Higher Education in Oman
Oman is a developing country, situated in the Middle East. It is one of the six Arab Gulf States, bordering with the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Iran. Since 1970, when His Majesty the Sultan Qaboos became the Sultan, Oman has witnessed major reform in all aspects of development. Before 1970, there were only three schools and no higher education system at all. Since then, oil and gas, as the main contributors in the Omani economy, has made the Omani government to invest heavily in education.
It is important to mention that the Omani higher education system started officially with the establishment of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in 1986. Indeed, SQU is the only public university till now and regarded as the premier university carrying His Majesty’s name.
In the year 2003, Oman's Ministry of Higher Education approved the merger of five private run colleges in order to form the Muscat University. However, the plan to merge Fire Safety Engineering College, Majan College, and Modern College of Business & Science, Middle East College and Mazoon College for Management and Applied Sciences failed.
Inclusive higher education, sustainable learning, and scientific research that leads to a knowledge society and competitive national capabilities are the most crucial aims of Higher Education in Oman. The vision & missions of Higher Education in Oman are:
- A higher education system characterized by high quality and community partnership.
- Integrated and independent system to govern and evaluate the educational system for higher education and scientific research in accordance with national and international standards.
- Educational curricula that enhance values, take into account the principles of the Islamic religion, and the Omani identity, and are inspired by Oman’s history and heritage, and keep pace with the requirements of sustainable development, future skills, and support a diversity of educational paths.
- A system that enables human capabilities in the higher education sector, scientific research and innovation.
- An effective national system for scientific research, creativity and innovation that contributes to building a knowledge economy and society.
- Diverse and sustainable funding sources for higher education and scientific research.
National competencies with dynamic capabilities and skills that compete locally and globally.