Educational Aspirations

In addition to asking respondents about the highest level of education they have completed, the survey asked those under age 25 about the level of schooling they would like to complete. Although educational attainment in Yemen is low, most young adults would like to have additional schooling (Figure 4). Only three in ten young men and under a quarter of young women (23%) have all the education they would like. Over one-third of women (36%) and half of men (55%) would like to complete a college or graduate degree.

Married women report less interest in future education than their unmarried counterparts. Almost twice as many married women report that they have all the education they want (30%) as unmarried women (17%). Nearly half (49%) of unmarried young women aspire to complete postsecondary education. However, just over one in five married women (21%) aspires to a postsecondary degree (Figure 4).

Similar proportions of women living in rural (21%), small towns (25%), and urban areas (25%) are satisfied with their current level of education. However, while 57% of urban-dwelling women would like to attend college or graduate school, only 29% of rural-dwelling women would like to do so (Figure 4).

Educational aspirations are highest in the South where 70% of young women would like to have at least a secondary degree.Over forty percent of young women in the Midlands (44%) and Southern (48%) regions would like to earn a postsecondary degree (Figure 4).

Overall, there is not a clear relationship between educational aspirations and level of household income. Over half (51%) of young women in households with monthly incomes of 100,000 riyals or more, however would like to complete a university degree or more (Figure 4).

Among unmarried women, 36% cited financial obstacles to pursuing higher education, and 17% said the postsecondary institutions were too far from home. Ten percent wanted to focus on marriage, compared to over half of married women. Equal proportions of married women said their parents would not allow them to attend university or that the postsecondary institutions were too far from home (11%).

Young Yemeni women are interested in a wide variety of fields, but Medicine, Religion/Islamic Studies, and Computer Science are the most popular fields of study among women reporting that they would like to attend college or graduate schoo,l and who have a field in mind (Table 2). Nearly half (49%) would like to pursue one of these three fields.