Muscat, The Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor
for Postgraduate Studies and Research (DVC-PSR) at Sultan Qaboos
University (SQU) held its annual orientation day for staff under the
office. The event was attended by college Assistant Deans for
Postgraduate Studies and Research, Deans of Research and
Postgraduate Studies, research center Directors, and members of all
other units operating under the DVC-PSR Office.
In her opening speech, Dr. Rahma al-Mahrooqi highlighted the
latest achievements in research and postgraduate studies at the
university. These included the establishment of the Innovation &
Technology Transfer Center, and associated Innovation Factory, which
was founded to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship
across the Sultanate. The center will contribute to the country’s social
and economic development by helping Omani youth to engage in
various activities relates to innovation and entrepreneurship. This will
support the creation of spin-offs and startups that will contribute to the
diversification of the Sultanate’s economy.
Dr. Rahma highlighted how the newly-established center exists in a
national context which emphasizes innovation as a pillar for promoting
economic diversification, job creation and global competition. The
importance of establishing the center was also detailed in the Sultan
Qaboos University Strategic Plan 2016-2040, with this step thereby
representing an important achievement for the university.
In addition to the establishment of the Innovation & Technology
Transfer Center, Dr. Rahma also spoke about the founding of the
Medical Research Center as a vital step in producing and conducting
high quality medical studies in state-of-the-art labs. Dr. Rahma spoke
about how this center will enhance cooperation between medical
specialists and other key stakeholders both locally and internationally,
while also allowing researchers to conduct studies in areas of strategic
importance for the Sultanate.
Dr. Rahma next detailed the establishment of the Sustainable
Energy Research Center as another key accomplishment of the last
academic year. The center focuses on various energy-related areas
related, including renewable energy, integrated energy systems,
energy management and its economic and social aspects.
In addition to the establishment of these centers, She spoke
about progress in current plans to transform SQU into a green and
smart campus. To this end, SQU signed an agreement with mOmkin
and Omantel to establish a living lab for smart cities housed in the
university’s Communication and Information System Research Center.
Other achievements that featured in Dr. Rahma’s speech included the
naming of Professor Sobhi Nasir as a member of UNESCO’s Earth
Resources Theme Council, the signing of an agreement with the Public
Establishment for Industrial Estates to establish a Research Chair for
Industrial Estates and Free Zones, and the establishment of the
UNESCO Chair on Ophiolite Studies � Earth Sciences.
Dr. Rahma stated that the coming academic year will witness further
efforts to increase the visibility of SQU’s research output, by achieving
a wider range of indexation for the university’s six academic journals.
Dr. Rahma stated that these academic journals have all been indexed
in EBSCO and are now all indexed in the Directory of Open Access
Journals, while applications for the four journals not currently indexed
in Scopus have also been made. She spoke about efforts that have
been made to increase the quality and visibility of all SQU journals, has
also been an important concern, including the successful migration of
all journals to a new open access platform and the workshops offered
for editorial board members during 2017.
In regards to postgraduate studies, Dr. Rahma detailed efforts to
expand the number of postgraduate scholarships available at SQU. As
a result of these efforts, in August 2018, Petrofac E&C Oman agreed to
sponsor students undertaking master-level studies at the College of
Engineering, with these scholarships complementing those already
offered by organizations including PDO, Oman Oil Marketing Company
Dr. Rahma stated that the DVC-PSR Office and its associated
research centers are keen to place the strategic needs of the country
as a priority in their research interests and activities, and that efforts
continue to be made to engage in various forms of research
cooperation with a variety of concerned organizations in order to
achieve these aims.
Following Dr. Rahma’s speech, the Dean of Research, Dr. Yahya
al-Wahaibi, spoke about the most important plans of the deanship in
addition to a number of its achievements and activities, including the
creation of the Most Active Research Group prize.
The Deanship of Research also organized the First Students’
Research Conference as a means of effectively engaging students in
research, and to provide a forum for presenting the most important
student research achievements to academics and other interested
parties from the university and other academic institutions, as well as
representatives from the public and private sectors and members of the
After that, Dr. Tayseera al-Bulushi, Assistant Dean of Postgraduate
Studies, gave a presentation about the most important achievements of
the deanship, including the transfer of a range of services related to
graduate students to an electronic platform which is easily accessible
to students and the organization of various events that serve the
postgraduate studies mission and vision at SQU.
Source: Oman News Agency