1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Supplementary private tutoring 


  1. Terminology

The main regulations do not define non-state actors and refer specifically to private education. However, the 2017 Ministerial Decision No. 287 states that providers can be a legal entity listed in the Commercial Registry or natural persons. In this regard, Article 17 specifies that applicants for the establishment of a private school, if they are natural persons, must be Omani and at least 25 years of age; non-Omanis may, however, apply for the establishment of a private school provided that they have an Omani partner. Applicants must not be employees of the Ministry. Applicants may also be a legal entity registered in the Commercial Register.


The 1996 Royal Decree No. 101 (Art. 13) references “private schools and institutes,” stating that the state encourages “the establishment of private schools and institutes under its supervision and in accordance with the provisions of the Law.” The Ministry of Education’s (MOE) 2006 Ministerial Decision No. 26 allowed for the establishment and rapid proliferation of non-state schools, categorised as monolingual, bilingual, and international schools. Finally, the 2018 National Strategy for Education 2040 also refers to “private” sectors, education institutes, and schools.


  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

Most schools in primary education (from the age of 5 years and 8 months for public schools and 5 years and 2 months for public schools), secondary level (beginning at age 10) are state schools. Basic education in state schools is free and compulsory education lasts from age 6 to 15. State schools in basic education are divided into two cycles: Cycle 1 (Grades 1-4; 4 years beginning at age 6), and Cycle 2 (Grades 5-10; 6 years beginning at age 10). In 2020/21, approximately 678 359 students attended a public school. Post-basic or secondary education is comprised of Cycle 3 (Grades 11-12, 2 years beginning at age 16); Cycle 3 schooling is also free but not compulsory. State schools have an Islamic value orientation and are funded by the state. The Ministry of Education has also provided support and services to special education schools and programmes.

Non-state managed, state schools

No information was found.

Non-state funded, state schools

See below for information on limited private support to some special schools.


2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

Private schools, including international community schools, are classified as private institutions. In 2019, approximately 30% of students (189,000 students) were enrolled in 880 private schools (834 were private and 46 were international community schools). In 2020/21, 78,529 students were enrolled in 662 private schools. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, direct education has been suspended for a long periods of the academic year,  as the work of some private schools has been suspended and this has led to a decreas in the number of students, especially kindergarten students, compared to the last academic year.


Many private religious and Quran schools operate in the summer or offer part-time courses focusing on (Qur’anic) memorisation, recitation, and Tajweed, occasionally in addition to other subjects such as Arabic, English, and mathematics. Summer and part time schools and courses are offered by the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, however, the Ministry of Education supervises Qur’an Kindergarten which are regular preschool institutions (for children aged 3 years and two months to 5 years and two months), with a focus on teaching the Quran and they follow the same regulations of other kindergartens. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs also introduced the “Teaching the Holy Qur’an Remotely” programme online to enable students to continue to learn about and memorise the Qur’an through e-learning.

Oman does not refer to “low-fee” independent non-state schools in official government documents.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

No information was found for basic education. The 2000 Royal Decree 67 identifies the subsidies the Government offers to the non-state higher education sector.

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.


2.3 Other types of schools


The Ministry of Education allows distance learning/homeschooling only for adults and mature students. During COVID-19, remote learning has been allowed for children in basic and post-basic  schools except for 12th graders.

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

Many Qur’anic or religious schools are typically unregistered entities that are unregulated by the government as no law requires their registration. These schools provide supplemental education and are run in homes and mosques. Private part time schools are registered with the the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs. No school can provide education service without obtaining a license from the concerned authorities.  In the event of violating schools, the matter is transferred to the competent authority to take the necessary action


  1. Governance and regulations

Oman has a centralised education system.. The Ministry of Education is responsible for regulating and providing technical and administrative supervision to private  basic and post-basic schools. However, at the regional level, the 11 governorates each have a Directorate General of Education that is responsible for implementing the Ministry of Education’s plans and policies for basic and post-basic education for state schools. The 2017 Ministerial Decision No. 287, which repealed the 2006 Decision No. 26, is now the guiding policy for monitoring and regulating private schools, including early childhood education and care establishments such as pre-schools, primary, and secondary schools. However, the majority of private schools fall under one central directorate, the General Directorate of Private Schools (GDPS), which has the authority to formulate policies and regulations for private schools.


