German University of Technology in Oman

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German University of Technology
Type Private university
Established 2007
Rector Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell
Administrative staff
150
Students Approx. 1600
Location Halban, Oman
Affiliations RWTH Aachen University,
Germany
Website http://www.gutech.edu.om
GUtech-Logo.png

The German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) is a private university in Halban, Sultanate of Oman. It was established in 2007 in Muscat in collaboration with RWTH Aachen University in Germany, one of the leading universities of technology in Europe.

GUtech is the first university on the Arabian Peninsula and in Oman to receive international accreditation for all its BSc programs. In the Academic Year 2015/2016 more than 1600 students were enrolled in GUtech’s programs.[1]

History[edit]

The history of the German University of Technology (GUtech) can be traced back to 2003, when visionary Omanis contemplated the establishment of a high quality university of technology in Oman. This vision was inspired by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos’ directions for the provision of quality higher education in Oman by private investors.

RWTH Aachen University in Germany was approached with the intention of bringing German excellence in education to Oman. After few years of discussion and negotiation, the founders were ready to begin a plan of action for establishing a university. In August 2006, Oman Educational Services L.L.C. (OES), a limited liability company under the laws of the Sultanate of Oman, was incorporated to establish a university on formal footing. OES is also the legal entity responsible for initiating education related future projects.

A Collaborative Agreement between RWTH Aachen University and OES was signed in December 2006, paving the way for the establishment of a private university in the Sultanate of Oman. This cemented the groundwork for everything the founder envisioned: a high quality university of technology in of Oman. Specifically, the agreement laid the framework for collaboration between OES and RWTH Aachen University in terms of academic curricula, quality assurance and expertise, and setting up a technological university. All GUtech programmes have been developed in cooperation of GUtech with RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

In March 2007, The Ministry of Higher Education of the Sultanate of Oman issued a Ministerial Decision No. 9/2007 for the establishment of the Oman German University of Technology (OGTech). This was followed by the development of four Bachelor of Science programmes of study, namely: Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development, Urban Planning and Architectural Design, Applied Geosciences, Applied Information Technology.

In September 2007, the university opened its doors to students in rented premises in Athaibah. Initially, sixty (60) Omani male and female students joined the Foundation Year Programme (FYP). A preparatory study programme that acts as a bridge between high school and university education. In 2008, the name of the university was changed to the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech). Shortly thereafter, in July 2009, GUtech was the first private university in the Sultanate of Oman to receive international accreditation by ACQUIN, a German-based accreditation agency, for its Bachelor of Science programmes. With a continuously growing reputation, the university added two new Bachelor of Engineering programmes, namely: Process Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

With the same expansionary spirit, the university opened a second campus in October 2010. Given its location besides Muscat International Airport, the campus was known as the Airport Campus where all bachelor degree programmes were taught. In 2011, the Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Engineering was introduced, along with the first Masters programme, in Petroleum Geoscience.

A renowned architecture office was commissioned to design a building for the flourishing university that would reflect Oman heritage and German Precision. In 2011, construction work began to establish a state-of-the-art campus in Halban area, 25 minutes away from Muscat International Airport.

In September 2012, GUtech moved into its permanent campus in Halban, the first-ever Green Campus in Oman. A custom built and state-of-the art campus in Halban that comprises a total area of 500,000 m². The building earned the 2013 award of the best commercial building of the year in Oman, and in the Middle East. .[2]

Affiliation with RWTH Aachen University[edit]

All private higher education institutions in the Sultanate are required to have an academic affiliation with reputable international universities and colleges. GUtech is affiliated to RWTH Aachen University in Germany.

Academic programs[edit]

The university offers full-time Bachelor of Science (BSc) and Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) programs as well as a part-time Master of Science. Additionally, the University offers GUtech Foundation Programme.

