By Universities UK International
Muscat University was established in 2016 with a vision to produce a pipeline of future leaders for Oman and the region, combining academic rigour with the world of work, and with a strong commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.
The university is a corporate social responsibility initiative led by 37 leading omani individuals, families and businesses, with a clear focus on quality of provision, and with a goal to contribute to closing the gap between industry and higher education in the gulf region.
Partnering with two UK universities that are highly ranked for graduate outcomes and with strong links to industry supports this aim, and ensures that quality is embedded from the outset.
As of September 2017, Muscat University will o er nine joint programmes across three faculties:
Cranfield University is partnering with Muscat University to provide six postgraduate programmes and Aston University is partnering to deliver three undergraduate programmes. Students on these joint award programmes will be considered students of both universities (Muscat and Aston, or Muscat and Cranfield), will fall under the UK and Omani quality management mechanisms, and will receive two certificates upon graduation.
One of the missions of Muscat University is to develop local capacity and, as such, programme delivery will predominantly use the ying faculty model and locally-based supervisory support in the rst instance, with the reliance on ying faculty reducing from 90% in the early years to 60% as the university develops. The three parties will work together to support faculty professional development on an ongoing basis.
At the macro-level, one of the biggest challenges in establishing the partnerships has been aligning different governance structures to allow for the delivery of the same programmer, with the same award, in two different institutions and locations. The use of high-level steering committees, which meet on a regular basis, has ensured that the three institutions’ vision remains closely aligned.
At the operational level, challenges have included initial contractual agreements including governing laws; understanding cultural norms and expectations; aligning IT systems and delivery schedules; and accommodating varying and actuating public holidays. The partners identify the use of project champions across the three universities, and a commitment to frequent and frank communication at all levels, as important factors underpinning successes to date, and as critical to future success
There has been huge interest from local and international student in Muscat University. In a recent recruitment campaign, 1,280 applications were received for three posts advertised. A high volume of student applications have been received for the September 2017 est intake, while local industry has enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to work with internationally-recognized UK universities on their home turf. Research opportunities have surfaced both for industry projects as well as for research collaborations across the three institutions. It will be imperative to ensure that these are nurtured to address the UK impact agenda, as well as the Omani social and economic research priorities set by the government.
In a recent recruitment campaign, 1,280 applications were received for three posts advertised. A high volume of student applications were received for the September 2017 est intake, while local industry has enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to work with internationally-recognized UK universities on their home turf.
Muscat University provides a platform for Cranfeld University and Aston University to work with Muscat’s senior management and founders to contribute to the creation of a major new university from the ground up, with a focus on implementing best practice from the outset. The country and region-wide impact of Muscat University will be revisited on a regular basis over time.
Muscat University staff and students participated in the Muscat Marathon last weekend. Two relay teams of 6 each successfully completed the challenging course as well as other members of staff who completed the 10k run. The success of the participants reinforces the ethos of hard work and high achievement that is represented so well throughout the University and encourages the principle of healthy living that has so many benefits for study, work and life in general.
HIS HIGHNESS SAYYED ASAAD BIN TARIQ AL SAID OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES MUSCAT UNIVERSITY 14th November 2017
Under the patronage of His Highness Sayyed Asaad bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations, Affairs and Cooperation, and His Majesty’s Special Representative, Muscat University yesterday celebrated its opening and launch of operations in conjunction with the Sultanate’s celebrations of the 47th National Day. The official launch of this new centre of learning is another milestone in the development of the higher education landscape as envisioned by His Majesty Sultan bin Qaboos. The opening was attended by many dignitaries including members of Government, notable business leaders and the Founders of the University as well as the British Ambassador, His Excellency, Mr Hamish Cowell.
The ceremony included an opening speech from Mr Khalil Al Khonji, Chairman of the Board of Directors who outlined the vision of the Founders in line with needs of the sultanate. This was followed by Professor Yusra Mouzughi, Interim Vice-Chancellor of the University who talked about the establishment of the university and the objectives to providing high quality education in Oman in cooperation with Aston University and Cranfield University. This was followed by a speech from the Vice-Chancellors of Cranfield University and Aston University, in which they praised the vision and ambition of Muscat University and the strength of partnership and cooperation between the three universities.
Muscat University currently offers high quality academic programmes in its Faculty of Business and Management, Faculty of Engineering and Technology and Faculty of Logistics and Transport.
The event continued with a film entitled “Muscat University from Vision to Reality” recounting the story of the establishment of the University and outlined the process of seeking partnership with leading international universities to provide high quality graduates to the region. This was followed by a short film which detailed the story of the Muscat University logo, which is inspired by the old gate of Muscat and traditional Omani ship building techniques. The ancient Muscat Gate was the focal point for international and local commerce whilst shipbuilding represents traditional skills and craftmanship and the country’s history of seamanship and trade. The logo represents the University’s vision of respect for traditional values whilst preparing students for the challenges of working in a modern, open and dynamic environment.
Muscat University has been delighted to welcome its first cohort of students onto its Foundation, Bachelors and Masters programmes which commenced in September 2017. These students will have a unique experience in receiving lectures directly from visiting faculty from both Cranfield and Aston Universities.