Academic development and quality in Oman: Mapping the terrain

Thuwayba Al Barwani*, Mohamed Eltahir Osman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)


Academic development and quality in higher education as a field of practice and scholarship, is increasingly becoming a prominent feature of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). As a result, HEIs are pressured to improve their academic programmes and ensure compatibility with international standards. Obviously, they respond to their intensifying accountability requirements in various ways. The Sultanate of Oman, for example, proposed a comprehensive and integrated quality management framework for all higher education institutions, and established an Accreditation Council that undertakes a comprehensive review of the requirements for academic quality assurance. Some HEIs have also opted for affiliation with external academic institutions. Being the major higher education institution in Oman, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) has adopted effective quality assurance policies, and created its own quality control mechanisms. However, as pointed out by Tayler (2009), in all fields that are grounded in practice, diversity in experiences can only enrich our practice and scholarship if it is shared and welcomed as part of the discourse among academic communities. Thus, the purpose of this chapter is to present and share two case studies that highlight the academic development and quality of teaching and learning at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman based on perspectives drawn from different disciplines and units involved in supporting and assuring academic quality. More specifically, this chapter focuses on how academics in two colleges (Engineering and Education) incorporate quality improvement in the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of their courses. The chapter also highlights the continuous quality improvement process for SQU curricula, as well as the teaching quality improvement process, and the role of other supporting units involved in academic development and quality in SQU.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership and Management of Quality in Higher Education
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781843345763
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010


  • Academic development
  • Higher education
  • Mapping the terrain
  • Oman
  • Quality assurance
  • Quality improvement
  • Sultan Qaboos University

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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