The role of liberal arts in a skills economy: A case study in Oman

Kirsten Hemmy, Sandhya Rao Mehta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on the place and role of the humanities, especially the liberal arts in emerging economies which rely vastly on the development of national skills and expertise. It is based on one example of a publicly funded university in Oman where the urgency of creating a skilled workforce has led to an exercise in aligning higher education with the creation of an employable pool of skilled graduates. Given a variety of social, cultural and administrative considerations, the role of an English program has been challenged for its capacity to address changing market requirements. Based on current students, alumni, and faculty perceptions and recommendations, this study investigates the possible immediate and far-reaching goals of an English program in a tertiary educational institution and suggests ways in which liberal education could be rearticulated to align itself with rapidly changing realities for students and the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-294
Number of pages21
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • employability
  • English education
  • higher education
  • Liberal arts
  • Oman
  • program outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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