More Omanis seek studies abroad

MUSCAT, MARCH 5 – The number of Omani students opting to study overseas will rise amid a variety of tailor-made courses and higher government support, according to experts. “There has been a steady growth of Omani students travelling abroad for higher studies in the recent past and they have been growing by 10 per cent annually”, said Mohammed Ahmed al Balushi, representative of a foreign university. “The favourite courses being medicine, engineering and town planning. There is a growing number of students opting media and communications.”
Speaking to the Observer on the sidelines of an education expo, experts said the reasons for rising demand for foreign degrees are various. Besides the government support, they are attracted by the opportunity to experience new culture, learning foreign languages, better job opportunities and personality development. “Opportunities to travel is also a key reason,” according to Samuel Bercknen, representing African education forum. Student travellers represent one-fifth of all international arrivals in the travel industry, today. This market is worth about $320 billion. This age group is willing to spend, to create experiences that go far beyond the backpack-and-party model that once characterised educational journeys abroad.
According to EduVoyage, students across Oman and the region enjoy an average of 2 school trips per annum. These students engage themselves in nature trips and cultural programmes. Educational travel provides a unique way to pursue specialised interests while also gaining a unique perspective of the world. In GCC, there has been a growing interest in Space Camp certification and aviation-related programmes while a good number of students involve in volunteering programmes too which include teaching , healthcare and construction. “Millennial student travellers are setting trends and driving a market rife with returns for travel industry verticals”, said Rafeeq Mohammed, CEO, EduVoyage and ITL World.