Impressive results still leave Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with an education gap as compared to the rest of the world. With some exceptions, MENA countries have almost reached full primary education enrollment and increased enrollment in secondary schools almost threefold since 1970, and fivefold at the higher education level. The crowning achievement for the MENA region has been the closing of the education gender gap. Illiteracy rates have also been halved in the past 20 years and the absolute difference between male and female adult literacy rates is declining rapidly. These impressive quantitative achievements have contributed to improving the quality of life for citizens through longer life expectancy, lower fertility and infant mortality rates, and a more cohesive national identity.