The Effect of Geographic Constraints on the Academic Achievement of Students at King Saud University Using GIS Techniques: A Case Study

Mofareh Qoradi


This research studied the effect geographic constraints of students' daily journey to King Saud University (KSU) on their learning achievement, their participation in extracurricular activities, and their visit of the university library. The data was collected from a random sample of KSU students that consisted of 854 students via an online survey during the academic year 2016.  The technologies of geographic information systems have been employed to build a spatial model to measure the distance and taken time for the daily student drive from their houses to the university.  30% of the students’ houses are at a 20 km distance from KSU, 35% of the students need about 40 minutes to arrive at the university, and 8% who need about one hour to arrive. Since Riyadh is urbanized, high in population density, and has a lot of traffic, theses distances and time students spend in their daily drives to the university are causing stress and exhaustion and affect students' academic achievement. 68.42% of students indicated that the location of their homes affects their learning achievement and 63.95% answered that it affects their attendance of activities in the university. Regarding visiting the library, about 58.16 responded that location of their homes affects library visits. The study clarified that there is a negative correlation between the students’ delay times and their academic rate, in other words as the delay times increase, students GPAs decline and subsequently, their academic achievement is less. Finally, the study suggested to specifying and rescheduling the work times for employees and students in Riyadh to reduce the daily drive times, the environmental pollution, and economic depreciation and help increase students' academic achievement by delaying the official working hours for Higher Education institutions by an hour; to start at 9.00 a.m. instead 8.00 a.m. as is currently the case.


Geographic Constraints; Drive Time; Academic Achievement; GIS

Full Text:



Alhussien, S.B.N. (2011). The daily resident expiates work journey in the central business region in Riyadh: (Applied Study in Transportation Geography, Series of Geographic Research, the Saudi Geographical Association, Vol. 93).

Card, D. (1995). Using geographic variation in college proximity to estimate the return to schooling. In: Christofides, L.N., Grant, K.E., and R. Swidinsky (Eds). Aspects of Labour Market Behaviour: Essays in Honour of John Vanderkamp, University of Toronto Press, pp. 201–222.

Dickerson, A., McIntosh, S. (2010). The impact of distance to nearest education institution on the post-compulsory education participation decision, Sheffield Economic Research Paper Series, 2010007.

Do, C. (2004). The effects of local colleges on the quality of college attended. Economics of Education Review, 23, 249–257.

Falch, T., Lujala, P., Strøm, B. (2011). Geographical constraints and educational attainment. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 43 (1), 164–176.

Gibbons, S., Vignoles, A. (2009). Access, choice, and participation in higher education. Centre for the Economics of Education, CEE Discussion Papers 101, London School of Economics and Political Science.

Griffith, A.L., Rothstein, D.S. (2009). Can’t get there from here: The decision to apply to a selective college. Economics of Education Review, 28, 620–628.

Kjellström, C., Regnér, H. (1999). The effects of geographical distance on the decision to enroll in university education. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 43, 335–348.

Park, S.J. (2012). Measuring public library accessibility: A case study using GIS. Library & Information Science Research, 34, 13–21.

Sa, C., Florax, R.J. G.M., Rietveld, P. (2006). Does accessibility to higher education matter? The choice behavior of high school graduates in the Netherlands. Spatial Economic Analysis, 1, 155–174.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Mofareh Qoradi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


This journal and its content is licensed under a Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.

Flag Counter