On Thursday, 2 May 2019, Sultan Qaboos University celebrated the 19th anniversary of the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to the university (SQU Day), with a ceremony held at the University’s conference hall. H.E. Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs patronized the event this year. The event highlightd the achievements of the University in research at the local, regional and international levels. It also shed light on the achievements of the academics and students in scientific, practical and community levels.
The projects selected for financial support from His Majesty’s Trust Fund for Strategic Research were announced on the occasion. Distinguished researchers, academics, doctors and students were honored. Further, a video on research at SQU was presented. An exhibition, which focusses on the most outstanding research and scientific innovations and the university’s scientific publications, was organised. H.E. Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, the patron of the event and H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor of the University honored the staff who won international and regional awards in various domains, as well as the distinguished administrative staff, academic supervisors, technicians, nurses and students who are proficient in their respective fields.
H.E.Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah stated: “It is our pleasure to celebrate with you the University Day and learn more about Sultan Qaboos University’s efforts in terms of producing knowledge and promoting innovation at the national level. We praise the role of University’s administration, colleges and departments in implementing the vision of His Majesty the Sultan to dedicate the university’s potential in research and theoretical and applied studies to serve the community and to find practical solutions for social and economic problems in the society”. The Minister called upon the University cadres to achieve further progress and scientific leadership in order to adopt scientific and academic studies. He advised them generate more knowledge and strengthen scientific ties with the peer universities which would lead to development of advanced technologies in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Prof. Ali Huwaishal Al Shuaili, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Administrative and Financial Affairs, delivered the University’s Administration’s speech in which he outlined the achievements of the University, its faculty members and students in the last one year. “The PhD student Elham Ahmed Qassemy, from the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences won the first prize for the best PhD thesis in the field of agricultural sciences, from the Arab Universities Union, for her thesis on beneficial fungi that help plants grow under harsh conditions and resistance to various plant diseases. The Master’s Degree student Rahma bint Saleh Al-Araimi and her advisor Dr. Mahmood Imam from the College of Education received the first place at the Sheikh Faisal bin Qasem Al Thani Award for Educational Research, awarded by Al-Faisal without Borders Foundation in the State of Qatar”.
“A group of students of the Department of Marine Science and Fisheries at the College of Agricultural and Marine Sciences achieved success in hatching and farming of blue lobster fish, which is one of the best freshwater fish species due to its color and beauty. A team from the College of Science won the first place in the Middle East regional competition of the Imperial Barrel Award (IBA), which is organized by AAPG. A student team from the College of Engineering, brought accolades to the University from the “11th Annual Wooden Bridge Competition” organized by the American University in Dubai.
The university students’ football team won the gold medal in the eighth Gulf championship for higher education institutions in the GCC countries, which was held in Kuwait. A team from the College of Law won the first place in the Omani Moot Court competition at the level of law Colleges in the higher education institutions in the Sultanate. In addition, a team from the same college won second place in the Jessup friendly Moot court competition in the field of international law in Kuwait”.
“Undergraduate students Asilah Al-Shamlia and Esra Abu Sharakh from the College of Engineering won the second place in the 8th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management held in Thailand. Three female teams from Sultan Qaboos University won the first three places in the 8th edition of the Springboard program organized by Ooredoo Oman. The project ‘Naqla’ (leap) won the first place; the team Ma’ak (with you) won the second place; and the team ‘Khadma’ (services for home maintenance”) won the third place. The student company Nawa won the Injaz Al-Arab award in the category of universities, that was held in Kuwait. SQU students won the second and third places at the Omantel and Ericsson 5G competition for two projects: ‘Street Monitor’ project won the second place, and “Garbage Level Indicator” won the third place”.
In his address, Prof. Ali Al Shuaili outlines the achievements of the staff. Dr. Nasser Said Al-Jahwar from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, has been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow in the Department of Archaeology by the Senate of Durham University, UK, and has been selected as a World Heritage Expert by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) in Paris, France. Dr. Lamya bin Adnan Al Haj, College of Science, received the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Award- Middle East Fellowship 2018.
Dr.Ismail bin Mohammed Al Balushi, College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences, got the World Food Safety Organization Accreditation as an approved trainer and representative on the level of individuals. Dr. Majid bin Salim Al Ruqaishi, College of Science, received the best oral presentation award for the paper entitled “Hydrophobic Cement Blocks Based on Silica Nanopaticals” at the 10th International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 2019, held in Malaysia. Dr. Kashef Zayed, College of Education, received the 2nd Place at the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Award for Educational Research, awarded by Al Faisal Without Borders Foundation, Qatar.
Dr. Jokha Mohammed Al Harthi, College of Arts & Social Sciences, has been included in the long list for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. She was shortlisted for her book Celestial Bodies (English Version, translation of her Arabic Novel.
A research team from the College of Agriculture and Marine Sciences has found symptoms of a new disease is affecting Omani lime tree. The disease called Citrus greening or yellow dragon disease is one of the most serious diseases that threatens citrus production in the world. Dr. Sidgi Hassan and Prof. Ali Abdullah Al Jabri from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences received a new patent for the invention based on “New formula for the eradication of HIV” from United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Commenting on academic & institutional accreditation, Prof. Ali Al Shuaili, said that the History and Mass Communication programs at the College of Arts and Social Sciences received the accreditation from AQAS. The College of Economics and Political Science has received academic accreditation for all its programs from the European Foundation for Management Development. It becomes the first government college in the Middle East to receive this accreditation. The College of Engineering at SQU has been awarded for 15 years of providing traineeships for international students by IAESTE during the annual conference of the organization held in Cyprus. SQU has been ranked at among 201-250 according to Times Higher Education (THE) at the level of Asian universities in 2019. SQU achieved the Institutional Accreditation by Oman Academic Accreditation Authority.