Your monthly dose of MU insights
Issue 01 | Thursday, 25th February 2021
to the first issue of MU Highlights!
We are thrilled to launch this newsletter which will inform and inspire you on a monthly basis with all things happening at Muscat University.
As a part of MU family, we welcome your feedback, stories or ideas and would love to hear which articles you enjoyed the most. We have a section for you at the end of the newsletter to share your thoughts and to be featured in our upcoming issues
It’s the New Year, often a time for new dreams and goals as well as renewed energy to get things done. This month’s newsletter is all about the new beginnings, motivation and goals.
The Editorial Team
Meet The MU Editorial Team
Khalid Al Zeidi
Naheed Al Quraishi
Farah Al Raisi
Nasser Al Masroori
Al Shiyama Al Abri
How do I know what I think until I see what I say?
E. M. Forster
It gives me immense pleasure to pen a few words for the MU Newsletter Editorial Team. Allow me first to congratulate the committee for creating this wonderful platform for MU Staff and Students to express their thoughts and talents, to find their voice and to develop their writing as well as thinking skills. In October 2019, when I came on board as DVC Student Journey, I had a vision of this, and I am proud to say that the dream is finally coming true.
I would like to especially thank the editorial board; Khalid Al Zeidi, Farah Al Raisi, Al Shiyama Al Abri, Naheed Al Quraishi, Eliot Wright and Nasser Al Masroori for kick-starting this initiative and moving it forward.
Finally, kudos to all you students whose contributions are featured in this newsletter. One is able to recognize the abundance of talent in your voices. From Firas’s passion for photography to Arenee’s accounting fears and achievements, for the briefest of moments, we are able to see the world through your eyes.
Always, for me, writing is an exploration and often I am surprised by where the journey takes me. I hope the same has happened for you. Don’t ever stop writing, for the secret to good writing is to write, write and keep on writing.
Dr. Suseela Balakrishnan,
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Student Journey
MU welcomes Her Excellency Dr Rahma Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
“Programmes at Muscat University are quality focused, meet the market needs and support scientific research”
Interview with HE Dr RahmaAL Mahrouqi
MU soars with new academic programmes offering.
Just in time for 2020-2021 admissions, 7 new bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes have been submitted for approval from Ministry of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation. Beginning this September, (upon receiving the official approval) Muscat University students will be able to embark upon undergraduate and master’s studies in Energy, Logistics, and International Business.
Muscat University is also working very hard to offer the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) soon with the aim of developing talented, well-rounded, professional leaders and managers who possess the technical, behavioral, and contextual ability to manage complex organizations and projects.
“The purpose of the DBA is to educate and develop future management leaders in their chosen areas of expertise. They will be able to use the skills they developed during their studies to tackle business challenges in their own organizations.”
while these programmes are being developed at Muscat University with inputs from research and best practice within the respective fields, leading employers, and international partners from all over the world with the aim of addressing Oman Vision 2040.
Muscat University Welcomes the New Batch of Students
Last October, Muscat University welcomed the new batch of Master, Bachelor and Foundation students for the academic year 2020-2021. The university organized an online induction day for students according to each academic programme. The induction was interactive, as students explored the university services and facilities. They were introduced to the latest equipment, the teaching methods available, e-services provided by the academic partner, and in addition to the details of the educational curricula to be offered during the academic year.
Nasser Al Massrori
Marketing and Communication Department
Poll: Study from home vs from campus
Following the COVID-19 outbreak, business and schools have had to change the way they operate. However, the learning hasn’t stopped! Nearly, all undergraduate and postgraduate students across the country are enrolled in virtual and online classes. Students are still being assigned coursework from home to date.
Now, we want to hear from you. Do you prefer attending classes from home or being present on campus?
- campus 100%, 1 vote1 vote 100%1 vote - 100% of all votes
- home 0%, 0 votes0 votes0 votes - 0% of all votes
Arenee: Success Story
Before starting my degree at Muscat University, I went through the same dilemma every high school graduate does: What happens next?
