The two universities are collaborating to deliver three undergraduate programmes across engineering and technology, business and management and transport and logistics that will give students a unique joint degree both institutions.
The partnership also focuses on collaborative research, professional training and executive education.
Professor Cameron said in his speech at the launch in Muscat on 13 November: “Muscat University shares much in common with Aston University. We both support innovation and entrepreneurship, with strong links to the business communities in our respective countries.
“Birmingham was the heartland of the first industrial revolution, Oman and the Gulf States are helping to lead a renaissance in enterprise, with aspirations to produce highly employable graduates who can go on to lead companies, but also found companies of their own.
“If one word links Aston and Muscat it is ‘employability.’ It is our shared bond that is reflected in the degree programmes we have developed together, and in our shared focus on graduate outcomes. Aston pioneered the integrated placement year, where students spend time working in business as part of their degree, and a placement year will also make a degree from Muscat University highly distinctive, and give that degree a lifetime value.”
In her speech, Professor Yusra Mouzughi, Interim Vice Chancellor of Muscat University, emphasised the objectives of providing quality education in partnership with Aston and also with Cranfield University, which is offering postgraduate programmes.
Professor Cameron added: “Employability goes beyond the placement year and permeates through the curriculum. It is about supporting students to develop a range of knowledge, skills and behaviours to enable them to improve their self-confidence and self-esteem, so that they can navigate the world of work.
“We believe employability skills build global citizenship as they foster team working, problem solving and communication as well as subject knowledge. So as we train young people to aspire to a high flying career, we also train them to become well rounded and active citizens.”
“We know that our model at Aston University works and are certain that in collaboration with colleagues at Muscat, it will work for the students of Muscat University.”
Muscat University was established in 2016 and its first intake of Aston-Muscat students began their studies this September in BSc Logistics with Supply Chain Management. The BSc Accounting for Management and BEng Chemical Engineering courses start in 2018..
The aim of the partnership is to deliver high quality, research-informed degrees that are relevant to the economic and social priorities of Oman and the surrounding region and which produce public and private sector leaders of the future.
The official opening was attended by His Highness, Sayyid Asa’ad bin Tariq Al Said, Deputy Prime Minister for Relations and International Co-operation Affairs and the Sultan of Oman’s Special Representive. Senior government officials, including the Minister of Education, as well as private sector leaders and the British Ambassador to Oman also attended. The celebrations included an alumni dinner attended by more than 100 people.
His Highness is pictured above front row, fifth from left, outside Muscat University. Professor Alec Cameron is third row, centre, while Professor Yusra Mouzughi is front row, third from left. Also pictured on the front row, sixth from left, is Dr Juma, chair of Muscat University’s board of trustees who led arrangements for the launch and extreme right, Professor Sir Peter Gregson, Vice Chancellor of Cranfield University.
Notes to the editor
Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led university known for its world-class teaching quality, and strong links to business and the professions. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.
Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years and our students do extremely well in securing top jobs and careers. Our strong relationships with industry partners mean we understand the needs of employers, which is why we are also ranked in the top 20 for graduate employability.
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