A remote meeting has been held with representatives of Sultan Qaboos University (Sultanate of Oman). The meeting attendees discussed the development of inter-university cooperation.
Opening the meeting, Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, noted that St Petersburg University is interested in cooperation with higher education institutions of Oman. Previously, St Petersburg University signed a cooperation agreement with Sultan Qaboos University, and its representatives visited the partner university of the Sultanate to discuss possible areas of cooperation.
St Petersburg University is the oldest university in Russia, founded almost 300 years ago, and today it has a status that gives it special rights.
Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs
'As a classical university, it represents almost all fields of knowledge, from the arts to nuclear physics, and this gives us great opportunities for cooperation in all areas where we will find points of intersection,' said Sergey Andryushin.
Fatma Al-Hussani, an expert in international cooperation, said that more than 18,000 students currently study at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman's only public university. It has nine colleges covering such sciences as engineering, economics, law, medicine and healthcare, nursing, pedagogy and others. The university also has more than 12 research centers in a variety of fields related to both the humanities and the sciences.
Amjad Talafheh, Associate Professor of Arabic in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, described the possibilities of learning Arabic as a foreign language at Sultan Qaboos University. For undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students who have not previously studied Arabic, a special course is available that involves 24 hours of compulsory classes per week and six hours of electives. Students may choose to attend lectures on Arabic for Diplomats, Arabic Literature or the contemporary Arabic press. At the end of the year's programme, students receive a certificate confirming their Arabic language level of proficiency. In turn, St Petersburg University professor Oleg Redkin from the Department of Arabic Philology spoke about studying Arabic at St Petersburg University.
During the conversation, the parties exchanged proposals for the development of academic and research cooperation.
Hamood Al-Qasimi, Head of Student and Academic Exchanges, said that Sultan Qaboos University would like to organise academic exchanges with St Petersburg University in 2022 in programmes in natural sciences and engineering. Of particular interest, in his opinion, is the field of mathematics, which is very successfully developing at St Petersburg University. Sergey Andryushin agreed and added that it is equally important to develop cooperation in the humanities: for example, in Arabic studies and the study of the Arabic language. At the end of the talks, it was decided to work together on concluding a protocol on student, research and academic exchange.
Sultan Qaboos University was included in the programme of the visit of the Russian delegation to Oman that is aimed to establish humanitarian relations. The meeting was attended by Igor Gerasimov Professor in the Department of History of the Middle East Countries at St Petersburg University. As a result of the visit, an exhibition devoted to Oman was opened in the M. Gorky Scientific Library of St Petersburg University. It features a book collection presented to the University by Mr Jamal al-Moosawi, Secretary General of the National Museum of Oman, as well as national costumes and photographs.