This chapter includes the following articles.
Oman has witnessed a dramatic improvement in enrolment and the duration spent in full-time education thanks in large part to reforms introduced in 1995 and 1998, which required 10 years of basic education and extended the number of school days from 160 to 180. In 1996 the government launched a programme to promote the development of private higher education institutions in the country, providing subsidies in the form of low-interest loans, land, and tax breaks. By 2012 there were 19 private colleges of higher education and seven private universities in the country. Meanwhile, a national research council was established in 2005 as part of the sultanate’s aim to move towards a knowledge-based economy with the target for research and development spending set at 2% of GDP by 2020. Moving forward, higher learning institutes and industry leaders are cooperating more closely to match training and technical skills with future industry needs. This chapter contains interviews with Rawiyah bint Saud Al Busaidiyah, Minister of Higher Education; and Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, Chairman, The Research Council.