“Graduation is not the end, it’s just the beginning”
HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has celebrated the 8th Graduation Ceremony on its campus today evening. A total of 269 Omani and international graduates were honoured for their academic achievements. A number of dignitaries, the Board of Governors of GUtech as well as family members and friends of the graduates attended the ceremony held in the large amphitheatre. The students graduated from Bachelor of Science programmes in Urban Planning and Architectural Design, Applied Geosciences, Computer Sciences, International Business and Service Management, Logistics as well as in Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Environmental Engineering. GUtech is affiliated with RWTH Aachen University in Germany, one of the leading universities of technology in Europe. During the ceremony, three graduates were awarded Rectorate Medals for their academic performances and for non-academic related achievements. In the winter semester 2019/2020 more than 2,200 students have been studying at GUtech.
Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech welcomed the graduates and the whole audience. He said that GUtech graduates received a practical education. “We don’t just want to teach you subject-matter theory and textbook knowledge. We want you to experience real life. For instance, we want our Geosciences students to feel the rocks of Oman with their own hands during field trips. Our Engineering students worked on real projects in our workshop. I remember once hearing a comment that girls cannot handle machines. Yes, you can. You, our graduates, are the evidence that this is possible. Our Urban Planning and Architectural Design students built countless models that can be admired in our studios or in exhibitions and our International Business students organized large-scale professional events.” Prof. Armin also stressed that GUtech graduates learned to think critically and that they had significant international exposure through excursions and that they gained superior communication skills. “All of you, have managed to achieve at least IELTS 6. You can be proud. In any job interview, you will stand out because you have a level of language confidence that others do not have. All this has taught you independence, self-reliance, maturity, and the ability to deal with unexpected situations,” said Prof. Armin.
The Rector of GUtech, Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell said in his speech: “Today is a very special day: Having your certificate in your hands will let you enter a new period in your life. You will experience a new style of life, with new responsibilities and duties.” The Rector further advised the graduates: “Don’t stop to learn, be flexible and learn continuously with an open mind. I am sure that you will be successful whatever you will start and combined with the good education you received over the years at GUtech. All of us here are proud of your achievements. We are convinced that you will contribute to the development of Oman.”
On behalf of all GUtech graduates, Riyan Al Mahrooqiyah said: “From the details of my first day, I still remember my mother’s prayers for me, my father eyes looking at me with pride and the smile of my teacher in my first class. I also remember dreams and hopes I had, the fear in our eyes and the questions in our heads. I recall the long study hours at night, persistence and patience … then the pleasure of reaching our aim.” Riyan further stressed the importance of contributing to the development of the Omani society: “Our beloved country Oman, under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, may Allah safeguard and protect him, has laid clear lines for a great vision, which is the Oman Vision 2040. This vision sought to involve young people in decision-making. Our role today is to be an active and positive element to achieve this bright vision for our dear country.”
Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy-Rector for Administration and Finances, said in his speech: “Some people dream of accomplishing great things, others stay awake and make it happen. With this graduation, I believe you made it happen. I am sure, all of you had some difficult times, but also I hope you had some fun at GUtech. You have not only learnt from being at the university but you have contributed as well, you have helped to shape the tremendous benefits of those who will follow you in your footsteps. Finally, remember, the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little “extra”, so push yourself for this “extra”. We wish you the very best.”
On the sidelines of the graduation ceremony, Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech, said: “The cohort of Applied Geosciences students showed an exceptional performance. Our students successfully competed in national and international competitions. We never had such a high proportion of excellent and outstanding Bachelor theses. I am convinced that many of our graduates will succeed in geoscientific Master programmes. Some of them are so talented that they can start an academic career and become successful researchers and/or academic teachers,” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of Applied Geosciences at GUtech. “I am proud of our graduates. We challenged them every day and they made it,” said Prof. Dr. Tobias Buer, Head of the Logistics programme at GUtech.
Michael Smith, a graduate in International Business and Service Management (IBSM) said: “My time at GUtech has been enlightenment. I have received nothing but the highest quality instruction, and am eternally grateful for the continuous support given to me by all members of staff. I will be forever thankful for the many valuable opportunities that they have granted me. From projects in the classroom to international excursions across the world, I will remember my experiences at the university fondly.”
(c) GUtech/Text: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet