Royal Decree No. 104/2005 establishes the Higher Education Admission Center
After pursuance of the Basic Law of the State, issued by the Royal Decree 101/96, and the Royal Decree 65/98, to establish the Higher Education Council and approving the organization structure,
And as per public interest,
We have decreed the following:
A center named the Higher Education Admission Center will be established at the MoHE in the level of a directorate-general and will be affiliated to the Higher Education Ministry. The Center will solely be assigned to regulate admission of general certificate students at higher education institutions according to their wishes and exam marks obtained and the admission terms specified by the aforementioned institutions.
Some of the employees of admission departments at government higher education institutions shall be transferred to the center with their grades and financial allocations. These employees shall be selected in coordination with the higher Education Ministry and these institutions.
The higher education minister issues the required regulations and decisions to regulate work at the center. Applications shall be received by the center starting in the academic year 2006-2007.
All that contravenes this decree or contradicts its provisions shall be cancelled.
The decree becomes effective from its date of issue. Issued on the 21st of December year 2005 in the Official Gazette.
The electronic registration of the Admission System started its first allocation of students to higher education in the academic year 2006/2007. It has been allocating students to higher education seats announced for each academic year according to some basic factors such as: student personal information, grades, student program choices, and program requirements, number of seats for each program, and student seat acceptance and completion of registration procedures. In order to regulate admission and registration procedures, the regulation of the Admission System had been issued under a Ministerial decree in 2011.
The admission system enables Omani students sitting for General Education Diploma (high school certificate) from any country in the world to submit their online electronic applications, regardless of the type of certificate or qualification. Electronic registration can be done through 3 means: the Internet (HEAC website which started in 2006), (SMS service starting from 2007), and (mobile application from 2013).
The admission electronic system allocates seats to the best candidates in each program, based on the basic factors mentioned above and on their “competitive scores”. Competitive score is calculated as follows:
Competitive score = (the average grade of the subjects required for the program) x 60% + (average grade of the exam subjects taken by the student) x 40%
Allocating students according to their competitive scores has shown that their performance has been enhanced and the higher education institutions have been enrolling the top applicants who have obtained higher grades in the required subjects of academic programs.
HEAC is always keen to fulfil transparency in implementing all admission and registration procedures through announcing all academic programs, number of vacant seats, and publishing the required information in the Student Guidebook and HEAC website. It also announces the new programs in the local newspapers and HEAC website. After the announcement of the first allocation and the subsequent allocations, students will be able to produce an online detailed report about their status in the system containing their personal information, final examinations grades, program choices, order in the waiting list for each program, competitive scores, cut off marks, registration status in the system, and completion of the registration procedures in the HEI. Transparency in providing electronic services is a sign of fairness and equality in dealing with students’ applications, and consequently, of the success of electronic admission and registration procedures.
In order to ensure accuracy and equality, HEAC is concerned to create a committee for appeals, and assign members including non- MoHE staffs. This committee is in charge of considering the appeals online applications, submitted by students who claim that their applications are not treated fairly by the admission system. The committee, in addition, makes sure that all appealing students receive equal attention in considering their applications as per regulations without prejudice.
To insure equality and provide the best services possible, HEAC always study, assess and develop the followed procedures in the admission electronic system. The assessment is based on users’ views, remarks, and suggestions about the system. Users include students in the first place, followed by the HEIs and other concerned authorities. Also, HEAC is interested in all information published or announced about the admission system in the media. Moreover, HEAC created accounts in the social media to help raising awareness and exchange information among the admission system users.
Every year, HEAC conducts an online questionnaire for students and admission specialists in the HEIs, and career guidance specialists at the Ministry of Education. The questionnaire becomes available in HEAC website after the end of all allocations every year. After receiving users’ answers, HEAC analyzes the data collected, and publishes the final results for public. The center takes into consideration the most important remarks and suggestions that may help developing the admission system. It also prepares some studies and reports that discuss different issues related to admission and registration and are reported to officials at the MoHE and the Higher Education Council to look into suggestions and recommendations.
In 2009, the Higher Education Statistical System was established. It is an electronic system that collects and publishes the data of the education sector in Oman, along with data of those Omani students studying abroad. It includes important online services such as conducting statistical online reports service and requesting statistical data via SMS service.
HEAC had also created other electronic systems such as: Graduate Survey System, Postgraduate Studies System, and Admission System for Previous School Leavers, etc.
The Higher Education Admission Center tasks are specified as follows:
1. Coordinating with Higher Education Institutions in respect of conditions and admission requirements of each and every institution according to programs and capacities.
2. Participating in policy-making related to admission in coordination with Higher Education Institutions.
3. Establishing a database for all applicants to Higher Education Institutions and providing the public planning organizations with statistical data in coordination with HEIs.
4. Media awareness of all academic programs and admission procedures in HEIs.
5. Receiving, reviewing, and registering all applications to HEIs in accordance to the advertised programs and their requirements. Then distributing the accepted students to the HEIs and notify the students, as well as the Institutions with the lists of the accepted ones.
6. Organizing students’ admission and enrollment in the HEIs.
7. Do researches and studies related to admission policies in order to develop the acceptance procedures of HEAC.
8. Providing students with student Guidebook, and establish the Inquiry service.
9. Track withdrawn, discontinued, and accepted students in HEIs after admission procedures.
Organization Chart of HEAC
Director General of HEAC
Coordination and Follow up Section
Academic Coordination Section
Admission and Student Affairs Section
Academic Programs and Certificate authentication Section
Electronic Administration Department
Operation and Maintenance Section
Database Management Section
Statistical System Section
Information and Data Publishing Section
Statistical Studies and Reports Section
Higher Education Admission System Regulation
The Ministry of Higher Education had issued on 29/1/2011 a Ministerial Decree No. 8 / 2011; consisting of 39 articles which regulated the admission and acceptance of Higher Education Admission procedures.
The set of Regulations was published in the official Gazette No. 928 on February 1, 2011. For full details click on the following link:
Stages and Dates of Implement the Most Electronic Systems and Services of HEAC during the Last 10 years (2006 until now):
2006 Admission Electronic System
2007 SMS service – Data Exchange Portal
2009 Statistical System
2010 Graduate Survey System – Updating HEAC Website
2011 Postgraduate Studies System – Electronic Data Integration with Scholarship System
2012 The Digital Map of HE – Internal Financial Aid System – External Financial Aid System – Admission Statistical Report System
2013 Mobile Application – Zanzibar Scholarships –Internal Grants and Scholarships for Previous Years Students – Electronic Data Integration with the Colleges of Applied Sciences
2015 Appeal Electronic System – Retrieve Seat System – PDO Grants for Concession Area Students – Electronic Data Integration System with SQU (Milad)