Ensuring quality of offshore programmes: views and expectations of key stakeholders in Oman

MING CHENG*, Jokha Al Shukaili

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Developing offshore programmes provided by private higher education institutions through affiliation agreements with international university partners is a key strategy to assure the quality of programmes in the Sultanate of Oman. However, there is limited research on these programmes from the perspectives of Ministry of Higher Education officials, managers, academics and students of private higher education institutions. This study uses gap analysis to explore these key stakeholders’ expectations and perceptions of the quality of offshore programmes in Oman. It reveals that dependence on International University Partners to monitor their offshore programmes compromises quality because local academics have limited involvement in developing programmes and students get limited feedback on their coursework. Students’ lack of English proficiency also makes them struggle with offshore programme requirements. Key stakeholders argue for embedding Omani cultural values in the offshore programmes without compromising their academic qualification credentials and enhancing students’ learning experience to become global citizens.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQuality in Higher Education
Early online date9 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Offshore programmes
  • academic affiliation
  • international university partner
  • Internationalisations
  • private hire
  • education institution quality assurance

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