As part of the continuous efforts to review and improve its academic programs, SQU organized a workshop on the Future of Computing Programs at the University on Tuesday, 1 October 2019. This workshop was aimed at providing a platform for debating with the academic colleges and departments offering computing programs, local stakeholders and invited international experts the different restructuring options and their associated strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.
The workshop was held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Saud Al Bemani, Vice Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University with the presence of invited local stakeholders and representatives from government and private organizations with strong ties to the SQU computing programs. Invited international speakers came from National University of Singapore, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals-Saudi Arabia, Qatar University and Carnegie Mellon University-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. From each of the three colleges of Science, Engineering, and Economics & Political Science at SQU, deans, heads of departments concerned, assistant deans and five faculty members participated in the workshop.
The University reviews and restructure its academic programs based on the global trends to meet the growing needs of the local society. Information and Communication Technology is a major area in the economy of any society. Oman’s 2040 future vision calls for preparing all mechanisms and policies to cope with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. As part of its efforts to respond to these global and local needs, SQU is studying the restructuring of its academic programs and departments in the different fields of computing. The restructuring aims to offer better opportunities for the graduates and to inject specialized work force in the job market to meet the growing needs of the local society and to be in line with the global trends in these fields.
Prof. Amer Ali Al Rawas, SQU Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Community Service, in his opening remarks, said that Sultan Qaboos University has always emphasized academic program review as a culture and as a regular practice. “SQU regularly reviews its academic programs to ensure alignment with labor market needs, to respond to current and future development plans and to make its programs in line with the latest relevant scientific developments. SQU is very keen on engaging stakeholders and partners and involving them in Department and College Advisory Boards, and on conducting regular surveys for stakeholders’ views and input”, he added.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor further said that academically, the University is working on making all its programs accredited by specialized international accreditation agencies. “The University is also getting its academic programs reviewed by external experts to ensure these programs keep abreast with the best international practices in program development”.
The University offers three programs in the area of computing. These are: Computer Science Program in the College of Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering Program in the College of Engineering, and Information Systems Program in the College of Economics and Political Science. These three programs have been on offer since the early years of the University and many students have graduated from them having the knowledge and skills required by the labor market. These graduates have been effectively contributing to Oman’s national development plans.
“Today, we are very grateful for your participation in this workshop in which we will work together to discuss these programs to enable them to meet the latest international developments and practices in this area. The aim is to make these programs meet the ever-changing market demands”, Prof Amer said.