The Foundation Programme has been designed to equip students with the skills required to succeed in the Bachelor programmes. Whereas the Core Studies Program mainly provides students with the necessary English language skills, the Academic Studies Program is made up of different modules including economics, mathematics, information technology, sciences and creative design.[3]

Bachelor of science programs[edit]

  • BSc in Applied Geosciences: Oman is renowned for its unique geology. A major part of the Sultanate's future is based on the exploration of its natural resources, as well as the management of fresh water supplies. The BSc program in Applied Geosciences is based on the study of the Earth and learning the procedures of searching for resources. Many topics within the program are presented in cooperation with local and international partners.[4]
  • BSc in Computer Science: This program offers a study in the field of theoretical and practical knowledge of computing. Emphasis is placed on the interaction of informatics and engineering, culture, communication and technology, including a solid understanding of the business context.[5]
  • BSc in Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development: Tourism is a key growth area for Oman. This multi-disciplinary BSc program is geared towards educating graduates with practical hands-on experience, who are capable of analyzing and managing tourism development across the region. The program combines knowledge about the environment, society, and the economic development of the regions while focusing on sustainability. Geography, tourism planning, economics, and business administration are combined with a prominent focus on development in the Sultanate of Oman and the wider Gulf region.[6]
  • BSc in Urban Planning and Architectural Design: The structure and design of cities, in respect of the natural environment, local traditions and preserving natural resources, are the focal points of this program. Another key feature of this program is the combination of essential teaching with application-oriented research in areas such as construction, engineering and geography.[7]

Bachelor of engineering programs[8][edit]

  • BEng in Mechanical Engineering: In the first phase the Mechanical Engineering program is focusing on the fundamentals of mathematics, natural sciences and informatics together with the basics of engineering. Students are given the skills required to analyze and design solutions for a diverse range of engineering problems. Throughout the program, theoretical studies are complemented by practical laboratory and field exercises.
  • BEng in Process Engineering: The program in Process Engineering focuses on applied competences for designing mechanical, chemical, and thermal processes. Process engineers are concerned with chemical and biochemical processes in which raw materials undergo change, and scaling-up processes from the laboratory into the processing plant.
  • BEng in Environmental Engineering

Master of Science Programs[edit]

  • MSc in Petroleum Geoscience (part-time)

The MSc in Petroleum Geoscience focuses on the exploration and production of oil and gas as well as the supply and sale of energy. During the two and a half year program, students will take the majority of their courses in Oman, including field-based training with outdoor activities in Oman's world class outcrops.[9]

The language of tuition at GUtech is English, German is taught as an additional foreign language.

Students[edit]

In the Academic Year 2013/2014 approx. 1100 students were enrolled in the different programs at GUtech, about 25 per cent of them are international students. Each year students receive financial aid and scholarships from different sources either from industry or government like Occidental Petroleum Corporation (Oxy), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), the Ministry of Higher Education, Oman International Fertilizer Company (OMIFCO), OMRAN and Oman Educational Services (OES).[10]

The entry requirements depend on the program and the level of entrance. For example, to enter directly into one of the Bachelor programs, students need to submit IELTS results of at least 6.0, or equivalent TOEFL results. The applicant may also need to pass a GUtech entrance examination.

International accreditation[edit]

GUtech was the first private university in the Sultanate that received international accreditation for all Bachelor of Science programs by the Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute (ACQUIN) in June 2009. ACQUIN is a non-profit agency committed to supporting the enhancement of quality standards for teaching and learning in higher education worldwide. It is a full member of the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education and operates in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Middle and Eastern Europe, North Africa, Near and Middle East.[11]

For students the international accreditation of GUtech is a further assurance that students are receiving a world-class higher education in Oman. It also means that graduates have the possibility to continue their studies at RWTH Aachen University in Germany or at any other university of their choice - depending on the individual entry requirements of the respective university.[12]

Organizational structure[edit]

GUtech is owned by private Omani shareholders (OES), who are represented by the Board of Directors (BoD). The managing board of GUtech is the Board of Governors (BoG). Members of the Board of Governors are representatives of the shareholders, of RWTH Aachen University as well as of the governmental sector of both Oman and Germany.[13]

The Rectorate, which is chaired by Professor Dr.-Ing. Michael Modigell - the Rector of GUtech - manages the university.

In January 2014, a total of 150 academic and administrative employees were employed at GUtech. The majority of the academic staff - around 70 per cent - comes from European universities.

At the moment GUtech comprises four faculties:

  • Faculty of Urban Planning and Architecture
  • Faculty of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Faculty of Economics and Sustainable Tourism
  • Faculty of Science

References[edit]

Coordinates: 23°38′11″N 58°02′46″E / 23.63625°N 58.046°E / 23.63625; 58.046