Prof. Dr. Nafaa Jabeur, Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Science at GUtech, alongside co-researchers from Dhofar University, has received the National Research Award during the seventh cycle of the Annual Research Forum organised by the Research and Innovation Sector of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MoHERI).
Dr. Nafaa and his colleagues’ paper, “Transportation Service Redundancy from a Spatio-Temporal Perspective” won in the Information Systems and Communication Technologies field.
The winning research addresses the mismatch between demand and supply for taxi services in big cities. Dr. Nafaa explained that: “To address this discrepancy, we used the concept of service redundancy. More specifically, we modelled citywide taxi service redundancy as an explicit spatio-temporal phenomenon. We deployed Machine Learning techniques to qualify this redundancy in space and time. We proposed an agent-based collaborative scheme for the calculation, collection, and control of service redundancy at three different levels: namely micro level (service redundancy at the immediate surroundings of individual taxis), meso level (redundancy at taxi operators’ level), and macro level (service redundancy at a city level).” “Taxi operators are relying on several strategies to optimize the commutes of their fleets through the cities, without being successful in avoiding long empty-cruise time as well as considerable waste of fuel.” The results of the “intensive simulation experiments showed a significant decrease of imbalance in city-wide transportation supply-demand as well as a better trade-off between customers’ satisfaction and taxis’ profits,” he added.
Prof. Nafaa holds a PhD in Computer Science from Laval University in Canada. He has been working at GUtech since 2013. Prof. Nafaa is also GUtech’s Director of Research. His research interest includes sensor web, sensor networks, and wireless sensor networks; cyber-physical systems.
(c) Text: GUtech/ Fatima El Madkouri & Prof. Dr. Nafaa Jabeur
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Oman Educational Services (OES) and Prime Business Solutions (PBS) have signed a collaborative agreement to cooperate for the implementation of GEARS ERP, a cutting-edge comprehensive enterprise resource planning solution and for the development of a Student Information System (SIS).
GEARS ERP, fully developed by PBS, is designed to help increase productivity, lower costs and improve operations’ monitoring and collaborations. By rolling out GEARS ERP to one of OES entities, the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech), OES will not only be able to embrace current best practices, but it will also enable the University to integrate emerging technology to support changing organizational demands.
OES and PBS collaboration goes beyond implementing GEARS ERP, but to work together on developing a new student information system (SIS). The SIS will extend the ERP features to respond to the needs of the higher education sector and align the organisation and business insights of private universities and colleges. The ERP and SIS solutions will provide GUtech’s students as well as administrative and faculty members with the latest technology tools enabling real time access to information and processes.
Upon signing the agreement, Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, CEO of OES and GUtech Acting Rector said: “the collaboration with PBS, a strong and forward-looking Omani company, allows us to consolidate different solutions for a streamlined management of academic and administrative operations.”
The signing ceremony took place at GUtech campus in the presence of senior administrative representatives from PBS and OES, alongside heads of academic faculties from GUtech.
Al Salmi also commented: “OES has made a strategic decision to collaborate with PBS. Sharing our operational and academic knowledge with PBS team will result in an exceptional SIS to make the University’s functions simple and intuitive.”
OES is a 100% Omani-owned limited liability company with a core interest in education. OES operates a range of educational institutions in Oman, including GUtech, the first German University in GCC affiliated with RWTH Aachen University, Finland Oman School (FOS), the History of Science Centre (HSC), and other entities offering educational support and services.
(c) Text: GUtech/ Fatima El Madkouri
https://www.gutech.edu.om/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/IMG_0308.jpg40006000fatimahttps://www.gutech.edu.om/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/newLogoGUtech-1.pngfatima2021-01-18 11:22:502021-01-24 11:26:52Oman Educational Services Collaborates with PBS to Implement GEARS ERP and Develop a New SIS for GUtech
GUtech students and parents to pay tuition fees through IJARAH by Meethaq Islamic Bank.
Oman Educational Services, the owner company of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and Finland Oman School (FOS), has signed an agreement with Meethaq Islamic Banking from Bank Muscat to provide financing options to students paying tuition fees at GUtech and for parents paying FOS fees.
