Prior approval must for higher studies abroad

MUSCAT, Feb 12 – With the admission season around the corner, students seeking higher studies abroad have been told to get prior approval from the Ministry of Higher Education. “Students must get a written approval from the department concerned before joining any non-Omani educational institution of higher education,” said an official at the ministry. According to him, the study mode in the institution to which a student is planning to join must be in the list recommended by the ministry. Also, academic qualifications and programmes must meet the acceptance and graduation requirements. They should have proper approvals in the respective countries.

He said the qualification recognition department at the ministry is the responsible authority for recommending non-Omani educational institutions in different countries. Students planning to continue their undergraduate and postgraduate studies must ensure the study mode is full time. For e-learning, he said the service is only for Masters and PhD programmes and does not apply to undergraduate and diploma programmes. Students are not allowed to study online or e-learning for any programme that requires practical skills and full attendance at the educational institution system. These courses are medical, clinical and health assistance programme, engineering or specialised programmes like fellowships.

If a degree has to be equated by the Department of Qualifications Equivalency and Recognition, students would normally have earned the diploma, Bachelors or post-graduate degrees in a full-time mode and at the main campus of a university abroad. In a recent announcement, the ministry said all degrees obtained from the other countries should be submitted to the Department of Qualification Equivalency and Recognition so that the authorities can verify credentials of the certificates. Many foreign institutions that provide diploma or degree certificates neither have international accreditation nor do they have licences or recognitions even in their countries.