Kindergarten are affiliated with the Ministry of Social Development. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation oversees non-state tertiary education. The 1999 Royal Decrees 41 and 42 govern the establishment of non-state colleges and universities as forms of higher education institutes that comprise non-state tertiary education.

The Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs has a Directorate-General for Mosques and Holy Quran Schools. In addition, there are directorates and departments concerned with providing education service to learners in military bodies and the Royal Oman Police.


Vision: The 2018 National Strategy for Education 2040 continues to emphasise the importance placed on non-state education by the 1996 Royal Decree No. 101. The Strategy recommends that the state should encourage investment by private sector companies and foreign and Omani individuals in non-state education and seek to provide alternative sources of funding for private schools.

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

Early childhood care and education includes pre-primary education and non-state nurseries.. Most private schools include two years of early education (pre-school), which are KG1 and KG2 for children aged between (three years and two months) to (five years and two months). Non-state nurseries cater to children between 6 months and 3.5 years. There are approximately 67,000 students enrolled in pre-primary classes in private schools. In addition, approximately 11,500 children are enrolled in 326 non-state nurseries as of 2019. Pre-primary school programmes are typically a part of private primary and secondary education and thus fall under the same regulations, as discussed in the primary and secondary education section, with regulations that are appropriate for this stage.


Registration and approval: As with primary and secondary education, the approval of a private pre-school is also guided by the Private Education Department of the Ministry of Education. The legislation cited in the Registration and approval section for primary and secondary schools would thus apply to pre-primary schools.

Regarding early childhood care, the applicant must be an Omani national and legally capable. He/she must also not have been dismissed from any establishment within the last two years, and “must possess at least a high school certificate proving graduation status. An exemption can be approved if the applicant is of a certain cultural standard and conditions warrant the exemption.” Several documents are required, including a copy of the passport or ID, the application form for establishing a nursery, a good conduct certificate, a copy of the educational qualification of the applicant, a financial statement proving the capability of the applicant and the approval of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the name of the establishment. In parallel, there are specific requirements for the nursery location; the nursery must be situated in a quiet area, but close to populated areas, in a healthy environment, away from the dangers of contamination. It must also be far from industrial and mechanical facilities and high-pressure wires and warehouses that are flammable or any materials that are harmful to public health. The nursery should not be in a low-lying area or subject to floods and it must also have safe and paved roads surrounding it (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 26). The building must also be independent and have its own entrance and private yard, in addition to a designated area for games and activities while being provided with educational aids and age-appropriate recreation for children. It must be fully equipped with safe air conditioning devices and there must be enough rooms to be used as facilities, such as an administration office, rooms for educational activities, a dining room, a nurse’s office, and children's bedrooms. The bathrooms must be equipped with small toilets that suit the size of the children and their ages. In addition, handwashing stations must be at an appropriate height and should be equipped with all the requirements and supplies for this purpose. The outdoor yard should be equipped with safe toys (Art. 26). An insurance deposit not less than 200 Omani Rials ($US 520) and no more than 500 Omani Rials ($US 1.300) is set by the Directorate.

Licence: The Ministry of Social Development issues the licence to operate a private nursery.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The state does not limit non-state nurseries or pre-primary schools and programmes from making a profit, as nurseries are required to submit a document concerning the payment of tuition fees as part of the licensing application to open a nursery (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 20).

