Among the new majors for this year are logistics, railway engineering, and geographic information system, as well as topics related to environmental conservation and natural disaster, said Hamad al Balushi, director, Directorate General of Scholarships at MoHE.
Out of the 1,643 full scholarships, 143 are level A and the rest level B. Level B scholarships are limited to universities approved by the ministry.
Balushi said that the ministry is continuously trying to diversify study destinations, and the countries students will be sent to for the upcoming academic year include Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Malta, Ireland, Holland, India, Malaysia, Jordan, the US and the UK.
Hamad said that students will not be allowed to change to another major once they are abroad, as the eligibility for shifting from one major to another differs with universities.
The ministry has set 52 A Level seats for medicine – eight in New Zealand, 12 in Ireland, seven in UK, ten in Malta, five in Australia, and ten in Bahrain. Ahmed al Azri, director of external scholarships, MoHE, said that students admitted on scholarships in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Poland and the Netherlands will undergo IELTS examination.
A score of 5.5 is required for visa to countries like the UK and the Netherlands, he said.
Hence, the score is important to determine the study location of students. Most institutes of higher education require an IELTS score of six.
Those scoring less than six have to first enroll in a language programme in the country of study before starting their academic programme. IELTS measures skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking. He also advised students to attempt the free trial exams online to get an understanding of the nature of IELTS exams. IELTS exams are conducted at the expense of the ministry and will be held in August.