British Embassy responds

Oman has achieved stunning progress in the last 45 years since the Renaissance. I am proud that the UK has played an important role in supporting His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s vision and has contributed to Oman’s development in so many ways, including in education. Oman is now a developed country which has fruitful relationships with many other countries. There is much greater competition now in many areas, including education.

That is good for Oman, but also good for all its major partners, including the UK, who do business here because it reflects Omani success and strength. I am confident the UK can aim high as a partner for Oman in helping prepare young Omanis for a successful future.

Recent rankings such as the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings continue to position several UK universities in the top ten rankings. In addition, the 2014/15 QS World University Rankings found that employers worldwide consider UK graduates among the most ’employable’ from a global survey of 27,000 graduate employers.

Over two thirds (70 per cent) of businesses in the UK have links with universities, with over a third (37 per cent) partnering with universities for research and innovation based on the CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey 2014.

The UK certainly does not have all the answers and we share some of Oman’s challenges, including putting greater emphasis on vocational training and raising the performance of some of our schools. But we hope we have learned some lessons that are worth sharing.

We welcome thousands of Omani students to UK every year and I want to see those numbers increase. That is an important part of our very strong people-to-people relationship. But we will have to offer modern excellence and meet Omani needs and priorities. Other countries will have lots to offer too.

Together we can all build our relations with Oman through co-operation in this vital sector.

SOURCE: Muscat Daily