An Empirical Study of the Impact of E-Learning on Female Higher Education in Saudi Arabia

Abdullah Basahel


Some may still regard Saudi Arabia as a conservative country and believe it neglects and discriminates against its female population in the field of education in particular and attitude in general. However, the facts portray quite a different picture and remove the perceived bias, at least in the field of education. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is undergoing an education revolution, rapidly transforming it into a learning nation. Female Saudis are equally benefitting from education policies of the state, the main architect of modern education in the country. They are 56% of the total of all higher education students in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh, the capital, houses the largest female-only university in the world, with over 52,000 students in 2010 according to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Higher Education. There are many other female only universities in different regions of the country. In this article, the authors will present details of the Saudi education system relevant to higher education of the female population. The use of the Internet for learning had a slow start, but has now become very popular. Again, Saudi women benefit the most from it: for many, it is their only access to higher education. In this article, we shall explore ethnic, religious, and social factors that restrict female education and make e-learning becomes a very attractive proposition. We shall also study the extent of proliferation of e-learning in Saudi Arabia. 


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