Taxes and subsidies: The 2014 Child Law (Art. 30) stipulates that “the State shall encourage the establishment of nursery schools within public and private sector bodies wherever it deems that the number of female employees and workers require a nursery school, and shall provide such bodies with subsidies to help them achieve their objectives”. No additional information on subsidies was found. The 2017 Royal Decree No. 9 presents changes to income tax laws in 2017. Private schools are no longer exempt and will now have to pay a 15% tax rate. Small establishments may pay a 3% rate, according to the criteria set by the Ministry of Finance.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: For nurseries, the 2014 Child Law and the 2019 Ministerial Decision 125 provide criteria for curricula and education standards. For example, “a nursery school shall aim at providing social care to the child and developing his or her talents and abilities; properly rearing the child physically, culturally, morally and psychologically in accordance with the objectives and religious values of the society; raising awareness among families about proper child upbringing; strengthening and developing social ties between nursery schools and families; and meeting the need of children for leisure and to engage in play and recreational and artistic activities suitable for their age.” (Child Law, 2014, Art. 32).

Teaching profession: In nursery schools, the qualifications of Omani women should “not be less than tenth grade, or its equivalent”. For non-Omanis, the condition is that they possess a university degree “that is not less than a diploma in the field of childhood, or its equivalent degree in a profession of engaging in work with children, provided that it is issued by an accredited institution”. The teacher should not be less than 20 years, and not more than 55 years old. She must have practical experience of at least three years in the field of raising children or have enrolled in a training or practical course in the same field of not less than three months. Omani women are prioritised. Teachers and caretakers “must be healthy and free from contagious and chronic diseases, proven by a medical certificate issued by a health centre accredited by the Ministry of Health”. They should not be sentenced to a felony or a punishment for a crime that violates honour or trust, proven by a certificate of non-conviction. It is not allowed to combine the work of a caretaker/teacher and a cleaning worker. No additional regulation was found on teachers' salaries and state accreditation of teachers (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 30).

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Tuition fees in nursaries (MOSD) must be approved before they can be advertised (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 47).

Admission selection and processes: Schools must comply with the state’s restrictions concerning how old children must be to gain admission to a nursery (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 35).

In parallel, children can be admitted to the kindergarten of a private school if they are three years old at the beginning of the school year.

Policies for vulnerable groups: Nurseries must establish adequate facilities and hire staff for children with disabilities if the nursery accepts such children. The staff must be appropriately qualified/specialised, the building must be accessible, and appropriate furniture and games must be made available. It further states that the school should obtain the approval of the Ministry and also comply with any other conditions in accordance with the Disabled Care and Rehabilitation Act (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 26). The same also applies to the kindergartens that are under the supervision of the MOE.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: No additional information was found.

Inspection: For nursery schools, the 2014 Child Law and the 2019 Ministerial Decision 125 issuing the Executive Regulation of the Law of the Child provide mandates and guidance for quality assurance, including an inspection.

Child assessment: Early education institutions (kindergartens and Quran kindergartens) provide an integrated program to prepare children physically, culturally, psychologically and morally, in line with the goals of society and religious values, so that they can participate positively in achieving these goals and upgrading these values ​​and develop the child’s innovative thinking through programs and activities . These institutions must ensure the development of children’s creative abilities and skills, train them in motor skills and accustom them to healthy habits.” The kindergarden must also provide a program to prepare the child for school life and transfer them to a social life with his peers. A special set of forms with clear criteria are developed for preschool institutions for the purpose of  child evaluation.

Sanctions: Nurseries can be potentially closed if regulations are not met as outlined in the 2014 Child Law. The nursery may be closed by a “decision of the competent authority for a period not exceeding three months if there is a danger to the safety of the children, or if there is a change in the conditions or specifications of the nursery in violation of the provisions of this regulation” (Ministerial Decision 125, 2019, Art. 128). Moreover, there is an administrative fine of not less than 1,000 OMR (2,600 USD) and not more than 5,000 OMR (approx. 13,000 USD) for nurseries established without a licence (Art. 129). In addition, an administrative fine of not less than 500 OMR (approx. 1300 USD) and not more than 1,000 OMR (2600 USD) will be charged to the licensee of nursery schools if he/she violates the provisions of the articles in the Decision, following the issuance of a written warning regarding the violation, whereby the violation must be redressed within 15 days (Art. 131).