When I decided upon studying Accounting at Muscat University, I naturally had my fears, given I was unfamiliar to the subject. However, with supportive teachers and caring friends, I was able to navigate through the course quite easily. I found understanding principles to be key, and my lack of prior knowledge encouraged me to do the extra reading before class. By the end of my first year, I earned the honour of achieving the highest grade in the university, and with that, I am grateful for the time spent surrounded by good people.
By Arenee Shahood
Third year student at Muscat University
Beyond The Classroom
Muscat University has increased its student activities, especially this year, for the sake of a better student experience, increasing students’ engagement with the activities with a lot more goals. Initially, the main goal was to increase the interactions of students with each other and discover their abilities, hobbies and talents. Now, in addition, student activities play a major role in helping students to enjoy and reduce their stress regarding exams and other coursework required by them. These activities make it easier for students to share their talents as these activities provide great opportunities for the students.
Naseem Al Lawati
Second year student at Muscat University
MU’s Commitment to Scientific Research
Muscat University’s commitment to the conduct of scientific research has been recognised recently with various new achievement at national levels. Despite challenges faced within the country, MU researchers have submitted several research project proposals and obtained financial support from government agencies and major service institutions operating in the Sultanate. This shows the growing reputation of Muscat University among the scientific and research community in the fields of research and development.
Below are some of the notable research projects MU is currently engaged in
- The impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic on supply chains in Oman: a resilience-healthiness diagnostic decision-making tool in the Industry 4.0.
- Severity Disease Prediction in COVID-19 Patients using Machine Learning
- The state-of-the-art analysis of COVID19 early-diagnosis, vaccination, and treatment.
In addition, our Engineering Faculty added another milestone to their achievements with their research for EJAAD and Oman LNG on AGRU CO2-rich gas as a feedstock for the final petrochemical project.
“We are pleased with the magnitude of the outstanding achievement sought by fellow researchers at Muscat University and their pioneering participation, which has been accepted and welcomed by the sponsoring research institutions in Oman,” commented Prof. Yusra Mouzughi, Vice-Chancellor of Muscat University, adding, “Many thanks to colleagues in the academic departments who have worked hard not only for the transition to online teaching but also on raised our research frontier and higher levels despite working remotely because of the pandemic closure”.
Spotlight: Ibtihal Al Zadjali
Ibtihal Al Zadjali is an MU Alumni, currently a media broadcaster in Al Wisal FM. Featured in Forbes ME Oman Top influencers list and the founder of ibtihalmedia. We caught up with her recently with some interesting discussion about life and career.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
I’ve always had a passion for media and knew I wanted to pursue a career in this field.
What are your hobbies/interests? Things you like to do in your free time?
I rarely have the luxury of free time but when I do I spend it exploring the world and my beloved Oman with my family.
While studying at MU, what was your favorite thing about it?
The courses offered at MU were exactly what I needed to pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. The management and faculty were a great support in addition to the modern building with all the latest technologies available at campus to support students and ease their learning experience.
What was your university experience like in general?
Studying at MU was one of the best decisions in my life. My experience was amazing, I gained the education I needed to grow my business from leading professors in such a short period of time while maintaining a balance between my work, my family, and my studies.
Who has influenced you the most in life and why?
My family. They have always been a great support and pushed me to reach my goals.
What inspires you to keep doing what you do?
Most of my inspiration comes from within. There are a lot of roles I play in my life and I aspire to excel in everything so I’m always inspired to do what I do to the best of my ability.
What advice would you give to someone who’s considering joining MU to complete their further education?
I would advise them to make the most of their experience at MU.
Don’t wait for opportunities, create them
Often, it is not a matter of creating opportunities, but rather becoming aware of them. They are there all the time, in front of us, but we do not recognise them. Seeing them and recognising them requires a change of your mindset. Therefore, keep your eyes, mind and heart open to the opportunities that cross our paths on a daily basis.
Simply by putting yourself out there, making mistakes, but going for it, it’s the actions and effort that bring opportunities forward. Sometimes, we might not be ready for an opportunity but we must plant the seeds before the crops can grow. Continue to go for it, believe it and work towards it, keep an open mind and magical things will happen!
Remember, obstacles are opportunities, they present the growth that you may need to experience, the contrast to help weave through what’s right. The right opportunity will present itself because you will create it.
