Private Universities and Colleges FAQ's

What are the admission requirements in private HEIs?

The most important condition to enroll in private HEIs is to be a graduate of secondary education (or its equivalent). Some of these HEIs may require specific grade at the General Education Diploma (GED) to enroll in some programs. A new mechanism of admission is being developed starting from the next academic year due to the change in assessment system and existing scores calculation by the Ministry of Education (MoE). Thus, private HEIs are working with the Directorate General of Private Universities and Colleges (DGPUC) to propose such mechanism.

A student applying to a private HEI has to take a placement test in the English language so as to decide whether the need to enroll in a Foundation Program prior to their major enrolment.

What are the facilities the MoHERI offers to private HEIs?

Since the commencement of private investment in higher education, the government has recognized the significance of supporting private HEIs and providing appropriate investment atmosphere for such institutions. It also recognizes the high costs of such an investment. The wise government’s support is realized by the number of Royal Decrees, Bylaws, and legislations in direct and indirect support of these institutions.

The Royal Decree 76/2000 amended by the Royal Decree 25/2001 represents just one aspect of the direct support to private HEIs; in addition to land allocation, private HEIs were allocated 50% of their cash capitals of a maximum amount of (3, 000000 mln RO). The Decree also exempted these institutions of custom and other tax values.

Indirectly, private HEIs are support through the internal scholarships allocated for students form families of social security funds and 600 internal scholarships for students from needy families. More than 10,000 students on the MoHERI fund were studying at private HEIs in the academic year 2005/2006.

Indirect support is also represented by private annual HEIs exhibition organized by the DGPUC on behalf of MoHERI. The exhibition aims at closely introducing the local community and public at large to the private HEIs operating in the Sultanate, their programs, fields of study, and admission requirements.


Do private HEIs provide accommodation for female students? Are these accommodations under the MoHERI supervision?

Accommodation services – with supervisors and watchmen - are provided at the majority of private HEIs. For those institution where such facility does not exist, the coordinate accommodation contracts for students with property agencies. The institution then follows this service and the MoHERI – represented by the DGPUC – is keen to check these accommodations through a scheme of site visits. The MoHERI is also working on Bylaws specific for student hostels and HEIs buildings so as to show the standards and criteria that should be met in their construction. We hope that these Bylaws come to light very soon.

What the conditions for establishing a private HEI?

The MoHERI’s Bylaws and legislations specify the procedures and conditions required for establishing a private HEI. DGPU has prepared a comprehensive guide for such issue which includes:

  1. The MoHERI legislations related to private education in Oman; and
  2. Procedures for establishing private HEIs;


What is the mechanism in place to enroll a self-funded student in a private HE?

The student is advised to refer to the relevant HE to enquire for its own criteria of admission.

What are the documents required for certificates and confirmation letters attestation?

Attesting a Diploma or Bachelor certificate requires

  1. the provision of the original copy of certificate.
  2.  original copy of GED (or its equivalent).
  3. grades profile (for all semesters).
How many students are enrolled in private HEIs?

DGPUC publish statistical summaries on private HEIs including some statistical data on these institutions such as number of students studying at this institution, number of faculty, administrative, and support staff, etc. In addition, the booklet comprises charts showing the growth in student’s number and graduates number at these institutions. Statistics of the academic year 2005/2006 show grand total of (16842) students studying at all private HEIs in Oman.  

What are the private HEIs operating in Oman? Are they all recognized by the MoHERI?

The wisely guided government has given a wide chance for the private sector to take part in higher education. The first private HEI was established in 1994, followed by a number of private HEIs to reach now (19) Colleges and (5) Universities. The grand total of students enrolled in these institutions (16842) in 2005/2006. Currently, arrangements are made to consider the establishment of Muscat University by merging a number of private HEIs, namely Caledonian College of Engineering, Modern College of Business and Sciences , Mazoon College, and Oman Medical College. The Head of Boards of Directors of these institutions  have approved the merging of their institutions to establish Muscat University, a project that has reached its final stages and the new University is expected to come soon. Other private HEIs are may also take a similar step and get merged into another new lager entity.  

In the same regard, the German University of Technology has been recently established in Oman as consequence of the academic collaboration between Omani and German investors.  In addition, the Open Arab University has also started it Oman branch. 

Here, the MoHERI  would like to emphasize the fact that its makes sure that all HEIs meet the requirements and conditions to work as higher education providers before they get their operation license from the Ministry . this typically applicable to private HEIs, that all work under the MoHERI's supervision represented by the DGPUC.

