PETALING JAYA: The government of Oman has blacklisted four Malaysian universities in a move to prevent its nationals from enrolling in them.
The Times of Oman reported yesterday that its higher education ministry had decided to impose a ban on the universities after they were deemed to have committed “alleged abuses” and failed to address “challenges” facing students from the middle-eastern sultanate.
The institutions were identified as Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), SEGi University, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, and Binary University of Management & Entrepreneurship.
“Omani students are not allowed to attend the educational institutions mentioned above after the issuance of this decision,” the ministry’s Committee for the Recognition of Non-Omani Higher Education Institutions and the Equivalence of Educational Qualifications was quoted as saying.
The report said there were 378 Omani students already enrolled in the four institutions.
Oman’s cultural attaché in Malaysia, Yahya Salam Al Mandhari, was quoted as saying that the accreditations were revoked over various “violations.”
“Most of these reasons are academic and administrative, including the existence of complaints against these universities by some of the Omani students studying there,” he said.
“These universities are not complying with some of the laws of the country of scholarship such as registering students, allowing them to study on tourist visas, and most of these universities are unresponsive and not cooperating with the cultural mission in solving the challenges facing Omani students,” he claimed.
Al Mandhari was also cited by the Oman Daily Observer yesterday as alleging that the universities issued graduation certificates with contradicting dates while not being responsive on solving the students’ problems.
He added that if the universities wanted the accreditations restored, they should follow procedures with each needing to submit an application on the ministry’s website for evaluation.
On August 14, the Observer had reported the number of Omani students in Malaysia as standing at 795 individuals, with 60% being undergraduates and 40% pursuing postgraduate studies, based on statistics provided by Malaysia’s higher education ministry.
Al Mandhari was then quoted as saying that visa delay was probably the most serious setback facing the students.
“Since 2012 the cultural attaché’s office has been exerting enormous efforts to address the visa delay issue,” he was quoted as saying.
“It held a number of meetings between 2012 and May 2017 with the Malaysian embassy in Muscat, the ministry of higher education of Malaysia, the inspector-general of Royal Malaysian Police, the Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) and Malaysian universities,” he had said.
He said several of the meetings were dedicated to visa procedures. The latest discussion held by EMGS on May 25 this year was attended by officials from the Malaysian ministry and immigration department, as well as representatives of 17 embassies in Kuala Lumpur, he added.
Al Mandhari said the meeting had discussed problems faced by international students in Malaysia, and claimed that EMGS had promised to address all the issues.