Registration and approval: The 2017 Ministerial Decision No. 287 provides the requirements for Omani individual and institutional investors as well as for foreign individual investors. Article 18 of the 2017 Act states that the foreign investor may establish a private school in accordance with the conditions that they partner with an Omani partner according to the foreign capital investment law. In addition, the Royal Decree No. (50/2019) stipulated in Article No. (6) that: “Foreign investment must be carried out by an institution or company in one of the permitted activities by owning or participating in the entire invested foreign capital…” Moreover, the foreign investor must be coming to the Sultanate on a continuous basis, and he/she must submit a character certificate from relevant authorities of their country that is approved by relevant authorities in the Sultanate indicating that the individual has not been convicted of a felony or crime. If the applicant is a legal entity (not a natural person), the body must be listed in the Commercial Registry and the owner, founders, or stakeholders must all meet the requirements stipulated in Article 17 of the abovementioned Ministerial Decree concerning applicants who are natural persons. These requirements are that he/she must: (1) be Omani or a non-Omani with an Omani partner, (2) have the full legal capacity and be above the age of 25, (3) have a good reputation and not have been convicted of a felony or dishonourable misdemeanour, (4) not be employed in the Ministry, and (5) not be an owner or shareholder in a private school that has committed violations that were not redressed.

Approval for a private school is guided by the Ministry of Education’s Private Education Department. Having completed commercial registration and received a letter from the Private Education Department, one must go to the Prevention Department of the Directorate General of Civil Defense and submit the required documents. Civil Defense specialists are to visit the school site with the applicant to make sure that conditions are met. After initial approval, Article 20 notes that the Ministry should have evidence that the school has been registered in the commercial register and the entity will review the bond of the plot of land on which it is built or on which the building will be built. The inspection includes a complete coastal network and the engineering plans for the school, especially for its buildings, facilities, yards, and classroom space. The specific number of students per grade should be stipulated in the application (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 86).

Licence: Approval from the Ministry of Education and a trade licence from the Ministry of Commerce are required before a private school is established. It is not permissible for the school to begin activity except after obtaining the licence (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 16). Licences are granted for three years, which can be renewed for further three-year terms (Art. 20).

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): The Directorate of Private Schools (DPS) is responsible for the regulatory and supervisory duties related to school buildings and facilities.

Financial operation

Profit-making: Private schools can be profit-making enterprises. However, the Ministry has a centralised decision-making system that ensures that the profit motive does not interfere with quality.

Taxes and subsidies: The 2017 Royal Decree No. 9 presents changes to income tax laws in 2017. Private schools are no longer exempt and will now have to pay a 15% tax rate. Small establishments may pay a 3% rate, according to the Ministry of Finance’s criteria.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: All schools must choose curricula from the list approved by the Ministry of Education (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 83). If the school wants to add new educational programmes or to change the programme, it must submit an application to the Ministry within the deadline, which may accept or reject the request. International schools can follow the National Curriculum for England, American curriculum/Advanced Placement programme, International Baccalaureate, or other internationally accredited curricula (Art. 84). The community chooses the curricula in international community schools after obtaining approval. Private schools can be monolingual or bilingual: the language of instruction may be Arabic except for in foreign language classes, or the language of instruction may be both Arabic and English. Private schools are obligated to teach Islamic studies, Arabic, and the social studies curriculum approved by the Ministry for Grades 1 to 12 until grade 12 (Art. 78). Moreover, all private schools must have the national anthem of Oman recited in a morning assembly in which students, faculty, and staff members are present (Art. 108). Finally, private schools must work to enhance the value of the Omani identity (Art. 109).