The agreement was signed by Dr Hussain Al Salmi – CEO of Oman Educational Services cum GUtech’s Acting Rector, and Shamzani Mohammed Hussain, General Manager – Meethaq Islamic Banking, in the presence of a number of officials.
The agreement will allow working students and parents to utilise the bank’s education financing service to pay to tuition fees. Thus, helping to mitigate the financial pressures on students and parents.
Besides the parents of FOS students, the financing facility will allow GUtech students and parents to obtain funding from Meethaq Islamic Bank in compliance with Islamic Sharia principles.
Following the principle of ‘Ijarah’, Meethaq will be subleasing the education services of GUtech and FOS at the request of students and parents against deferred payments to be concluded through a Service Ijarah contract.
Speaking about the agreement, Dr Al Salmi said that the partnership with Meethaq Islamic Bank allow us to expand the range of payment options available to students and parents.
Oman Educational Services operates among others Oman’s first green campus, a full-fledged campus encompassing GUtech, FOS, History of Science Centre, a Solar Facility Training, Siemens Mechatronics Lab, and a variety to workshops and labs dedicated to enriching the educational experience of students.
GUtech boasts four faculties offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All GUtech programmes are being developed in collaboration with European partners. GUtech’s undergraduate programmes are internationally accredited.
FOS is the first private school in Oman, established in 2018, offering Finnish pedagogical model in Oman to K-12 students. FOS is open to all students from all nationalities.
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The Japanese Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, H.E. KOBAYASHI Toshinori, paid a visit to the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) yesterday, and gifted GUtech’s library a range of books on Japanese history, literature, and culture during a visit to the university’s campus in Halban.
Dr. Hussain Salmi, GUtech’s acting rector, welcomed the Japanese Ambassador and gave a detailed description of the university and its various departments in the presence of Mr. HASHIMOTO Sho, Head of Cultural Section in the Japanese Embassy.
His Excellency expressed his pleasure to visit GUtech and donate books to its library and most importantly to meet students of the Japanese club at the university. “I sincerely hope that these books will benefit GUtech students to further understand Japan and its culture.” He stressed.
The Japanese club at GUtech includes students and graduates who are fond of Japan’s culture, comics, and language. The club’s members took the opportunity to showcase video clips of past activities and events they organised demonstrating their fondness of Japan’s festivals and language. On offering Japanese language courses to the public, the Ambassador assured the members of the club to support the initiative whenever the situation improves.
Dr. Al Salmi described the book donation as a great opportunity for GUtech to add diverse resources to the library about a rich culture, such as Japan. “There is a big respect in Japan’s academic institutions, and we are keen on developing ties with universities in Japan. I hope to see students exchange in both directions and we look forward to benefiting from academic collaboration and scholarship opportunities.” Commented Al Salmi.
Dr. Al Salmi pointed to the ongoing collaboration with Nagoya University and expressed the importance of the Embassy’s support to reach out to other universities in Japan for faculty and student exchange. He further added that the University is opened to consider offering Japanese language at GUtech campus, and collaborating in the area of technology for the benefits of students.
The Ambassador also visited GUtech’s History of Science Centre and appreciated the university’s vision to become a leading institution in the wider region.
Ambassador H.E. KOBAYASHI Toshinori expressed his pleasure in visiting GUtech campus and said that he was impressed by the university, its educational facilities and the initiatives made by the members of the Japanese club in respect of sharing knowledge about Japan.
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The Executive MBA by the WU Executive Academy is offered in Oman in collaboration with the German University of Technology in Oman. Currently, 19 students are enrolled in the programme at GUtech campus and another intake is due to start in February 2021.
The #32 ranking offers greater value to WU alumni, students, and prospective candidates. “We are very proud of our partnership with the Executive Academy of Vienna University for Economic and Business; we have excellent feedback from our current students who could see the added value that such a global programme offers them. Our unique offering of a double degree is very well received by our students, we are now recruiting for our new batch starting in February 2021.” Commented Prof Dr Heba Aziz, the Director of WU-GUtech MBA.
