise their responsibilities towards their families and society in general," researchers stated.

When asked what they would most likely be doing after school or university/college, 84 per cent of Emirati teens said they planned to continue their education. The figure was 81 per cent for Saudi youth and 52 per cent for Egyptians, said Deepali Bamane, AMRB project director, and Gagan Bhalla, CEO of AMRB. Other priorities for Emirati youth after school or university include working full time, travelling or taking a gap year, starting their own business and serving in the military.

And when they were asked to respond to the statement "I would rather live in UAE than any other country in the world', 64 per cent strongly agreed with the statement.

Explaining why education ranked highly among Emiratis, Bamane and Bhalla said the UAE is most equipped to be on a par with the world in terms of modern education compared to other countries. "Many international schools wish to have a presence in the UAE with a wide range of public to private schools and a broad band of school fees allows UAE nationals and expats to attain high quality education."

This wide range of education options has helped women's education as well, they said.

 

Mena teens plans

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