Private HEIs in Oman

Since its establishment in 1994, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has been dedicated to building a quality higher education system capable of serving the Sultanate’s growing population. The Ministry’s first priority was access and the number of Higher Education Institutions has rapidly increased to meet the demand for seats. At the same time, program offerings have been diversified in alignment with the requirements of the job market and national economic development.

The expansion of higher education encompasses both government and private Higher Education Institutions. Private investors have the opportunity to establish new private universities and colleges in the Sultanate and are offered a number of incentives which are outlined below. Oman’s system of higher education currently includes 27 private universities and colleges with an enrollment of some 35,000 students.

Private Higher Education is formalised and regulated by a number of Royal Decrees and Ministerial Decisions; namely Royal Decrees 41/99 and 42/99 which regulate the establishment of private Higher Education Institutions; and Ministerial Decision 36/99, an executive bylaw for implementing these two Royal Decrees.

Royal Decree 67/2000 is designed to further regulate private sector activities in Higher Education and to encourage effective and positive contributions. It identifies the support provided by Government to the private higher education sector; which includes a land grant, certain customs exemptions; as well as, for private universities, a matching grant of 50% of capital contribution to a maximum amount of RO three million.

In addition, His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said – May Allah protect and foster him – endowed a Royal grant of RO 17 million for Omani-owned private universities. So far, this grant has been awarded to Sohar University, Dhofar University, Nizwa University, Buraimi University, and Sharqiyah University, for construction of facilities and for equipment directly related to improving the quality of education.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation encourages private HEIs to choose highly reputable universities as partners in academic affiliation agreements for the purpose of monitoring and improving quality, diversifying program offerings, and increasing the prestige of the degrees awarded by private HEIs.

  • Permissions and conditions click here
  • Academic Programs In Private Higher Education Institution 2020/2021 here
  • The Performance Indicators Manual-second application: Definitions/ Clarifications/ Calculations/ Examples/ Remarks click here
  • The Performance Indicators-second application: Ministry Feedback Pertaining the Performance Indicators Manual click here