Saudi universities will be required to only recruit foreign academic staff at government universities as a last resort, the Ministry of Education has announced.

The decision is in line with the Kingdom’s strategy to provide more job opportunities for Saudi nationals.

Foreign staff will only be hired at universities under one-year renewable contracts.

Ministry spokesperson Mubarak Al-Osaimi said universities have active programmes to recruit internationally distinguished lecturers, but that the recruitment of foreigners was only temporary until Saudi university graduates return to take up roles, reported Gulf Business.

Universities are being encouraged to advertise in local newspapers and on their websites about available jobs for Saudis.

The move follows similar restrictions in other sectors. In April this year, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD), announced that foreigners would no longer be allowed to work in the country’s shopping malls. Earlier this month, plans were announced to restrict foreigners from selling female-specific products, with these jobs available only to Saudi women.

Last year, the government banned foreigners from selling mobile phones in Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the closure of many mobile phone shops that failed to meet the required quota of 50 per cent local staff.

The latest figures issued by the MLSD showed that it had suspended the operations of 739,701 private sector organisations, and that a further 255,356 were at risk of suspension for not adhering to the Kingdom’s strict new Saudisation requirements.

Media Centre

If you’re a journalist or member of the press looking for more information or to speak to one of our experts, please contact our press team. 

Callout Image

Championing better work and working lives

About the CIPD

At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.