Inter-University Exchange in Language Teaching

HALBAN To promote inter-university exchange, a meeting between German and French language lecturers of different universities in Oman was conducted at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) recently. Seventeen language lecturers and teachers from GUtech, Sultan Qaboos University, University of Nizwa, Goethe Institute and from various public schools that teach German and French in Oman attended the meeting.

Four German lecturers currently teach around 280 students in the Bachelor programmes at GUtech, where German is taught to all BSc and BEng students as an additional language during three semesters. “We would like to further improve our teaching technique. We had a very lively discussion during our meeting,“  said Andrea Cornelissen, Representative of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Lecturer at GUtech.

Second Research Project on the Coastline of Oman launched


A new research project funded by the Research Council (TRC) on sea-level development in Oman was launched in Oman and Germany recently. The project is the second project on natural hazards and other processes along the coastline of Oman conducted by a team of researchers, including students and lead by Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann of GUtech and Prof. Dr. Reicherter from RWTH Aachen University.

“This second project aims at the quantification of driving forces acting along the coastline of Oman; an area where the country’s population density is highest but knowledge on acting natural processes is limited. The proposed high resolution study follows a holistic approach and is based on results gained within a first TRC (funded project (ORG GUtech EBR 10 013) as well as on outcomes of the international IGCP (UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme) project 588,“ said Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.

According to Prof. Goesta, the project also aims to bring together students from GUtech and its associated RWTH Aachen University in Germany and to combine teaching and research, which is the key to success.

Initial fieldwork was conducted along the Jaalan coastline with two Omani GUtech students, Maryam Al Balushi and Samira Al Balushi along with a student from GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University. For their research, the students mapped the position of old beaches along the coastline in the vicinity of As Silah (Sharqiyah Region). The main idea behind the mapping is that a beach clearly marks the location of the sea level. “If we find (rocks formed as) beach deposits elevated above the current high tide level we may have an indication of either: a former sea level higher than today or the vertical displacement of the earth crust (e.g. uplift).” explained Prof. Goesta while adding that “these processes include differential land-movement as well as global changes in sea-level. The expected results will be applicable in adaption strategies to changes induced by global climate changes where a general rise in sea-level is seen as major challenge coastal societies will face in the near future. We cannot predict the future, but we can learn from the past. Adaptation strategies to global problems (like climate change) can only be implemented if we understand local processes”

International Business & Service Management Programme launched

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has launched a new programme “International Business & Service Management”. The programme will focus on the tourism sector and related service sectors like transportation, aviation, event management from an international business approach “With a thriving tourism industry in Oman, one that offers many job opportunities, we are proud to announce our new study-programme that was designed to meet the needs of this growing industry in Oman while taking into account global patterns of the tourism industry,” said the Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell.

Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, acting dean of the faculty of Business and Economics and Head of the tourism department, said: “The BSc in International Business & Service Management programme helps students to understand the specifics of the tourism industry alongside a core of business modules. Prof. Heba Aziz further explained, that the programme is career oriented and students will be equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to work in this growing sector and related service sectors. “Our graduates will be able work in managerial positions in business, tourism, culture and transportation operations,” Prof. Heba Aziz added that, “IBSM comes as a continuation of the Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development Bachelor programme that has been running at GUtech since its inception in 2007. Graduates of the STRD programme are currently working at Omran, Oman Exhibition and Convention Center, Muriya Tourism Development, Oman Airport Management Company, and Oman Air.

Like its predecessor the programme has ample opportunities of linking academia to the work environment. “Employers were always very happy with our students and appreciated them spending longer periods in the work placement; for this programme we have increased our internship period to 12 weeks and we offer students an opportunity to work in Oman and overseas.” The programme is carefully aligned with tourism and service sector needs in Oman as well as the overall requirements of the Omani business environment.

Depending on their educational background, students have several entry points into the BSc programme. Holders of a General Secondary Education Diploma of the Sultanate of Oman will be requested to complete GUtech’s Foundation Programme first.

