Building a global learning environment

Interview: Professor Anthony Cahalan, inaugural vice chancellor of the newly-launched Muscat University, says the institution will be a centre for high quality education 

How is Muscat University different from other universities in Oman?

Our university was created as a result of a corporate social responsibility initiative by our 37 Omani founders with quality as the primary driver and a clear purpose of addressing the gap between industry and higher education. Our programmes address the current and future human resources needs of the Omani government and the wider region in business, engineering and logistics.

Many Omani and expatriate students in Oman are looking for high quality university opportunities in the capital. Muscat University offers a viable local alternative for  students to enjoy the benefits of a globally recognised international education because of our partnerships with top-ranked UK universities, Aston and Cranfield. Muscat University also aims to welcome a significant proportion of international students from outside Oman’s borders. We strongly believe that a presence of a strong international cohort of students enables a global learning environment and helps further strengthen social, cultural, economic and business links between Oman and the international community.

Muscat University’s degree programmes are co-delivered with UK universities, Aston and Cranfield. Is it equivalent to obtaining the same degree directly from those universities?

Yes, it is. We recognise that for the success of the university, it is essential that we have meaningful partnerships with reputable international universities that are highly ranked for graduate outcomes and have strong links with industry. We co-deliver six master's programmes with Cranfield University and three Bachelor programmes with Aston University. So, the degree programmes offered at Muscat University are the same ones offered in the UK by Aston and Cranfield.

Could you please tell us more about the dual degree programme?

Muscat University students obtain a degree from two universities: Muscat and Aston for the bachelor degrees; and Muscat and Cranfield for the Master’s degrees and they will receive two certificates upon graduation.

Is the faculty from here or from the UK? Are there visiting professors flying in from these universities?

All our academic staff have been selected to provide students with an exceptional learning experience in Muscat. The faculty members at Muscat University have wide-ranging experience in global and local contexts and are experts in their respective fields and will support students based in Muscat to be successful in their studies. 90 per cent of the teaching in the Master’s programmes will be delivered by ‘flying faculty’ from Cranfield University and the majority of the Bachelor’s programmes will be delivered by academic staff flying in from Aston.

Where is Muscat University located and when are the courses commencing?

It is appropriate that Oman’s newest university, names after the sultanate’s capital, is located in central Muscat. We are about to move into purpose-built building on Sultan Qaboos Street, beside the Porsche showroom and opposite Avenues Mall in Ghubra. Muscat University’s courses will commence in September this year and will be delivered from the new building in Al Ghubra. In the coming years we will build a new permanent campus at Airport Heights.

How will Muscat University offer a global learning environment?

Students at Muscat University will become members of a global community. The academic staff and the fellow students are a diverse international mix which increases each student’s intercultural awareness, creates a global social network and gives them the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. The new building is equipped with a resource centre, a 250-seat auditorium, computer labs, student activity areas, chemical labs and private study areas. We also provide onsite car parking and food and beverage facilities and there is a range of student accommodation options located nearby.

Does Muscat University offer industry placements? How will the international partnership with Aston and Cranfield help in getting jobs?

To ensure our students are industry-engaged and career-ready, the Bachelor degrees at Muscat University include a one-year industry placement in the third year of the four-year degree. Our degrees will give students the best possible chance to work in their chosen profession and make sure their profile stands out from the crowd. Our Master’s students will be engaged in industry-based research projects to enhance their employment and promotion prospects. The two degree certificates mean students can apply for a job anywhere in the world as the international partnerships will open doors to employment opportunities within Oman and abroad.

Does Muscat University offer part-time courses for working professionals?

Yes. We offer Master’s programmes on a part-time basis, specifically keeping in mind that most of the students applying for those degrees will be working professionals. They will be able to study for a high quality UK degree without having to leave their jobs and families to travel overseas. Our Bachelor programmes are offered on a full-time basis.

What are Muscat University’s entry requirements?

Muscat University’s entry requirements are the same as those of Aston and Cranfield Universities. Muscat University offers a Foundation Programme to prepare students for the Bachelor degrees, as well as intensive English language programmes and support.

The entry requirements for all our programmes are available on our website: muscatuniversity.edu.om.

Does the university offer scholarships and financial assistance?

We do provide financial assistance and scholarships to support student success and this information is available on our website. Muscat University is committed to providing scholarships and financial assistance on a case-by-case basis. So, we encourage students to contact us for more information on how we can help them. 

Building a global learning environment
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