Campus in Blue to Honour Frontline Professionals during the Covid-19 Pandemic

GUtech Lights its Buildings Blue in Honour of Health Professionals and Frontline Staff and Workers

GUtech Campus Glowing in Blue

GUtech campus glowing in blue to honour the efforts of all professionals keeping us safe and protected.

To honour health professionals and all frontline staff and workers who are confronting the Covid-19 virus in hospitals and health centres, GUtech lights up its buildings in blue each evening at dark for an indefinite period of time starting from tonight, 11 May 2020.

Illuminating buildings in blue lights, GUtech rectorate and community show appreciation and gratefulness for the dedication and sacrifice of all professionals and remind all of us to wash hands and keep social distancing.

“We are glowing our campus in blue which can be seen from far to send a message of hope to the community around us for a better tomorrow and to say thank you to health professionals and all others for their hard work.” The Acting Rector, Dr Hussain Al Salmi, stated in support of all those professionals who are keeping us protected during the pandemic.

(c) GUtech/ Text: Fatima El Madkouri; Photo provided by Infrastructure Department

The Transition to Online Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Challenges

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has been teaching all courses online since mid-March. GUtech academics speak about their teaching experiences and challenges faced. “GUtech’s strategy was to support several online teaching tools to allow professors to select the tool most suitable for their classes. This has increased buy-in from professors who are more than happy to share their best practices with colleagues. Students, for the most part, have been very responsive. However, there is a small percentage of students who have limited internet access. Fortunately, joint efforts between MoHE, charities, telecommunication operators and GUtech have resulted in workable solutions for most students. It means that only a very small number of students have to postpone their studies,” said Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs at GUtech.

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) at GUtech said that their department received numerous encouraging messages from students, admitting that under the given circumstances of the pandemic they were happy to learn in a safe environment and from home. “During the last week however, the messages we received from students changed and the students are now more concerned about the situation. Most concerned are our last year students. They don’t know when they will be allowed back to the laboratories to complete their thesis work. I think this is understandable after five weeks of isolation,” said Prof. Wilfried. Another pressing challenge is the delivery of practical courses where the outcome should be a transfer of hands-on skills and internships. “Currently all our laboratories are closed, so that we have to postpone such courses to the next semester,” said Prof. Wilfried while the questions regarding conducting internships remain open. “It is not only that students cannot foresee the end of the restrictions, they also don’t know when they can find an internship or even later a job. They begin to understand that the economic situation caused by COVID-19 can threaten their future and those of their parents, relatives and friends,” he said.

Prof. Dr. Osman Barghouth, Head of the Department of Logistics and Tourism at GUtech said that in their Department students’ motivation and their participation is very high. “I think this high participation depends to a large extent on the course instructors. We as professors must consider the learning process as a two-way communication process. We have to think creatively in order to find ways to involve, motivate and engage our students instead of just giving tasks without feedback,” said Prof. Osman.

In the past weeks Prof. Wilfried Bauer and his team have gained a lot of experiences in adjusting to the current pandemic and in online teaching. However, recorded or live-streamed lectures are different than face-to-face classes. “Our lecturers and professors often lack more elaborated presentation skills of a film producer like David Attenborough. We also often lack the means to adapt all our teaching materials to more elaborated distant learning methods which require much more skills and equipment than recording our voices and preparing white board drawings on a tablet. Without direct feedback from students, we have no possibility to modify the content of the lectures,” said Prof. Wilfried Bauer.

Prof. Osman Barghouth has introduced Microsoft Team Viewer to communicate with all students. To enable the direct contact via video and calls, the Department has added all students in the course to Microsoft Team Viewer. “In our department we design homework assignments that measure the students’ understanding of the online course material and their ability to apply what they learned in practice,” he said. In conclusion, Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein said that the current experience will bring a long-term change to higher education. “Even when (hopefully soon) the Covid-19 pandemic is over, I anticipate that blended learning will become much more common. Further investments are needed to get from Internet teaching in an emergency situation to proper online education; but Covid-19 has put us on this path.”

Caption: Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Applied Geosciences Department and Dean of the Faculty of Sciences

(c) GUtech: Text by Dr. Manuela Gutberlet, Photo: provided by Prof. Wilfried Bauer

 

 

GUtech's Employees To Join ETIMAD

GUtech’s Employees to Join the Second Batch of the National Leadership Development Programme (ETIMAD)

Four employees from the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) have been selected to join the second batch of the National Leadership Development Programme (Etimad).

The Etimad programme aims to train and qualify 10,000 Omanis working in the private sector and improve their leadership skills. This specialised programme is Funded by the Government under the supervision of The Ministry of Manpower and is developed in collaboration with professional global and local institutions. To empower its administrative human capital, GUtech nominated a number of its employees to take part in the selection process. The assessment of applicants for the short list had to pass a series of tests and an interview before joining the second batch of the programme, which will include 250 participants from major private sector companies in various sectors, including the higher education sector. The evaluation revolved around the general thinking capacities and the candidates’ ability to deal with information, data and written patterns. Candidates were also tested in personal skills, teamwork, task management, English proficiency, communication and comprehension and management skills.

