In 1996 the government launched a program to promote the development of private higher education institutions in the sultanate, providing subsidies in the form of low-interest loans, land and tax breaks. By 2014 there were 27 private colleges of higher education and seven private universities in the country. Meanwhile, The Research Council was established in 2005 as part of the sultanate’s aim to move towards a knowledge-based economy with the target for research and development spending set at 2% of GDP by 2020.

Education and training were
awarded US$3.38bn,

10% of projected spending in Oman’s budget for 2013 in a bid to
provide its younger generations with the skills and qualifications
needed to work in today’s knowledge-driven global economy.