Naheed Al Quraishi
Digital Content & Design Specialist
Caught you being good
While you might think that only grand gestures make an impact, we truly believe every act, no matter the size could mean something more significant than you would’ve ever expected. In this column, we invite all our readers to share with us any random kind gesture, a good habit or an uplifting act you came across Every issue will feature the story which touched our hearts the most.
Last date to send your story: 28th Feb
Photography & Designing: Two Sides of The Same Coin
How did you start as a designer and photographer?
From a young age, my parents bought me a toy camera that helped me capture things around me and find the beauty of photography and the visuals industry and I can say that they are the ones who’ve nurtured these talents in me.
How do you define designing & photography from your perspective?
As a definition, I can say that visuals are the mirror reflection of emotion that a human feels and tries to express it by taking a shot or designing an image or filming a scene or by any other visual representation method and mixing several methods is the best way in my opinion.
What types of difficulties did you face and still you are facing?
Getting the best idea to illustrate the subject was and it is still the hardest thing. In other words, you know what you want to do but you don’t know how to do it. Usually looking at other creative people’s works and browsing through several social media platforms helps to reduce that difficulty of this point and sometimes it helps me to get the inspiration for a new idea.
How do you balance between your passion for designing, photography and your studies at MU?
Taking this from a hobby to a business created more pressure and managing my time was the best way to balance both of them. unless I am free, I usually plan and schedule the times I can go for a shoot or use my laptop to design something new.
Did MU help you in developing this talent? If yes, please explain how?
Yes, it had some impact on me especially with videography because of the multiple competitions I participated helped me create and practice videography, but I believe that it could have more influence by activating the clubs and supporting student’s works.
What are your future plans to improve or expand your talent?
I am working nowadays with multiple businesses to provide visual content for their businesses and I am trying to enhance my social media engagements and share my work with more people. I am looking forward to the future to have my own professional studio and maybe establish a marketing firm and try to adopt and support creative minds in Oman.
Dialogue with Firas Al Hamadi, Logistics Student, 3rd Year.
The Head of the Student Advisory Council.
Learning and ability; nature or nurture?
The great ‘nature’ versus ‘nurture’ debate, has been ongoing for centuries. The notion that individuals’ abilities are influenced predominantly by either nature (genes) or nurture (upbringing) has still yet to be concluded. Personally, I subscribe to the concept of ‘nurture’ via ‘nature’ based on my own research in the field of genetics that implies that one’s genes ultimately drive one’s experience. In a nutshell, this means that individuals determine and shape the environments to which they are exposed, based on what they perceive are best suited to them. In ecology, this is known as a niche, the environment best suited to an organism’s adaptive requirements. This also means that a genetic predisposition is at the most a potential, only to be triggered should the environment be conducive enough to allow it. It must then be a case that “nature can only act via nurture” by ‘nudging people to seek out the environmental influences that will fulfil their appetites’, and hence it acts as a ‘multiplier of small genetic differences, pushing sporty children towards the sports that reward them and, pushing bright children towards the books that reward them’ (Ridley, 2003).
The concept of “nature via nurture” in an educational context would mean that students, given the choice, would create different learning opportunities for themselves. Hence the mission of schooling and education must be two-fold; first to create a learning environment that pushes students towards experiences that are in line with their genetic dispositions and second, to make use of this biological ability to aid their learning. The way to do this is to create learning opportunities and spaces that cater to a diverse range of learning styles and preferences for this is what 21st century education is all about- choice and autonomy for students to be able to drive their own learning.
Dr. Suseela Balakrishnan,
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Student Journey
In this Issue:
- MU Newsletter Editorial Team
- Foreword: Dr Suseela Balakrishnan
- MU welcomes HE Dr Rahma Al Mahrouqi
- New Students Intake 20/21
- MU soars with new academic programmes offering
- Arenee: Success Story
- Beyond Classrooms
- MU’s Commitment to Scientific Research
- Caught you Being Good
- Photography & Designing: Two Sides of The Same Coin
- Don’t Wait for Opportunities, Create Them
- Learning and ability; nature or nurture?