What are the programs offered by private HEIs? Are these programs accredited?

These institutions offer a variety of academic programs in a variety of fields that serve labor market. They are affiliated to foreign internationally recognized institutions. In many cases, graduates of private HEIs can continue their postgraduate studies at these foreign institutions.

A description of all programs offered by private HEIs is a given in HEIs Guide. In short, these programs include offerings in the fields of Education, Engineering, Design, IT, languages, and Business.

Also, all private HEIs offer general foundation programs for news students to prepare them enroll their academic programs. It is worth saying that the period of study varies from one HEI to another depending on their own system of study. 

The MoHERI is keen to ensure that these programs are offered in the same way that was agreed up between the institution and its affiliate. The institute also has to make sure that the level of the program and its outcomes are compatible with those offered by the affiliate. These aspects also have to be continuously updated and enhanced.

As for the recognition, it should be stated that all programs offered by private HEIs are recognized by the MoHERI and fall under its supervision. In terms of accreditation, the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA), established by the Royal Decree 54/2010 (tom replace the former OAC) is the official accreditation in Oman which is in charge of accrediting all public as well private HEIs operating in Oman. Since then, the OAAA has been working hard to meet this objective. Monitoring the quality of higher education in the country is one of its priorities.

What does the MoHERI do to ensure the quality of private HEIs and their programs?

The MoHERI, represented by DGPUC, has condensed its effort to improve the efficiency of HEIs' performance under its supervision. It often emphasizes the quality of the educational systems of these institutions and their programs, facilities, services, and all aspects reacted to their performance. Below are the major actions the MoHERI takes, through DGPUC, in order to ensure the quality of these institutions:

  • The MoHERI ensures that the programs offered by private HEIs are similar to those offered by their affiliates in terms the standard applicable there as well those of the MoHERI and OAAA. Regulations, directives, and guidelines are given to these institutions to assist them offer quality higher education and produce graduates who can compete regionally and internationally. The MoHERI believes that this would lead to achieving the goals of the educational process in the country and, in consequence, the country's developmental and economic strategic objectives.


  • HEIs are urged to establish quality assurance units or departments to steer the quality of their activities, especially with regard to the Requirements of for Oman’s System of Quality Assurance (ROSQA), and to be ready for institutional accreditation.

The DGPUC staff also make regular visits to these institutions to make sure of their compliance with the MoHERI's standards and regulations.

What are the tuition fees for each institution and why do they seem higher than others in neighboring countries? How such fees are counted?

Tuition fees vary from on institution to another. Such variation is caused by many factors such as the nature of the field of specialization (e.g. being literary scientific, engineering, educational, etc.), the foreign institution with which the private HEIs is affiliated (foreign HEIs ask for different requirements to fulfill and the charge different tuition fees), and the services and facilities provided by the private HEI.

As for the rate of these fees, the common belief is that they are high compared to other countries. Thus, some families send their children abroad to pursue their higher education. Hovers, a closer look at the fees in some other neighboring countries would reveal that they are not much lower than those charges by the majority of private HEIs in Oman. Here, we need to think of other expenses that a student has to cover abroad, putting in mind the standard of education provided by these institutions. It is also worth saying that most Omani students in the neighboring countries are enrolled in educational programs that have been licensed in Oman recently.

Private HEIs often specify their tuition fees of each program when the institution starts operation. Fees of newly started programs are also specified when the program is offered. Furthermore, Article (17) of the Executive Bylaw of Colleges and Higher Institutes indicates that “it is not allowed for an HEI to increase the cost of study that agreed upon for each program without getting the Minister's approval at least three month before the academic year commencement. The Private HEIs Guide includes information on the tuition fees charged by each private HEI operating in Oman. In addition, an applicant has to be aware of all regulations regarding these.

What is the period of study at each HEI? What are the degrees awarded and by whom?

Currently, private HEIs offer various Degrees that differ depending on the system each institution applies. Generally speaking, the Degrees that are currently awarded include Diploma, Higher Diploma, Bachelor, and Masters. All these qualifications are aligned with the Oman’s National Qualifications Framework prepared by OAAA in 2/3/2005. This framework was developed in such a way that caters for the names and titles for the same Degrees in the rest parts of the world, focusing of setting up simplified framework for the academic qualifications currently offered in Oman. Meanwhile, the framework is linked to other international frameworks.