For more details please check out the GUtech website


Book on Historic Settlements in Oman launched

Historic Settlements of Oman’ – A new book covering 50 historic, heritage settlements in Oman has been published recently in cooperation with the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and the Research Center Indian Ocean (RIO), based at GUtech.  On Tuesday the book was handed over by Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech to H.E. Ambassador Kenneth K. M. Liao, Head of the Taipei Economic & Cultural office in Muscat. The Taipei Economic & Cultural Office also sponsored the research project. “With the aim to raise awareness about the rich historical culture and the architectural heritage of Oman and to further strengthen Oman-Taiwan cultural exchange and cooperation, my government is pleased to sponsor the publication of the book ‘Historical Settlements of Oman’” said H.E. Kenneth K. M. Liao.

“We are grateful for all the financial support we have received for this project. We are planning to continue the project and set up a database for around 800 old settlements. Such a large number of settlements with historic remains can be counted in Oman,” said Prof. Dr. Michael Jansen, Director of RIO and former Founding Rector of GUtech. Prof. Jansen initiated the book many years ago from a large data bank project. The research data for the book was collected by several young Omani architects, mostly GUtech alumni of the Department of Urban Planning and Architectural Design. “The research in Oman and the book project was realized in close cooperation with the architectural company Höhler & Partner, with the architect Muhammad Al Salmi as the co-editor of the book. The data of this cultural data bank will help to further improve the development of urban centers in settlements in which historic architecture and remains should be further integrated into the modern city structure,” said Prof Jansen.


Tourism & Logistics: The Future of Oman

BARKA The Faculty of Business and Economics  at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) recently organised the faculty day recently. “BE day (stands for Business and Economics ) is held to bring together students, academics, staff and industry members, to share our news and get updates about recent development in our areas of interest. We are also keen to introduce our new programme International Business and Service Management that we will start in the next academic year in September” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Head of the STRD Department. She added that the new programme will equip the students with a general business skills while focusing on the tourism industry so they will study aviation and airlines management, port and cruise management etc.


The event was attended by leading industry members in both fields of tourism and logistics. Corporations like Omran, The Ritz Carlton Hotel, and leading logistics companies showed their commitment to developing Omani Youth. “Logistics and tourism are the future of Oman. Companies who invest in both fields will be highly competitive,” said Warith al Kharousi, Executive Director of  AL Safwa Group & Partners,  Chairman for Imagine Technologies Oman and the Oman Logistics & Supply Chain Association & Charter Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT UK ) – Oman Chapter.

“I am still passionate about my work like the first day,” said Katrin Herz, General Manager of Al Bustan Ritz Carlton Hotel  adding that tourism offers many career opportunities. Al Bustan Palace is always have plenty of opportunities for Omani Youth who would like to join this career. Sulayma Al Jahdhami  a Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development (STRD) student expressed great interest in her studies.  “ I tremendously enjoyed my internship that lasted almost for one month at the HR Department of Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton Hotel.


Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz confirmed that all graduates from the tourism department have found jobs in leading tourism organisations both in government and private sector GUtech graduate Fathiya Al Kindi joined Muriya Tourism Development two months ago. She is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility team . “I am currently working to extend to tourism benefits to the local communities where Muriya operates. “The new programme is the new baby of GUtech and has been founded to collect under one roof the academic programmes and research activities in the fields of Business and Service Management” said Prof. Dr. Oliver Lorz, Inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech and Head of the Chair of International Economics at RWTH Aachen University. Registration has started.

GUtech won 2nd place in the Regional Microsoft Competition in Bahrain

Oman’s Team Kitabi, from the Computer Science department of GUtech, won the second place in the World Citizenship category for its project Readathon – a revolutionary mobile application that allows users to read books online in a smart, marathon-like manner. The Regional Imagine Cup Competition, a Microsoft Global Competition, was held in Bahrain earlier this month.

To inspire people to read books on their mobile phones, the students have invented and designed a mobile reading app, called ‘ReadAthon’ – Regain the Joy of Reading. “We believe our app will encourage people to read more books,” said Alya Al Shanfari, Computer Science student at GUtech. “Beauty of knowledge lies in the mist of reading and so ReadAthon is the way to attain this greatness. Imagine Cup is a great vessel for students to express their imagination” said Dr. Basel Dayyani,  Computer Science Professor at GUtech who was accompanying the group to Bahrain.