Excited about being selected to join the second batch of the programme, Kamla Al Bulushi, Admissions Manager, shares: “I look forward to grasp the learnings that will help me boost the level of my leadership skills and improve my managerial ability to meet the needs of my employer and my colleagues at work.”

Congratulating the participants, Dr Hussain Al Salmi, GUtech’s Acting Rector Cum Chief Executive Office of Oman Educational Services (OES), the owner company of GUtech gladly emphasised, “I am proud to see four of our talented employees make it through the selection process. I personally support every opportunity available that assists in the development of leadership skills and capacity of our talented employees. GUtech and OES are firmly committed to developing a strong local human capital able to elevate the overall performance of our organisations.”

 

 

The Research Team in GUtech’s Faculty of Business and Economics Administers Survey on Acceptance of Virtual Tours During the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Research Team in GUtech’s Faculty of Business and Economics Administers Survey on Acceptance of Virtual Tours During the Spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

COVID – 19 is affecting all our lives in multiple ways. Supermarkets are running out of toilet paper, pasta and hand sanitizer, small shops have to close, airlines stop operating – the economy all over the world has to face some severe changes!?

Meanwhile we are questioning ourselves: What impact will this crisis have on the Tourism sector!? Our research team is about to answer this question with your very much appreciated help!

The Research Team in GUtech’s Faculty of Business and Economics is asking the public to participate in a survey-based study to understand the acceptance of virtual tours during the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

This research is about the use of Virtual Tours during crisis such as COVID-19 and its acceptance by the society (you).

The survey takes approximately 10 minutes.

The survey can be found at this link: https://forms.gle/AF34PSHjkaiBMAHf6

Schlumberger Oman has donated Petrel and PetroMod Software to the Applied Geosciences Department

HALBAN Schlumberger Oman & Co. LLC. has donated recently two Computer Software packages Petrel and PetroMod to the Department of Applied Geosciences at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). The joint Schlumberger Geosciences Computer Laboratory using both software packages was inaugurated at GUtech in 2013.

The state-of-the art computer laboratory at GUtech has been used by BSc and MSc students and for various research projects. Petrel software helps to discover oil reservoirs and to optimize the petroleum recovery. The software divides the subsurface into cells and assigns present day properties to cells. PetroMod reconstructs the geological history in time: when, where and how the oil was formed in the subsurface.

“We were pleased to sign the second donation contract with GUtech recently. Schlumberger continues to focus on in-country value improvements. The software donation to GUtech is part of our commitment to support the development of young talents and expose them to the latest digital solutions,” said Naser Nasser Al Siyabi, Schlumberger Software Integrated Solution Manager at Schlumberger. He further added: “Engaging the students early during their studies is key to ensure that they are better prepared and aligned while using our Schlumberger software specialized in the Exploration & Production for their research. Globally, we have signed similar agreements. We continue to focus on the places where we operate.”

“The Schlumberger software is currently used in regular curricular activities, especially for geophysics courses at GUtech. This means that students are learning with a software that they will later on use in their professional careers. Last year, a team from GUtech used the software for the analysis of data from AAPG, winning the third place in the prestigious Imperial Barrel Award,” said Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bauer, Head of the Department of Applied Geosciences.

Caption: The Schlumberger Laboratory (photo from GUtech archive)

(c) GUtech/ Text & Photo: Dr. Manuela Gutberlet & Umaima Al Zadjali

 

CEO talk by Dr. Mohammed Al Balushi, Shell Oman Marketing

Dr. Mohammed Mahmood Al Balushi, Chief Executive Officer of Shell Oman Marketing, gave a lecture entitled “Leadership: Driving Progress Through People” at GUtech yesterday. Dr. Mohammed shared his work-experiences with GUtech students from different departments and academic staff members in the university’s research hall. The talk was part of a series of CEO talks for enhancing the university’s relationship with the industry and for providing venues for students to learn about the different industry practices in management and leadership. The talk was followed by an interactive question and answer session. During the talk, Dr. Mohammed shared his people-centred leadership approach, while building-up diverse teams, with a focus on long-term career advancement and planning. He also showcased a number of examples based on more than 27 years of work experience in the banking sector and in the oil and gas industry.

GUtech Commemorates 7th Anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Visit

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) commemorated on Tuesday 24th December the 7th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to its campus.

The 24th of December marks the private visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to GUtech campus in Halban. The commemoration of the private visit of His Majesty is annually observed by GUtech community. Students and staff remember the day to reflect on the importance of the visit in GUtech’s history and on the vision of His Majesty the Sultan for Oman’s academic and research development.

In the late afternoon of December 24th, 2012, the founders of GUtech and members of the rectorate welcomed his majesty to GUtech campus and its facilities, few weeks only after its opening.

In visiting GUtech campus and meeting the founders and the rectorate, His Majesty confers upon it an unusual distinction. “We welcome His Majesty’s private visit to GUtech campus as a gracious expression of his trust in our university and a vital catalyser enticing us to work harder and faster for further progress” proudly declares Dr Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finance.