The Framework relies on six tertiary levels, four of which are at the university level (Diploma, Higher Diploma, and Bachelor), and two at the postgraduate level (Master and PhD).

Are educational specializations available now at private HEIs?

Private HEIs have been given the permission to offer programs in educational specializations in accordance with Article(D) of the Higher Education Council’s (HEC)Decision 3/1/2004 awarding permission to include such programs as part of their academic offerings . These educational programs are offered in accordance with the MoHERI guidelines specific for such kind of programs which are currently offered by the three private universities operating in Oman.

What is the language of study used by each institution?

English is the formal language of instruction for the majority of programs offered by private HEIs. Still, there are some courses are delivered in Arabic. In some other private institutions, French and German are taught as major disciplines.

What are staff member’s recruitment conditions? Do they need to be approved by the MoHERI?

The MoHERI has set some conditions to higher academic staff for private HEIs. The most important of these conditions is that the applicant should have a Master’s Degree as a minimum requirement to each in their programs, in addition sufficient experience in the field they want to teach. In some cases, some applicant of lower academic qualifications might be recruited to teach in some programs; yet the condition of expertise is never overlooked. Besides, there are specialist instructors who are in charge of teaching the English language courses in the General Foundation Programs (GFP).

All private HEIs are required to comply with the MoHERI’s guidelines and regulations; otherwise, an institution will be subject to penalties designated for violating the conditions of academic staff recruitment regulations.

The Ministry urges the institutions to do their best in hiring qualified staff so as to enhance the institution’s academic and professional status. Institutions are also urged to conduct regular reviews of their staff’s performance, develop and implement induction programs for their new staff members, beside systematic organization of professional development programs.


Are the programs in private HEIs aligned to labor market and industry requirements?

The procedures of establishing a new private HEI includes the introduction of feasibility study that reviews the labor market needs in the light of economic indicators and available statistics so as to evaluate the local labor market need for the proposed programs the HEI intends to offer.

In fact, it is rather difficult to scrutiny the link between education and labor market need due to the rapid changes and developments in this market. In addition, the current philosophy of education emphasizes the principle of ‘self-centered education’, which does not linking between education to employment, or to offer and need principle. Instead, the graduates’ quality is considered as the main factor for entering labor market actively.

What advice could be given to families planning to enroll their children in one of these HEIs?

Parent willing to do so are advised to visit these institutions in order to get sufficient information they would like their son/daughter to enroll in. This will be chance for them to look closely at the programs offered by the institution as well the facilities, services, etc. available on campus. Being familiar with these aspect will help them do better planning for their children.

What is the competent authority to license academic programs to private higher education institutions in the ministry ?

 is the Directorate-General for universities and private colleges / circle supervision program .

Are private higher education institutions in the Sultanate recognized?

Yes, it is a private higher education institutions in the Sultanate recognized within the Sultanate once it has the approval of the construction. As for the recognition of the externally That depends on the laws and regulations in the State of the unit .


What types of disciplines or programs in private higher education institutions in the Sultanate ?

There is a good variety and clear in the programs offered in the private higher education institutions in the Sultanate commensurate with the needs of the labor market and Oman can be classified in several fields generally as follows ( with the knowledge that falls under this sub-specialties diverse fields ) :
- Natural and Applied Sciences - Information Systems
- Engineering - Education
- Fine Arts - Health
- Building and Construction - Religion and Philosophy
- Agriculture, environment and related disciplines - Services
- Management and Economics - Society and Culture

What is Open Education ? ? Is it available in the Sultanate ?

Open Education is an educational system that is flexible and integrated combines all types of study either by correspondence or by electronic and some elements of the traditional study , there are several definitions of the Open Learning Take , for example, that ( a system of education that allows all people access to education regardless of the formal requirements of traditional education ) it is characterized by the educational system that is available to all segments of society without restrictions ( such as age and sex) and who did not allow them the circumstances of the formal enrollment in higher education institutions for systemic social reasons or physical or geographical Kalpad places for study.
I have had the opportunity for the people of the Sultanate to attend this type of education the opening of a branch of the Arab Open University in the Sultanate as of the academic year 2008/2009 AD .

What types of applications relevant academic programs that can be a private institution of higher education by the progress ?