Textbooks and learning materials: Curricula and textbooks are approved by the Ministry. Private schools, when choosing educational materials and reading material, for example, for the Learning Resource Center, the school library, or other spaces for reading, cannot include reading material that incites hatred or is hostile to the community or state, and does not promote content that contradicts the religion of Islam (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 92). Moreover, reading material cannot advocate political, sectarian, ethnic, or class ideas. The 2019 Decision Issuing the Executive Regulation of the Law of the Child (Art. 7 and 9) states that audio, visual (including the screening of films and movies which must have prior approval from the Ministry of Information), and reading materials for children should be aligned with cognitive abilities and in accordance with Islamic law in addition to the values and culture of Oman. Books sold to children or made available in libraries, and reading centres should not promote sectarianism, intolerance of other religions or sects, violence or crime, or discrimination on the basis of sex, language, colour, religion or nationality.

Teaching profession: Teachers in both state and non-state institutions must possess at least a bachelor’s degree to teach specific subjects at primary and secondary schools, such as mathematics and science. In 2014, the Ministry of Education established a Specialised Centre for the Professional Training of Teachers (SCPTT). Private schools must hire teachers according to the Ministry’s criteria, which include having at least two years of prior experience of teaching and having a degree in the subject area being taught. The setting of teacher salaries is within the mandate of the private schools. Labour laws govern mandatory benefits and conditions that must be available to all teachers, including paid annual leave.

Teaching profession: Teachers in both state and non-state institutions must possess at least a bachelor’s degree to teach specific subjects at primary and secondary schools, such as mathematics and science. In 2014, the Ministry of Education established a Specialised Centre for the Professional Training of Teachers (SCPTT). Private schools must hire teachers according to the Ministry’s criteria, which include having at least two years of prior experience of teaching and having a degree in the subject area being taught. The setting of teacher salaries is within the mandate of the private schools. Labour laws govern mandatory benefits and conditions that must be available to all teachers, including paid annual leave.

The country adopted the 2003 Labor Law by His Majesty’s Decree No 35/2003, which applies to all Omani or expatriate employers and employees, public and private establishments, organizations and their subsidiaries, which practice their activities in the Sultanate of Oman.

Corporal punishment: The Organisational Statutes of the General Education Schools prohibits corporal punishment, insults, and harsh treatment in all schools. In addition, schools must ensure “the protection of the student from all forms of violence or harm, psychological or psychological abuse, or abuse of the faculty or other school officers” (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 4).

Other safety measures and COVID-19: The Ministry of Health has released “preventive guidelines to be followed by schools to curb the spread of infectious diseases” in 2020. Safe practices in schools during the COVID-19 pandemic have included health awareness measures, social distancing, use of hand sanitisers, etc.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: Private schools, once having obtained a licence, must submit a request to the Ministry of Education to approve the tuition fees. Prior to this approval, the school cannot advertise or announce its fees. The Ministry has the authority to adjust the submitted value of the fees through an increase or decrease as it sees fit. The fee-setting is thus monitored centrally (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 112).

Admission selection and processes: The admission policy must be specified in the application prior to establishment, while also being subject to approval by the Ministry. Private schools are allowed to recruit students through open competition (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 19). Some bilingual and international schools may ask applicants to attend an interview and or take an admission test. However, schools must follow age regulations as set forth by the Ministry (Art. 87).

Policies for vulnerable groups: Licenced private schools that have opened special education classrooms “are not allowed to refuse admission to a disabled student or to prevent him/her from receiving an education that is equal to his/her peers without disabilities” (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 89). Private school must also hire a “learning difficulties teacher” if the school has students in the first grade or in higher grades (Art. 73).

