Dr. Amer Saif Al Hinai
for Postgraduate Studies & Research
Sultan Qaboos University
|Research, innovation, and postgraduate studies are at the core of Sultan Qaboos University’s mission to society. In addition to providing a strong foundation for achieving sustainable development, these areas are also intricately linked with the quality of education provided by the university and the potential reach of its engagement with local, regional, and international communities. It is for these reasons that research, creativity and innovation, and postgraduate studies are featured as three of the five core domains in SQU’s Strategic Plan 2016-2040, while every effort is taken to ensure that advances in these areas are fully aligned with the national priorities and strategic directions and goals of Oman Vision 2040.
SQU has long recognised the importance of research, innovation, and postgraduate studies for ensuring that the university continues to make a significant positive impact on Oman’s social and economic development and the well-being of its people. It is through active engagement in these areas that knowledge is generated and renewed, innovation emerges, and the 21st century skills and mindsets of the nation’s people are developed and applied. This not only helps ensure that Oman continues on its pathway to achieving sustainable and equitable development, but that the sultanate also plays a leading role in the current era of rapid social, technological, and economic change that has accompanied globalisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As Oman’s national university and a regional leader in research, innovation, and postgraduate studies, a great deal of attention has been paid to the development of SQU’s research and innovation infrastructure. In addition to its nine colleges offering a wide range of postgraduate study programs, SQU also has 14 research centres, including the Innovation & Technology Transfer Centre that supports young Omanis in every aspect of innovation and entrepreneurship. All of the university’s research centres engage in multidisciplinary research and other research- and innovation-focused projects in areas of strategic importance. In doing so, they help ensure that SQU is one of the most prominent research institutions both within Oman and across the wider Arab Gulf region.
Other notable features of SQU’s research and innovation infrastructure include research chair programs that involve professors and their research teams conducting highly-focused investigative activities in areas of national, regional, and international importance, in addition to numerous research groups engaged in cutting-edge projects within and across fields. This is in addition to the university’s advanced research laboratories, state-of-the-art equipment, and extensive local and international networks of similarly focused institutions that support student and staff achievement in research and innovation.
In helping guide research, innovation, and postgraduate studies at SQU, the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Studies and Research is supported by the Deanship of Research and the Deanship of Postgraduate Studies. The Deanship of Research oversees all aspects of research and innovation at the university. It works tirelessly to promote the university’s research culture, including by enhancing the extent and impact of SQU’s research and innovation output through the development and implementation of plans and policies that strengthen the university’s proficiency in research and innovation. Its Research Affairs Department is responsible for administering the research funding schemes available to SQU-affiliated researchers, while its Academic Publication & Outreach department monitors and supports the university’s dissemination of scientific findings, including by publishing the university’s academic books and other scholarly publications such as its six academic journals.
The Deanship of Postgraduate Studies assumes responsibility for the overall management of postgraduate diploma, master’s, and doctoral programs at the university. It is involved in managing all administrative facets of these programs, including in terms of admissions and registration, postgraduate student graduation, marketing postgraduate programs, administering postgraduate academic regulations, managing scholarship programs and tuition fees, and offering workshops and courses to develop postgraduate students’ and faculty members’ skills in research and scholarly endeavours. Through these actions, the Deanship of Postgraduate Studies makes a strong contribution to the enhancement of SQU’s student and staff research calibre.
As this brief overview of some of the units engaged in research, innovation, and postgraduate studies at SQU demonstrates, the university’s commitment to these areas has continued to evolve in order to ensure that its contribution to Oman and its people remains strong. In seeking to constantly enhance the impact the university’s research, innovation, and postgraduate studies have on the sultanate and, indeed, the wider Arab region and beyond, SQU will continue to take every step to ensure that its actions fully support the national priorities and strategic directions and goals of Oman Vision 2040.