|Abstract: ||The technologically advanced knowledge economies of today increasingly demand that new labour market entrants possess the requisite preparation that will allow them to be productive contributors in multiple sectors of the workforce. This preparation is often seen as a function of the education system, which is expected to develop not only technical competencies but also an extensive list of „soft‟ or non-cognitive skills including problem-solving, being able to work as part of a team, leadership, skills, perseverance and worth ethic.
Acknowledging the importance of producing world-class human capital, so as to maintain continuous development and growth, the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have begun to enact a series of comprehensive reforms of their respective education systems. These efforts are seen in opposition to the unsustainable tradition of funneling local human capital into the public sector and the over-reliance on expatriate labour.
This paper begins with a review of the historical trends that have contributed to the over-abundance of foreign labour in the region. Subsequently, the paper outlines a series of implications - social, economic and political - should this status quo remain. Following this, a critical analysis of the current deficiencies and gaps of the education system will be conducted. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations aimed at driving future policy-level discussions in the Gulf region on the topic of education reform.|