Efficiency improvement of private education schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia using a mixed methodology approach

  • Tahani Ibrahim Alzkari

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Education in Saudi Arabia has received considerable attention from the government in the hope of finding strategies to improve the performance of schools, which is essential for economic development. However, education in Saudi Arabia has been criticised due to the quality of teachers, their salary, and the curricula and resources used (Khashoggi, 2014; Lindsey, 2010). Although the international literature reviews important issues of efficiency in education, there are few research projects which studies the efficiency challenges and constraints pertinent to Saudi schools in depth.
The purpose of this research is to use Operational Research (OR) models focused on assessing and improving the performance of private schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially the Riyadh districts. A set of models are developed based on 57 schools for descriptive efficiency measurement and 12 schools for prescriptively improving the performance. Data collection was implemented through the Quality and Planning Department of the Saudi Ministry of Education who liaised with the school managers. In terms of model formulation, the techniques of: Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for measuring efficiency, the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) for ranking priority of the criteria of improving school performance, and Goal Programming (GP) for improving the efficiency of schools are used in a combined framework. A subsidiary Goal Programming model for resolving the inconsistencies in the AHP preferences is also used.
The results that can be obtained from building these models can be beneficial for parents, schools, and governments. Efficient schools yield better outcomes and support a higher quality of education, which increases the knowledge and skills of students. Those students will then contribute more effectively to the future development of their countries. In addition, high-performing schools delivering high levels of education to students can encourage the economic growth of a nation.
Date of AwardMay 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorDylan Jones (Supervisor) & Graham Wall (Supervisor)

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