A 2019 graduate survey showed women’s employment rate at 8.8 per cent, men’s at 39.5 per cent
The Omanisation rate among academic staff in the Tenth Five-year Plan increased by 1.2 per cent, according to H E Dr Rahma Ibrahim al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, who was hosted by Majlis A’Shura on Sunday.
Addressing the council, the minister informed that there were 47 institutions of higher education in the sultanate in the academic year 2020-21, including 19 government and 28 private, besides 416 private vocational training institutions.
She informed the Majlis A’Shura about a survey being carried out since 2015 among graduates that shows employment rate of women in the education sector is low compared to men. “A graduate survey for 2019 showed that the women’s employment rate in the sector was 8.8 per cent and 39.5 per cent for men.”
H E Dr Rahma also informed the council that the ministry has approved a set of policies and procedures to bridge the gap between graduates of higher education institutions and the labour market requirements of different disciplines and skills.
Studies have been conducted to determine the specialisations needed in industry. “Unfortunately the information we receive from the labour market is inaccurate. The ministry has contacted Oman Investment Authority, which includes 170 companies, to determine the specialisations that will be required in the future,” she added.
“In the academic year 2019-20, the number of graduates of higher education institutions was 23,861. Higher education institutions will receive more students in 2021/2022 compared to previous years.”
In response to a question posed by a Majlis A’Shura member, she observed that there is continued preference of Omani graduates for employment opportunities in the public sector owing to the stability and benefits the sector offers.
“The scientific research and innovation sector faced a number of challenges, including reduction in budget for such projects and multiplicity of agencies engaged in scientific research and innovation.”
On the delay in issuing the Higher Education Law, she said, “The ministry has framed the law and sent it to the competent authorities for review. We have prepared a strategy in record time based on several factors, including the quality of education. We are focused on improving education and improving quality, and trying to have at least three top ranked private universities.”
The ministry has prepared a plan for digital transformation in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology and Oman Investment Authority.
“We expect that within a year from now, all systems will be electronic and all processing will be done electronically,” H E Dr Rahma said.