The graduate training programme of Jubail Industrial College, Saudi Arabia : a case study of the status and relevance of the graduate qualifications
This study examines the status of the technical qualifications accorded to graduates in the training programme at Jubail Industrial College, one of two English-medium colleges in Saudi Arabia, and in particular attempts to assess the relevance of these qualifications to their employment, from the points of view of the graduates and of their employers. The study uses a sample population taken from technical graduates and their employers in the six cities of the Eastern Region, to evaluate the attitudes of these two groups by means of questionnaires (90%) and interviews (10%), intended to reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the College's training programme. As an adjunct it also seeks to examine the expectations of students who have undertaken their Co-operative Training Programme but not yet entered into employment. It uses the One-Sample T-Test to determine the mean levels of satisfaction of the individual groups and then of the three groups together. The Analysis of Variance Test (ANOVA) and Pair-Wise Comparison Test (Tukey HSD) are used to test differences between the means of the three groups. The study is divided into nine chapters. Chapter I sets out the aims of the research and describes the College's role in training students for work in industry. Chapter II gives an overview of Saudi Arabia, including its educational system and especially technical education and vocational training. Chapter III describes the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and then focuses on the College, highlighting its mission within the country's economic development and detailing its programmes. Chapter IV describes the policy of economic diversification to reduce dependence on oil and Chapter V reviews the relevant literature on technical and vocational education in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Chapter VI reiterates the aims of the study and explains the null hypotheses associated therewith, as well as the associated factors and elements. Chapter VII presents and analyses the data obtained with respect to the respondents' levels of satisfaction with the factors and elements, and thereafter Chapter VIII discusses the results and draws conclusions about the validity of the null hypotheses, identifying possible causes for the levels of satisfaction expressed. Finally, Chapter IX provides a summary, makes recommendations for the improvement of the College programme, for industrial organisations and for policy makers, and gives suggestions for further research.