Time was when the Omani government sent their students to other neighbouring countries for higher studies. Then the government decided to invest on education in their own country. Now there are nine licensed private colleges and many public institutions serving the students of Oman and the international students. In accordance with existing regulations, each college is linked with a foreign university or college. Most of them are associated with universities in U.K and U.S.A. All colleges award diplomas after two years and certificates after completing one year of study. Private colleges are allowed to award Bachelor’s degree, and follow the curriculum of the universities they are associated with. The Ministry of Higher Education assures all the facilities are in accordance with international standards.
Applications to universities are unified and merged in a single online system. Each institute also publishes its minimum entry requirements for each degree program there. Students just select what they are interested in and apply online.
Additionally it is possible to attend short term trainings in Oman. For example a maritime college owned by the Omani government but run by a group form Netherlands trains workers in all aspects of maritime activities. There are also numerous Arabic language and heritage courses lasting from a few weeks to several months, depending on the intensity of the course.
Student visas are granted when a local sponsor makes the request on behalf of the foreigner. This means that if the educational institute is legal, then it will sponsor its foreign students. The visa can be used within six months of date of issuing, is multiple-entry and valid for the duration of one to two years starting from the date of entry. If the course continues, the visa can be extended for same duration as the original time period.