Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Dr. James Valadez

Committee Members

Dr. Hunt Chris

Dr. Greg Hamilton


online education programs, Saudi education, Saudi Ministry of Education, investigation, decision to stop online programs.


Educational Leadership


In 2018, Saudi Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa ordered the country’s universities to discontinue online bachelor’s degree programs starting in the new academic year (Ministry of Education No: 143966, July 15, 2018). In one of his statements, Al-Issa said that the shutdown of these online educational programs was aimed at upgrading the quality of education by focusing on face-to-face classrooms. There was, however, no official investigation applied to online education in Saudi Arabia, neither about the decision to stop the programs nor focused on the quality of these programs. Further, it seems that educators and students alike are not happy with the decision, and they argue on social media outlets that the quality of these programs was equal to that of face-to-face classrooms. This research, thus, first conducts a qualitative study from a social constructivist perspective to investigate the reasons behind the decision to end the online bachelor’s degree programs. The second part of this research examines the students’ and faculties’ satisfaction with the online programs and brings their opinions about the decision to light in an academic study. The research found that, although there was an internal study that was conducted in the Ministry of Education before the decision to end online education, the results and methodology of that study are not available to the public. Further, the research concluded that although both students and faculty agree that online education has some problems, they also both agree that they had a good experience with online education, which has provided access to the educational experience for those who may otherwise not have been able to continue their education. Almost all interviewees disagreed with the decision to end the online education programs and recommended only fixing the existing issues.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


Dissertation Location