Vision 2030: a new model for Saudi community college

Albluwi, Susan (2024) Vision 2030: a new model for Saudi community college. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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A major challenge facing higher education policymakers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is how higher education institutions can support the country in reaching Saudi Vision 2030. The Saudi Vision 2030 is an economic development plan that aims to develop and diversify the economy and reduce dependence on oil. A well-educated and skilled workforce is essential for this and Community Colleges have a key role to play (Vision 2030, 2022b). This research investigates the adoption of the American community college model in the KSA. It outlines the challenges faced by this model, and how it may be enhanced to align itself with Saudi Vision 2030, the Government’s new development plan, from the perspective of community college stakeholders.

The literature review explores the concepts of secondary higher education, US community college, the transfer of the USA community college model to international contexts, policy transfer, Saudi community college and Sen's capability approach. The first aim of the literature review was to understand the function of US community colleges in the higher education landscape. What makes the USA community college an attractive choice? The second aim was to examine the Saudi experience in transferring this model, as well as the experiences of other countries in transferring the US model. What challenges do they face? Finally, the third aim was to explore Sen's capability approach as a potential tool for improving the community college model.

A mixed-method multilevel design in which a combination of simultaneously collected qualitative and quantitative data are subsequently analysed. This design has been used to investigate the perspectives of community college stakeholders within the framework of the current Saudi community college model, which features five key elements commonly found in the literature: localisation, comprehensiveness, flexibility, accreditation and transfer.

The quantitative component consisted of two questionnaires presented online to students and faculty from two different community colleges. These questionnaires were designed to measure the respondents’ attitudes towards particular statements using a five-point Likert scale. The results indicate that students and faculty alike feel that the current Saudi community college model is imperfect insofar as it provides adequate proximity and comprehensiveness; however, with respect to flexibility, faculty members believe that community colleges can do more. As for accreditation and a transfer option, both stakeholders emphasised that these factors were important to take into consideration.

The qualitative component of the design involved input from deans, Saudi education experts from community colleges and business leaders. Two sets of interview questions were developed using a semi-structured interview approach the results of indicate that stakeholders believe the Saudi community college model should be modified to bring it more in line with Saudi Vision 2030.

As a result of this study, three conclusions have been reached. First, the researcher proposes a new community college model designed to promote democracy, sustainability and social justice in the local community. Second, the researcher proposes steps that Saudi policy makers can use when engaged in enhancing a transferred or borrowed policy. These steps take more fully into account the particularities of the Saudi socioeconomic and cultural environment. Third the researcher offers recommendations for Saudi community colleges, the Ministry of Education and the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2361 Curriculum
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Supervisor's Name: McMahon, Professor Margery and Kerrigan, Mrs. Kathleen
Date of Award: 13 June 2024
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2024-84432
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2024 14:10
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2024 14:16
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.84432

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