Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Proceedings of  2nd  MEC TESOL Conference   2020                   Pp.284-297

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Globalization and its Impact on Higher Education: The Case of Colleges
of Technology in Oman

Saud Albusaidi
English Language Center,
The University of Technology and Applied Sciences,
Nizwa, Sultanate of Oman




The main aim of this paper is to explore the impact of globalization processes on higher education institutions, with a particular focus on Colleges of Technology (CsoT) in Oman. To achieve this aim, this paper first defines and illustrates the concept of globalization and then draws upon the World Systems Theory and Dependency Theory to contextualize Oman in terms of its global position. Through the lens of these theories, the paper explores the consequences of implementing English as a medium of instruction (EMI) policy at CsoT. The findings reveal that English language is still considered a foreign language, yet EMI is implemented at higher education. Moreover, despite the challenges faced by students, some exhibited a positive attitude towards the implementation of the EMI policy. For instance, many students perceived learning and using English as a means of endowing them with high international status, referencing its utility in relation to global communication, development, and employment. Such an impact is arguably linked to semi-colonialization. A link is then made to the concept of memorization, which is historically associated with the Islamic culture of Oman. The paper explains how the memorization strategy could be misunderstood. The paper contends that memorization is the first step in learning and understanding, not a substitute. A link is also made to the EMI policy, in which the low levels of achievement among students at these colleges have driven them to memorize and does not reflect a lack of critical thinking skills.
Keywords: Colonialization, dependency theory, English as a medium of instruction, globalization, memorization, periphery, world-systems theory, Omani colleges of technology

Cite as: Albusaidi, S. (2020). Globalization and its Impact on Higher Education: The Case of Colleges of Technology in Oman.  Arab World English Journal(AWEJ). Proceedings of 2nd MEC TESOLConference 2020. 284-297.


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Saud Saif Albusaidi is a lecturer at The University of Technology and Applied Sciences
(previously: Colleges of Technology) in Oman. He is currently doing his Doctorate in Education
(EdD) at the University of Bristol, UK. He is interested in globalization, the internationalization
of higher education, internationalization at home, and the internationalization of the curriculum.