Education & Careers

Choosing to study abroad is a big decision. Our publication and online networking service, Middle East Grad and MESGN, are essential mines of information for Middle-Eastern students and the institutions looking to attract them.

Following on from our expertise in the Middle East and the huge growth in students and graduates throughout the region, BLS Media Ltd publishes The Middle East Student and Graduate Network in magazine and web portal formats.

MESGN is a new information resource for students and graduates of Middle East origin, promoting cultural exchange through student mobility across the world. We provide valuable research information for Middle East students and graduates who wish to study abroad and we work closely with ministries of higher education, educational associations, universities and training facilities throughout the globe.

Built into two main sections, we also provide profiles on the best recruiters across the region looking to safeguard their company future in employing the best graduating talent available.

Growth of Students across Middle East and the Need to Study Abroad

The regions rapidly growing population and significant oil revenues has offered a captive market for the educational industry. According to Population Reference Bureau, population in the MENA region is expected to skyrocket by over 62% from 432m (2007) to 700m (2050) exceeding Europe’s population in that year, with 5% average growth per annum.

This means a significant rise in numbers of young people (Saudia Arabia has seen 443% increase in high school graduates in 15 year period), gains to incomes, opportunities and status so governments across GCC see the benefit to their economy, political stability and wider social returns. Similarly employers need a skilled and innovative workforce able to compete on a global stage.

  • Mrs Suad Alhalwachi, Director of Education Zone (agency based in Dubai) – “Nearly 70% of the population across the MENA region is under 30, and despite massive investment, governments are struggling to meet the demand for education. The instability of some countries following the Arab Spring has left many youth in the region interested in studying abroad.”

Early World Education Services (WES) data suggests that US higher education institutions – and by extension, institutions from other countries favoured by Arab students – should be prepared for an increase in the number of Arab students applying for spots in their programmes. UNESCO statistics report key destinations as USA, UK, Australia, Canada and increasingly Asia and Europe, with an additional 9.5 million students across region from 2011-2030.

Significant student export increases for Bahrain (180%), Egypt (41%), Jordan (73%), and Syria (90%), Saudi applications grew by 394% between 2007-11. Gulf News reports on the concern for Emirati parents in securing access to prestigious overseas universities for their children with 70,000 more school seats are needed in Abu Dhabi alone by 2020.

  • With an increasingly globalised knowledge economy; trans-national education programs and partnerships from simple exchange programs to complex multi-institution courses with terms in different continents, governments recognise the need for overseas study and have put in place scholarships to support this drive.

The most popular fields of study currently are Intensive English, Engineering, Business & Finance, Health Sciences, Computer Science. 62% undergraduate, 29% Masters – 67% government sponsored, 33% private funded.