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board: Schools shall have a board of trustees of at least five members (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017). One board member must represent the school’s parents, and at least two members are required to have sufficient experience in the field of education. The board of trustees is responsible for reporting requirements to the Ministry in order to maintain a transparent school management process. School owners, partners or stakeholders are prevented from being a part of the management of daily school activities. However, they can be members of the board of trustees and can vote on governance procedures. In addition, every private school must create a council for the parents for students, which is to be created in accordance with certain procedures as well as conditions regarding composition and organisation that are stipulated by the Minister of Education, so long as the president of the council represents the council before the Ministry of Education (Art. 94). Finally, in addition to a principal, schools are required to have a deputy principal in cases when the head principal is not of Arab nationality or when the school has more than 200 students and/or additional grades after the fourth grade (Art. 65).

Reporting requirements: A private school is obligated to submit a comprehensive report on the progress of the school at the end of the school year. This report must include census information on the students and their academic results, a list of the names of the faculty members, all activities and educational activities which are implemented and other data and information that is requested by the Ministry (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 40). Private schools are obligated to send evaluation reports of the accrediting institution or the institution whose international education programmes are implemented by the school. The Ministry is authorised to use these evaluation reports for “statistical purposes or for other purposes consistent with its powers or supervisory functions stipulated in this regulation or in the legislation in force” (Art. 85).

School inspection: The Private Schools Rating Office is authorised to rate private schools in accordance with their quality and efficiency of services, in comparison to global education systems. It is also responsible for quality assurance and inspection. The inspection and assessment concern the following domains where the specific indicators and measurements have been developed, including leadership and governance, school environment, learning and teaching, health, safety, and security, values and citizenship, community engagement, and school financial capacity (Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017).

Student assessment: Performance standards are set by each private school, subject to the approval of the Ministry of Education. Assessment is more standardised as students enter post-basic education, starting with Grade 10. Students in private schools are subjected to standardised testing in Grade 12, where all students must participate in the national General Education Diploma examination set by the National Center for Educational Evaluations and Examinations.

Diplomas and degrees: Licenced private schools (including international community schools) are allowed to provide diplomas to students that are recognised by the state.

Sanctions: A wider range of sanctions on private schools are now considered: “the Ministry now has the discretion to impose fines on a school of up to 5,000 Omani Riyals ($US 13,000), as well as reduce tuition fees, amongst other measures. This allows the Ministry greater flexibility in imposing sanctions which it considers to be more proportionate to the violation in question, before resorting to a final sanction of revoking the offending school’s licence(Ministerial Decision No. 287, 2017, Art. 119).


 All state colleges are under the Sultan Qaboos University (SQU). The country has another state university, the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, and one college of Sharia science.


Registration and approval: The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation plays a regulatory role for all non-state higher education institutions, which is responsible for approving the application put forward by the founders of a prospective non-state institution. It specifies the procedures and conditions required to establish a non-state higher education institution. This Ministry notes that “the procedures of establishing a new non-state higher education institutions includes the introduction of feasibility study that reviews the labour market needs in the light of economic indicators and available statistics so as to evaluate the local labour market need for the proposed programmes the higher education institutions intends to offer.” No additional regulation was found on the infrastructure requirements.

Licence: The entity applying for a licence pays a fee of approximately 3,900 USD (1,500 RO) for each type of degree (i.e. bachelor, master’s, or doctorate). This fee is non-refundable even if a licence application is rejected. These fees finance the specialised programmes of the study teams and the cost of field visits. No information was found on the duration and renewal of the licence.

Financial operation

Profit-making: The state limits the profit-making of non-state universities. The 1999 Royal Decree No. 41 (Art. 1) issuing the non-state universities ordinance states that the main objective of non-state universities is not profit-making.

Taxes and subsidies: The 2000 Royal Decree 67 identifies the subsidies the Government offers to the non-state higher education sector. These include a land grant, certain customs exemptions, as well as, for non-state universities, a matching grant of 50% of capital contribution to a maximum amount of approximately 7.8 million USD (3 million OMR). Omani-owned non-state universities receive a royal grant of roughly 44 million USD (17 million OMR) for the construction of facilities and for equipment directly related to improving the quality of education.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: All non-state universities are affiliated with a university in a Western nation, including Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Non-state higher education institutions are advised by and follow the curricula of their affiliated universities. Most programmes offered by non-state institutions utilise English as the language of instruction.