1 . Request for a new academic program .
2 . Request to add the path / new tracks for the program is based .
3 . Request to add another level ( outlet) of the existing program .
4 . Request merging two programs / programs .
5 . Request to amend the plan based program (in the case exceeded the rate of change of 30% ) .
6 . Request to change the name of the degree program is based .
7 . Request to change the name of an existing program .
8 . Request separate sub double major in an academic program is based .
9 . Request to change the language study program.
10 . Request to change the link / academic cooperation .


What are the conditions for the institution to request a new program?

1. The program to be located within the licensed fields allowed (based on the standard classification document issued by the Omani Authority for Academic Accreditation).
2. That does not exceed the upper limit of the number of programs permitted.
3. Should not be suspended from the institution to provide new programs for the decision of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education in Oman.
4. Should not be enterprise-level weak / low on the basis of:
- Reports of field visits by the ministry.
- Reports of the institution / institutions associated / collaborator with her.
- Reports of the Omani Authority for Academic Accreditation - if any -.
- Develop buildings institution and its capacity.
- Offenses recorded on the institution - if any -.
5. Provide a study on the need for the labor market of the program to be put forward.
6. That the application will be submitted in the period for receiving applications.


Is there a specific period for receiving applications for the license program?

Yes. Extending the period of receiving applications for higher education institutions to license program each year from the beginning of September until the end of February of the following year.


How many new programs allowed for the institution of higher education for the progress annually to various degrees: diploma, bachelor's and master?

Enterprise-level     Diploma / Bachelor         Master       Doctorate           Total
University                     4                               2                   1                        7
College                         2                               1                   -                         3


Can a private institution of higher education to apply for programs are offered at the level of Master / PhD?

The private universities are allowed to apply for programs are offered at the level of doctoral and master's degrees, but for the colleges are permitted to submit only Master programs and by hosting only.

What are the fees for the new academic study programs that the institution of higher education paid for the ministry?

The corporation applying for a license and pay a fee programmatic of 1,500 RO for each program - non-refundable - that did not result in a license application to the program. These fees cost study teams specialized programs and the cost of field visits.


What are the documents required to be attached when applying for a license for a new program?

1. Program document to be licensed (electronic version).
2. Fill in the required forms (electronic version).
3. Imminent tuition program

Is there a form or a reference guide for the preparation of the program before they are delivered to the ministry?

Yes, there is a form describes the required data and documents required of program document.


How long it takes to get any software on the license?

The maximum of four months after the start of the completion of the organization of all the required documents.


Who is studying programs, private higher education institutions?

Each program is subject to a study by two external evaluators with experience and competence in the required software license.


How is the process of selecting external evaluators to study the license applications program ?

The database was created outside residents who are hired to study the new programs in the relevant department (Department of Supervision program ) . Located choose them on the basis of their qualifications and experience in the area of ​​the program to be studied . Are required to have a resident for at least ( 10) years of practical experience , and to be the holder of a master's degree at least . Priority is given to PhD holders of expertise and competence .


What is the procedure to apply my software license ?

1 . Progressing institution of higher education to the Directorate-General for universities and private colleges request for a preliminary willingness to put up with a new program ( specify the name of the program and the field that belonged to him the importance of the program and put the program) .
In the case of a civil institution to offer a new program and the occurrence of the program within the fields Asamoah Foundation for expansion , the Directorate speech under the guidance of the institution to do so.
2 . IFC progress request to the Directorate integrated all the documents for the program set out in the document apply to launch a new program to provide an electronic copy of the program accompanied by a check to the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation fee study program / ​​programs , and in the case of the completion of the request , shall be notified of the institution officially complete the request and readiness to enter into a phase of the study by specialists to be to provide it to the final decision on the application within six months from the date of the notification.
3 . In the case of non-completion of the request or does not satisfy the conditions specified address is the institution within two weeks from the date of receipt of the completed application data required to be provided in a period not exceeding two weeks from the date of the letter , and only considered the application null and void .


Who is taking the decision to license any software or not ?

After the residents of the study program and submit a report about it is displayed on the ad hoc committee that the ministry and take a decision on the program.


What is the language of study programs provided by institutions of higher education ?

Most of the programs offered in English.

Are there any programs offered in Arabic?

Yes, there are a very limited number of programs offered in Arabic.


Is it permissible for the institution of higher education to raise tuition fees?

The institution must apply for approval to raise tuition fees to the ministry and to support the request justifications that explain the reasons for raising fees and is studying the request and then be answered whether or not to approve the institution.