Joining the ranks of the world’s Top 50 Business Schools for its Executive MBA programme, the Financial Times 2020 ranking confirms the Executive MBA excellent standing. This achievement is a testament to the quality of the ongoing global success of the Executive MBA.
Financial Times Ranking for the EMBA programmes is open for business schools that are either AACBS or EQUIS accredited. It requires responses from alumni on five criteria: salary today which carries the most weight, salary increase, career progress, work experience, and aims achieved.
The WU Executive Academy is also the recipient of the coveted “triple crown” accreditation status. It is recognised by the three most prestigious international accrediting bodies: AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA.
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GUtech’s Technology Transfer Office organised a consultation workshop to discuss GUtech’s consultancy policy recently.
GUtech’s consultancy policy aims at creating the right framework for faculty and staff to offer their expertise to external parties. The policy is aligned with GUtech strategic plan and encourages faculty and staff to pursue consultancy assignments in order to contribute to the University’s mission of serving society as a whole.
Dr Chris Moody, TTO director, run the consultation to clarify the current GUtech’s consultancy policy, unveil doubts over the permissible time for consultancy, and reach a consensus over consultancy pricing and sharing. “It is a common practice in academia to find faculty and staff are approach to provide technical and creative expertise, to devise solutions for industrial problems, to be called upon for expert feedback in courts, to provide expert reports or to serve on government’s policy making task force.” Explained Moody.
Consultancy assignments are one of the lucrative activities that faculty and staff may choose to undertake during their tenure at GUtech. “offering the right incentives and a structured scheme for the permissible time to spend on externally-funded consultancies should create a conducive environment for sharing knowledge and opening up the door for working closely with the industry.” Stated Moody.
Besides teaching and research, GUtech aspires to develop business and community relations and increase income from non-academic sources.
Consultancy can also help to develop research collaborations and maintain relationships with the industry.
TTO is tasked with providing support to faculty and staff to carry out consultancy assignments that can be reasonably handled besides the regular duties. The support covers administrative aspects ranging from project pricing to contract negotiation.
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Prof. Dr. Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrouqiya, Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation (MOHERI), visited the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) on 22 October.
Her Excellency was accompanied during the visit by HE Dr. Bakhit bin Ahmed Al Mahri, Undersecretary for Higher Education, HE Dr. Saif bin Abdullah Al-Haddabi, Undersecretary for Scientific Research, HE Dr. Mona Bint Salem Al Jardaniya, Undersecretary for Vocational Training, and a number of MOHERI officials.
The visit aimed at sharing the aspirations, vision, and plans of MOHERI for the higher education sector in the Sultanate. In addition, the visit focused on the expectations with regard to research outputs and innovations of universities in Oman.
Besides the University’s Rectorate members, His Excellency Abdullah bin Salem Al Salmi, member of the Board of Directors, and the Honourable Sheikh Dr. Alkhattab bin Ghaleb bin Ali Al Hinai, member of the University’s Board of Trustees welcomed her excellency and the accompanying team.
Dr. Hussain bin Sulaiman Al Salmi, Acting Rector of GUtech, presented an overview of the University’s achievements in the last twelve months and outlined the University’s efforts and incentives to boost research outputs by faculty and staff. Al Salmi diligently pointed to the goals of the recently established Technology Transfer Office at GUtech, and elaborated on the costly price of quality education.
Afterwards, Prof. Dr. Armin Eberlein, Deputy Rector for Academic Affairs, presented key issues encountered during the transition to online teaching as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. He then commended MOHERI for approving the cyber security bachelor programme. Afterwards, he touched on the students’ performance level in correlation to the level of English language requirement and other basic skills.
The visit also included a meeting with the University’s academic board and a presentation by Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Director of Oman Hydrogen Centre. Modigell gave an overview of the activities of the centre for the intensification of hydrogen uses in the Omani market where the centre will play an active role in the process of promoting and commercialising hydrogen.
