Academic Freedom in Saudi Arabia: a comparative analysis

Aldossari, Ashwaq Mohammed (2021) Academic Freedom in Saudi Arabia: a comparative analysis. PhD thesis, University of Lincoln.

Academic Freedom in Saudi Arabia: a comparative analysis
PhD Thesis
Aldossari, Ashwaq - PhD - Education.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Item Status:Live Archive


Saudi Arabia has recently sought to transform its economy from an existing extractive
economy, based on oil as a single source of income, to a knowledge-based economy, based on
highly skilled minds and creative human resources. A knowledge-based economy focuses on the
production, generation, dissemination, and application of information. This is what the Vision
2030 government strategy confirmed. Vision 2030 was designed and promoted by Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman and published on 25 April 2016, puts education at the forefront of the
national transformation projects and programs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It also aims to
make at least five of Saudi Arabia’s universities achieve ranking positions in the top 200
international universities 2030. The purpose of this research project was to evaluate academic
freedom in Saudi Arabia in comparison to the EU nations by investigating faculty members’
understanding of academic freedom, as well as exploring the extent or degree to which
academic freedom is available to faculty members, and by investigating the barriers faculty
members face with respect to academic freedom in Saudi Arabian universities.
The study employed a quantitative, mixed methods research design to explore factors
surrounding the experiences of the faculty concerning academic freedom. This study seeks to
answer the research question: To what extent is academic freedom possible in Saudi Arabia?
The researcher compared the responses gathered from the academic staff selected within two
cohorts of interest, SA and EU. Generally, the results indicated that respondents had positive
views regarding the level of protection for academic freedom within their institutions. The
study outcomes also revealed a significant number of faculty members had no idea of the
existence of a policy guiding academic freedom in their workplaces, or in the Saudi constitution.
Faculty members have faced some barriers for instance : The conservative nature of Saudi
society, bureaucracy, and relying on the government as the main source of funding for

Keywords:Saudi Arabia, academic freedom
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:48447
Deposited On:04 Mar 2022 11:25

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