The establishment of the modern nation-state of the Sultanate of Oman was declared in 1970, which coincided with the emergence of the neoliberal ideology with its unique discourse of streaming, standards, excellence, freedom of choice, market forces and quality by competition, which is counter to equality. The Omani higher education thus witnessed the establishment of Teacher Training Institutes later promoted to Intermediate Teacher Training Colleges, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Applied Sciences, Colleges of Technology, College of Sharia Sciences, Institutes of Health Sciences, Institute of Banking and Financial Studies later upgraded to College Banking and Financial Studies, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), College of Sharia and Law later changed to College of Law and affiliated to SQU, and several private colleges and universities. Such diversity targeted the country’s economic development. However, it was not long before the quality of graduates exiting these institutions started to create tension between supply and demand, which drove the government to reconsider its policies by establishing the Ministry of Higher Education as a key mediator or local mediator to regulate, monitor and maintain issues of hierarchy, bias, inequality and manipulation in higher education and as embedded in and projected by the neoliberal ideology embraced by the Omani government. This chapter critically discusses the planning of higher education in the Sultanate of Oman from 1970 to 2000. It draws on invented stories, firsthand stories, secondhand stories and culturally common stories combined with archival data collected mostly from online resources to serve the purpose of this work. Data used are problematized and embedded in power/knowledge relations to recognize the changing circumstances of higher education in Oman. This chapter draws conclusions about the ideological tensions between policymaking and implementation and the implications this situation has for improving higher education in Oman.
|Title of host publication||The Past, Present, and Future of Higher Education in the Arabian Gulf Region|
|Subtitle of host publication||Critical Comparative Perspectives in a Neoliberal Era|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 2022|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)