Higher education development in Oman 1970-2002: challenges and achievements
Al Ramadhani, Saif
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Higher education in Oman, as in other countries of the world, constitutes the basis of human resources development required to accelerate the expansion and improvement of conditions by training the citizens of the Sultanate to a suitably qualified level. This aim is achieved by equipping people with all the skills necessary to enable them to make a constructive contribution to the success and prosperity of the nation. Therefore, opportunities in higher education are offered to all those who intend to pursue their studies according to their abilities and competencies, and within the limit of public and private financial resources designated for this sector.The government of Oman has shown a special interest in higher education, particularly during the last few decades, for it is linked to the increase in the national income, population, number of secondary school leavers and general social development, as well as the expanding range of society's needs. To deal with these changes, many higher education institutions have been established around the country, and laws and regulations have been drawn up to administer them in addition to allowing the private sector to invest in higher education by establishing private colleges and universities.This study describes higher education policies in Oman (between 1970 and 2002) by applying a chronological and analytical approach. The writer presents regional and international comparisons and concludes with a few recommendations.Chapter One discusses the definition of higher education and the approach used in the research, and examines a few relevant case studies. Chapter Two analyses the government's initiatives in higher education during the 1970s. Chapter Three focuses on the efforts made by the government to improve higher education in the 1980s. Chapter Four looks at the status of higher education in Oman between 1990 and 2002. Chapter Five of this study sheds light on the features of higher education and the challenges facing it, ending with a few suggestions that the researcher believes to be essential for further progress in th is vital sector.