Why Pursue Graduate Studies? – A Panel Discussion held at GUtech

BARKA Pursuant to the success of its programme of Student Awards for the Advancement of Post-Graduate Education in Oman, Occidental Oman continues its series of Student Seminars to better align the industry needs and the academia on post graduate studies. To answer the question “Why Pursue Graduate Studies?” the first student seminar with speakers from the energy industry, academia and the government took place on 21 February at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech).

Prominent key speakers were Steve Kelly, President and General Manager of Oxy Oman, Prof. Dr. Michael Modigell, Rector of GUtech, Dr. Saif A. Al-Hiddabi, Assistant Secretary General for Programs & Scientific Research at The Research Council (TRC) as well as Dr. Fatima Al Hajri, Director of the Graduate Survey at the Ministry of Higher Education, and Maher Al Wahaibi of be’ah, energy company. The panel discussion was moderated by Dyala Sabbagh, Chief Operating Officer of Gulf Intelligence. All panellists brought forward their experience-based knowledge in their respective fields.

“Undergraduate studies give you a solid basis for the job,” said Steve Kelly of Oxy Oman. He stressed that Oxy Oman focuses on training graduates on the job and moulding them according to their industry needs. On the other hand, Prof. Dr. Ing. Michael Modigell mentioned that GUtech educates students to become flexible, independent graduates, who can apply research methods, who know how to tackle problems and how to solve them. To get training on the job all GUtech students have to conduct at least three months internships during their studies. Dr. Saif Al Haddabi stressed that the idea of life-long learning is necessary for creating a knowledge-based economy in Oman, and which links the industry, academia and the government. Dr. Fatima Al Hajri mentioned that the labor market in Oman currently requires mainly Diploma or Bachelor degree holders. Therefore, a phenomenon of ‘over-education’ has been created in some fields in the past years.

This afternoon seminar served as an ideal dialogue platform where students, professors, and representatives from the oil and gas industry and the government met to discuss different opportunities and challenges related to post graduate studies and their subsequent career options for students in Oman and in the region. The next student-centred panel discussion will be held at Sultan Qaboos University in the coming months.

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