The significant and ever-lasting contributions His Majesty has made to Oman and to the lives of its people are universally known; not less impressive than the wise introduction of far-reaching reforms which has promoted the development of the education system, and the prosperity of the country in general.

As more as 3000 male and female students enrolled in the university in the last 12 years. More than 400 male and female students graduated from it while there are more than 2200 male and female students are currently pursuing their studies.

(c) GUtech/Text: Fatima El Madkouri

Start of the Double Degree MBA at GUtech

WU-GUtech MBA starts with the first batch of executives.

November 2019 marks the start of the double degree MBA by the German University of technology (GUtech) and the Vienna University for Economics and Business (WU).

Representing a diverse range of academic and professional experience, 19 executives have registered for the GUtech-WU MBA; The executives hail from different backgrounds and different business sectors including healthcare, the oil sector, the banking sector, and many more.

The GUtech-WU MBA programme is designed to enable executives to follow a unique professional development opportunity in Oman without the need to travel or take long periods off work said Dr. Heba Aziz the academic director of the MBA.

Modules are delivered once a month, over four days, from Thursday to Sunday. This format allows for less travel time to and from campus and provides a way for participants to bring newly gained knowledge immediately to the work environment. GUtech is currently accepting applications for the second intake.

 

 

 

GUtech Held Triple Accredited MBA Information Session

HALBAN The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) hosted a general information session on its new Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme recently. Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the partner-university for the MBA programme, is one of the largest and leading business universities in Europe. The university was established in 1898 and founded as the Imperial Transport University.

“Our unique GUtech-WU MBA programme has a triple international accreditation from the most sought-after international accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS. The 18 months programme will offer a double degree from GUtech and the prestigious Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) in Austria. Our programme is suitable for professionals with at least three years of work experience who would like to enhance their management skills,” said Prof. Dr. Heba Aziz, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics at GUtech while adding that only 10 per cent of the MBA programmes worldwide have a triple accreditation. The majority of the joint MBA programme, 75 per cent, will be taught by academics from the University of Vienna and 25 per cent by GUtech academics. “The programme offers specialisations in International Tourism, Entrepreneurship and in Logistics. To complete the MBA a total of 90 credit points are required and the majority of the class-work will be conducted in teams,” said Prof. Heba Aziz. The programme will be taught in a so-called 3-tier modular structure through GUtech’s e-learning platform. Entry requirements include IELTS 6.0 but language proficiency could be checked during admission interviews. The Bachelor degrees have to be recognised in Oman and in Austria. Prior to acceptance of the application, all candidates will undergo an interview with GUtech and WU academics who teach in the MBA programme. “Having worked in the private sector in Oman for several years, I would like to enhance my overall career opportunities and my management skills,” said one of the participants in the session.

Scholarships are also available. The first 25 applicants will receive a discount of 30 per cent. In addition, Bank Muscat offers the ‘Shahadati Educational Loan’, covering the tuition fees and other study-expenses. The educational loan will be based on the applicants’ monthly salary. Admissions for October 2019 intake are open till 15 August. More information about the courses and tuition fees are available at https://www.gutech.edu.om/academic/business-economics/master-business-administration/.

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GUtech’s MSc in Computer Sciences: Innovation, IT Technology Management and Data Sciences

HALBAN The new Master of Science programme in Computer Sciences at GUtech takes advantage of the strategic direction of the Sultanate of Oman towards industrialisation and entrepreneurship in the field of Information Technology. GUtech’s Department of Computer Sciences will start the MSc programme in March 2019; partial scholarships are available. “The programme provides a unique, comprehensive curriculum consisting of theoretical and applied knowledge of Computer Sciences, IT technology management and emerging technologies in large data processing and analysis. The subjects taught include machine learning, big data analytics, and network forensic as well as network security. By choosing a specialisation, students can prepare for their favourite career paths. In addition, GUtech has signed a ‘Study Abroad’ agreement with Hasselt University in Belgium, which allows students to take one additional semester and earn a second Master degree in Transportation Science. Possible future career paths are as transportation planners, traffic safety consultants or a managers of public transportation companies,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli, Head of the Department of Computer Sciences at GUtech, while adding that the MSc programme is tailored to equip the students with entrepreneurial skills matching the national priorities for a profitable and sustainable growth.

The MSc programme is designed for fresh graduates and working professionals having Bachelor degrees in Computer Science, Information Science, or an equivalent degree with a solid background in programming and software development skills. “Classes will be held during the week between 4 and 7 pm and on weekends. International faculty members from GUtech, RWTH Aachen University as well as from Belgium and Canada will teach the programme. Admissions for students with alternative qualifications are subject to the outcome of an interview,” said Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli.

For more details, please visit the GUtech website: https://www.gutech.edu.om/master-programmes/ or contact Prof. Dr. Nabil Sahli by email to pg@gutech.edu.om.

© Text & Photo: GUtech