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Transnational Higher Education in Selected Private Colleges in Oman: Academic Staff Perceptions and Experiences

Al Abry , Salim (2018) Transnational Higher Education in Selected Private Colleges in Oman: Academic Staff Perceptions and Experiences. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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The primary aim of this study was to develop an in-depth understanding of Transnational Higher Education (TNE) in Oman by investigating the implementation of TNE programmes hosted by two Omani private colleges. TNE in private Higher Education (HE) is the outcome of government policy requiring all private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to establish collaborative partnerships with credible international universities; the latter being responsible for awarding the degrees. With the private HE sector in Oman currently accommodating about 50 percent of the new students entering the national HE system, it was important to examine issues around the nature of institutional partnerships; curriculum development; academic impact (teaching and learning, and quality of education) as well as problems or challenges faced in the delivery of TNE programmes by private local HE colleges. By recognising the dearth of research in this area, this qualitative study focused on the perceptions and experiences of academic staff regarding TNE in Oman. It also examined the policy drivers for TNE in Oman and its implications at the national and institutional levels, in order to understand the political and economic context in which these institutions were operating in. Data were generated primarily through the use of semi-structured interviews carried out with 27 academic staff from two selected private colleges. The data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis which enabled the identification of various key themes from the data. The study confirmed that the provision of TNE by private colleges is driven by government policy which seeks to accelerate the building of national capacity through the provision of good quality HE. The academic staff were generally satisfied with the provision of TNE programmes, however, the study highlighted that the implementation of TNE programmes was affected by a number of factors including,financial constraints; socio-cultural challenges; and ineffective communication among key stakeholders. The thesis further investigated participants‟ views regarding the ways in which the implementation of the existing TNE programmes could be improved. Participants identified that enhancing the role of the local colleges in the development of a quality culture and rethinking of the role of the foreign partner Universities and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in the development of TNE programmes were key areas for policy and academic action.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: MR salim al abry
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 14:52
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2018 14:52
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21006

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