Teaching profession: The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation mandates that teaching applicants have a master’s degree as a minimum requirement for each of the programmes they would teach in addition to sufficient experience in the field they want to teach. It notes that in some cases, some applicants of lower academic qualifications might be recruited to teach in some programmes; however, the requirement of expertise must never be neglected. For instance, specialised instructors could be assigned to teach English courses in the general core curriculum. All non-state institutions are required to comply with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’s guidelines and regulations to avoid penalties designated for violating the conditions of academic staff recruitment regulations. The Ministry “urges the institutions to do their best in hiring qualified staff 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 programmes for their new staff members, besides systematic organisation of professional development programmes.”

Equitable access

Fee-setting: The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation has the authority to approve fee-setting. Moreover, higher education institutions must apply for approval to raise tuition fees from the Ministry, while further justifying this increase in fees.

Admission selection and processes: The 2005 Royal Decree No. 104 established the Unified Admission Center which is under the supervisory framework of the Ministry of Education. The Center is responsible for maintaining transparency and fairness procedures. It organises students' admission and distribution processes in both state and non-state higher education institutions. The university board sets the conditions for admission in the higher education institution

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: Non-state universities are required to have a board of trustees, which is responsible for selecting others in governing positions, such as the head of the university, deputies, and the members of the university board. The board of trustees also appoints the deans and the boards of colleges as well as research and scientific centres.

Reporting requirements: The 2001 Royal Decree No. 74 notes that “the higher education institutions and other related parties shall provide the Board with data, statistics and information it requires and deems imperative for the accomplishment of its tasks.” In parallel, the Oman Accreditation Council has provided a manual to higher education institutions, the Quality Audit Manual, which presents the rules and processes for quality audit, and a range of methods that may assist with ongoing quality assurance and quality enhancement efforts.

Inspection: The 2010 Royal Decree No. 45 established the Oman Academic Accreditation Authority which is responsible for ensuring that quality standards are in line with international standards and for accrediting higher education institutions and programmes. After licensure, the Authority begins the Accreditation process for a higher education institution with a quality audit which can last at most four years. At this stage, “an institution’s own strategic and operational intentions” are assessed. At the next stage of the institutional standards assessment, an institution must undergo a standards assessment. Higher education institutions that meet all applicable standards are accredited and those which do not meet the standards are placed on probation prior to Standards Reassessment. Five years later, the higher education institutions go again undergo Standards Assessment to maintain their accreditation status.

Student assessment: Non-state higher education institutions are responsible for student assessments.

Diplomas and degrees: Registered non-state higher education institutions are allowed to confer diplomas and degrees that are recognised by the state.

Sanctions: The 2016 Institutional Standards Assessment Manual notes that “all applicable standards must be met for the higher education institutions to be accredited. The higher education institutions which have not met the requirements will be placed on probation and, if after Standards Reassessment, continue to not meet the standards, will not be accredited”. No additional information on the mandatory closure of institutions or sanctions was found.

3.2  Supplementary private tutoring

Supplementary private tuition is banned by the state according to the Circular issued on November 14, 2017. Despite the ban, private tuition has flourished, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of 2018, the highest rates for private tutoring constituted approximately 52 USD (20 OMR) per hour.


No additional information was found. 

Financial operation and quality

No additional information was found.

Teaching profession

Teachers who are suspected of participating in providing private tuition are warned of punishment. One source mentions that school management has assured that “necessary disciplinary action shall be initiated against teachers found guilty.” Further mechanisms for reporting and punishment are unclear.


This profile has been drafted by the Al Qasimi Foundation to support the PEER evidence base for the 2021/2 GEM Report on non-state actors in education. It has been reviewed by the Oman Ministry of Education.


Last modified:

Fri, 07/01/2022 - 18:25