Her Excellency stressed the importance of joint cooperation among private higher education institutions to bid for joint funding research grants. In addition, she advocated the importance of the university’s collaboration with the private sector to reach supportive partners and investors. Moreover, She encouraged the university to benefit from research funding programmes in collaboration with other institutions.
The Minister stressed on the importance of achieving institutional accreditation locally and praised the University for obtaining international accreditation for all its Bachelor programmes, which makes GUtech an attractive destination for international students from different countries of the world.
The Minister asserted the importance of offering academic programmes that meet the fourth industrial revolution, the market needs and the national economic diversification plans.
HE also affirmed the importance of improving the quality of education in the Sultanate to be among the top 300 universities in the QS ranking. She emphasised the importance for universities to collaborate with MOHERI to achieve the integration between higher education, vocational training, research and innovation.
On meeting the student advisory council (SAC), she commended the members on their role and emphasised the importance of continuous communication between the student and the academic advisor. Members of SAC discussed with her excellency the academic challenges facing students with regard to getting practical experience in the logistics industry and the block courses format. Her Excellency advised students to continuously follow up on their academic progress via MOHERI platform.
Her Excellency also visited Finland Oman School (FOS) and the History of Science Centre (HSC), both institutions are owned and managed by Oman Educational Services (OES). GUtech, FOS, and HSC are among the different entities constituting the education eco-system situated at GUtech campus. Finland Oman School (FOS) draws on experiences and knowledge from the Finnish education system, which uses a Finnish research-based teaching approach and an innovative approach to teaching and learning for K-12 pupils.
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GUtech’s Technology Transfer Office (TTO) held a workshop on intellectual property (IP) recently. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Chris Moody, Director of GUtech Technology Transfer Office, for GUtech faculty members.
The goal of the workshop was to refine GUtech policy and its procedures, to encourage the maximum level of knowledge transfer, IP protection and commercialisation of technologies with a clear timeline enabling students and faculty researchers to publish their works.
The workshop focused on reviewing the current GUtech IP policy and its general framework, defining the aspects for its implementation, and creating a common understanding of GUtech’s priorities regarding research.
Dr Moody initiated the workshop with a discussion about the most important intellectual property rights and the general legal rights conferred by patents, design rights, copyrights, trademarks, database rights, and trade secrets.
Participants had the opportunity to express their views on the patentability and commecialisation of research outcomes, and to discuss the structure for sharing the benefits from commercialised IP.
The workshop was part of the TTO activities, which aims at developing GUtech’s IP policy, expanding the outreach of faculty members for funding opportunities, developing research capabilities, and helping students and faculty members engage in commercialised IP activities.
GUtech’s TTO is the outcome of a recent collaboration between GUtech and the International Emerging Technology Company (ETCO). GUtech’s TTO is led by key international advisors tasked to set out the framework for connecting GUtech researchers with industry partners for novel technologies, and to clearly define key policies in areas of ownership of intellectual property, transfer of rights, and other arrangements of key importance for the formation of spin-offs and the commecialisation of innovative ideas.
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The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has established a strategic partnership with World Web IT Solutions (Webware) to collaborate across a range of areas and in particular in applied research, to develop innovative solutions, and to exchange expertise in technical and academic areas.
Dr Hussain bin Sulaiman Al Salmi, GUtech’s Acting Rector and Dr Ahmed bin Sleim Al Junaibi, Webware Chairman, signed the agreement recently at the company’s headquarter in Al Ghalbi Tower in Muscat.
This partnership goes along GUtech strategic initiatives aimed to create opportunities for cooperation with the private sector and to launch applied research projects that serve Oman’s economy. It is also a driving engine for applied research enabling knowledge transfer and exchange that address real-world business challenges and requirements of the private sector. The strategic partnership with Webware also includes offering training opportunities to GUtech students in various disciplines and making it easy to incubate students’ graduation projects.
At the signing, Dr Hussain bin Sulaiman Al Salmi, Acting Rector of GUtech, said: “we are delighted to enter into a strategic partnership with Webware, and we look forward to a fruitful collaboration offering our students and faculty plenty of opportunities to engage in real-world applied research projects emanating from the needs of the private sector and offering technology-driven solutions.”
