Muscat, Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) today
celebrated the 18th SQU Day with several activities to commemorate
the royal visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to the University
on 2 May 2000. The ceremony was held under the patronage of Nasr
bin Hamoud al-Kindi, Secretary General of the Royal Court Affairs.
The ceremony included screening a film on research at the
university, besides honouring the outstanding faculty members,
researchers and administrative and technical staff from various
colleges, units and centers of the university. In addition, the university’s
colleges and centers organised several workshops, exhibitions and
lectures celebrating the 18th SQU Day.
Dr. Ali bin Saud al-Bimani, Vice Chancellor of SQU outlined the
achievements of the staff and students at the university in various fields
during the year 2017-2018.
The university launched three new research centers: the
Medical Research Centre, Sustainable Energy Research Centre and
the Nanotechnology Research Center. The Sustainable Energy
Research Center launched the first Electric Station.
The University Hospital was upgraded to the platinum level,
according to the Accreditation Canada International of Health Care
Institutions, for meeting international standards of excellence in quality
care and services.
The SQU Vice Chancellor announced the launch of the SQU
Award for the Best Student Society in order to identify the role of
students’ societies and their activities and promote their work inside
and outside the university.
Research and Postgraduate Education
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Rahma Ibrahim al-Mahrooqi, Deputy
Vice Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research at SQU, gave
an overview of the advancements in research and postgraduate
education at the University during the year 2017-2018. His Majesty’s
Trust Funds worth RO 450,000 are allocated to the University annually.
In 2017, seven projects were supported by His Majesty’s Trust Fund
worth RO 434,000. The Deputy Vice Chancellor said that since 2001, a
total of 89 projects have been funded by HM Trust Fund worth RO
8,250,000. In addition, annual internal grants worth RO 500,000 also
support research at the university. In 2017 only, 89 Internal Grants
projects for RO 507, 903 were approved. In 2018, a total of 116 internal
grants projects worth RO 475,498 were approved. The Deanship of
Research Fund supported 10 projects worth around RO 30,000.
The College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences at SQU received
external grant from the Research Council for RO 221,600 for a project.
The College of Medicine and Health Sciences received RO 167,168
worth external grants for nine projects from various organisations.
Collaborative research fund comes from SQU’s partnership with UAEU,
GCC Research Program and South African Universities. In 2017, four
projects worth RO 63,386 were funded by SQU-UAEU partnership. In
2018, four more projects were supported by RO 53,500 under the
same scheme. GCC joint research program supported three projects
by RO 71,527; partnership with South African universities resulted in
funding of eight project with a total sum of RO 110,600.
The new funding programs commenced in 2017-2018 include
the British Petroleum funding program worth RO 100,000 for three
projects and the Omantel funding program worth RO 6000 for three
projects. In 2017, a total of 30 Consultancy Projects worth RO 647,724
was carried out at SQU.
In the academic year 2017-2018, different colleges and centres
at SQU organised 26 conferences. 498 academics and researchers
from SQU attended various international conferences in the year 2017.
The University signed 70 formal agreements and research programs
with various national and international organisations.
Commenting on the growth in research publications, Dr. Rahma
al-Mahrooqi said that 903 papers from SQU appeared in the abstract
and citation database Scopus in 2017 only. The number of Scopus
citations in 2017 stands at 973. In the same year, 705 papers by SQU
researchers appeared in the Web of Science. The number of citations
in the Web of Science during the same period is 859. SQU papers
appeared in several reputed journals including Nature Communication
and Nature Ecology and Evolution. The researchers from the University
published papers with collaborators from 100 countries worldwide. The
QS ranking of SQU in the Arab region increased from number 11 in
2017 to number 10 in 2018.
The most active research group award instituted by the Deanship of
Research at SQU was given to the Plant Pathology Research Group
supervised by Dr. Abdullah Mohammed al-Sa’adi from the College of
Agricultural and Marine Sciences.
Commenting on the postgraduate level programs at SQU, the
Deputy Vice Chancellor said that the University now offers 63 masters
level programs and 30 doctoral programs. In 2017-2018, 1927 students
enrolled in different master programs and 232 students for doctoral
programs. During the same period, 77 international students studied at
the master’s level and 50 at the doctoral level. 72 scholarships
awarded to master’s level students and 30 scholarships to doctoral
students during this period. The DVC also revealed that all the six
scientific journals of SQU migrated to Online Journal System (OJS). In
2017, seven invention disclosures and five patent applications were
made my SQU researchers; and five patents and three copyrights were
Dr. Rahma Al Mahrooqi announced His Majesty Trust Fund
projects for the year 2018. Out of the 31 proposals received from
various colleges and centres at the University, six projects have been
selected for funding. The new projects are:
1. Oman cascade screening in familial hypercholesterolemia index
Registry (Oryx) by Dr. Khalid al-Rasadi from the College of Medicine
and Health Sciences.
2. Assessment of Al-Batinah artificial reef projects and their
enhancement of local fisheries productivity by Dr. Alyssa Marshell from
the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences.
3. Redesigning Teacher Education Programs in Oman Using National
Performance Indicators, International Standards, and Exemplary
Models by Dr. Suleiman al-Bulushi from the College of Education.
4. High Efficiency Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Based on New
Semiconductor-Modified Nanocomposites: Preparation, Photophysical
Characterization, and Photovoltaic-Cell Design by Dr. Osama Abou-
Zied from the College of Science.
5. Design of a National Achievement Indicator in Reading and
Mathematics in Key Stage 1 Schools in Oman: Towards Improving
Student Learning Outcomes by Dr. Mahmoud Emam from the College
6. Developing Commercially Viable Graphene Based Technology for
selected energy and environmental applications in Oman by Dr. Tariq
M. Ghulam from the College of Science.
Source: Oman News Agency