Commenting on the partnership, Mr Ibrahim bin Sleim Al Junaibi, CEO of Webware, said: “the cooperation with the German University of Technology in Oman, a pioneer educational institution in Oman, opens up prospects for growth and progress for us, and enhances our business efficiency.” “With the expertise of its faculty members hailing from different disciplines, together with GUtech, we are well equipped to co-develop new innovations that serve the market and raise the efficiency of the business sector” He added.
Al Salmi indicated that strategic partnerships with the private sector including Webware enables GUtech to align the curriculum with the markets expectations and needs and provide an exceptional educational experience to our students.
World Web IT Solutions (Webware), a subsidiary of Al Ghalbi International Group, is one of the leading companies in the field of technology. In the last six years, Webware has evolved to a well trusted and recognised company offering valuable and efficient technological solutions for an effecient business environment.
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Oman Education Services (OES, LLC) has signed an exclusivity agreement with Eduten, a Finnish company with more than 15 years of proven expertise in gamification-based mathematics learning, to bring Eduten Playground into the Finland Oman School (FOS), the GUbridge Foundation Programme of the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) and beyond.
The virtual signing ceremony took place yesterday, Wednesday 9 September, between Dr Hussain Al Salmi, the Chief Executive Officer of OES, and Henri Muurimaa, the Chief Executive Officer of Eduten joining from Turku, Finland; along with the virtual presence of Makke Leppänen, Eduten’s Head of Partnership joining from Helsinki, Ahmed Al Salmi, OES General Manager, and Terhi Merenski, FOS principal.
Eduten, a spin-off of the globally ranked top 1% University of Turku, is behind Eduten Playground for primary and secondary students. Eduten Playground is supported by artificial intelligence and offers a library of more than 200,000 high-quality pedagogical online mathematics practice tasks for students aged 6-15 years.
Commenting on the exclusivity agreement with Eduten, OES CEO, Al Salmi said: “Recognising the significant role of the digital education in boosting pupils’ learning and believing in the importance of equipping our students with the Fourth Industrial Revolution skills, our agreement with Eduten goes hand in hand with our vision to providing quality education to the people of Oman and to empowering our students, in FOS and GUtech, to learn mathematics through Eduten Playground, Finland’s no 1 motivational digital learning platform that encourages autonomous learning.” “Math performance in Oman has been a challenge and we believe that Eduten Playground, when deployed properly, can improve Omani students’ Math results.” He added.
The platform complements FOS approach of pedagogical differentiation and offers teachers opportunities for setting up highly individual learning pathways for students and generating detailed learning analytics for each student.
From his side, Eduten CEO, Henri Muurimaa, stated: “With this venture, Oman will be joining the growing list of countries benefiting from the extensive research and proven effectiveness in digital mathematics learning while simultaneously helping us to achieve our ultimate mission of offering students worldwide the opportunity to reach their academic potential.” “OES is a perfect partner for us and together with OES we are ready to expand in Oman for modernising the teaching methods and for transforming the learning journey for higher results among FOS students and many other schools in Oman.” He concluded.
Capitalising on the expertise of Eduten and leveraging FOS growing reputation, the agreement appoints OES as the exclusive distributor in Oman and paves the ground for undertaking research that will expand the digital platform to address other regional needs in Arabic and Arabic related subjects.
Oman Educational Services (OES) is a 100% Omani-owned limited liability company, established in 2006. In the past 14 years, OES has ventured into different projects with a core interest in education – The German University of Technology (GUtech) in 2007, History of Science Centre in 2017, and Finland Oman School in 2018 – allowing OES to be established as a leading educational ecosystem in Oman.
Eduten Ltd is a spin-off from University of Turku that provides Finland’s most popular digital learning platform Eduten Playground to educational institutions around the world. Eduten Playground has proved its worth as a scientifically validated mathematics platform since 2011 by more than 450,000 users in Finland 40+ other countries, including Hong Kong, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, various countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and now Oman.
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