International Workshop on Mathematics Held
News Round Up
Sri Lanka : the ‘Pearl’ in the Central Asian Bird Migratory Flyway
Mind Over Matter
Symposium Addresses Environmental Issues
News Update
Possible Risks of
Medical Tourism
Department of Public
Relations and Information
Sultan Qaboos University
Issue 235
View Point
Flying Colours
It is known to everybody that two Omani teams had participated in Microsoft
Imagine Cup USA 2011 worldwide competition. The team “Brothers Forever”
was the only team from the Arab World in the category of Digital Media to
have reached the finals and won second place in the Digital Media category of
the Imagine Cup USA 2011.
Humaid Abdullah Al Adwani
Editorial Supervision & Editor in Chief
M.K. Santhosh
Senior Editor
Ahlam Al Wahaibi
Design & Layout
Rashad Al Wahaibi
& Photography Dept., CET
Photography
The ‘Brothers Forever’ team was from SQU and its team members were Osama
Al Adawi and Salim Al Harbi, with Malik Al Kindi as Team Mentor. Competitors in the Digital Media category were asked to create Web videos to share
their points of view and generate awareness of critical global issues. The
‘Brothers Forever’ project team video, entitled ‘Clorofilter for a Green Life’,
tells the story about a man from the future, who shows us a better future with
a great invention that can help reduce pollution by filtering smoke and toxins
from the air. Thanks to the achievement; SQU is an integral part of Imagine
Cup competitions in Oman and the region and this is the reason why the Imagine Cup 2012 regional level competitions were officially kicked off at a function
held in SQU last week.
We repeat that SQU is happy and proud of the sultanate’s achievement represented by a team which consisted of its students. This win did not come
out of thin air, but from the great efforts made by the team at various stages
of the competition, until they reached the winning stage. The achievements
of our students in the 2011 competition proves that they have the creativity
and potential to qualify for international competitions and elevate the name of
the Sultanate in international forums. Microsoft Imagine Cup is a very tough
competition that hosts the brightest and most innovative minds from all over
the world and our achievement last year was a testament of the talent and
potential that exists in SQU, Oman and the region. The success of the Omani
team showcases how creativity, technology, and successful partnerships can
combine to produce amazing results.
It is with increased energy and enthusiasm that SQU is looking at the Imagine
Cup competitions at regional and global levels. We hope there would be more
winners from the university this time who are destined to bring glory to their
institutions and the Sultanate at large. Best of luck to all participants!
Horizon invites contributions from SQU members of staff and faculty. Contributions in the form of articles,
news, travelogues, stories of unique and interesting experiences, encounters, etc., are welcome. Contributions
may be edited for the sake of clarity and length. Please send your contributions to [email protected] preferably, as MSWord attachments. Authors will be suitably credited.
Horizon is published three times a month by the Department of Public Relations and Information,
Sultan Qaboos University, P.O. Box 50, P.C. 123, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Phone: +968 24141045
E-mail: [email protected]
29 February 2012 P2
Fax: +968 24413 391
Website: www.squ.edu.om
Symposium Addresses
Environmental Issues
The opening ceremony of the Symposium on “Environmental Problems
in the Arab World: Meeting Challenges of Sustainable Development”
organized by the Department of Geography in the College of Arts &
Social Sciences, and the Centre for Environmental Studies & Research
(CESAR) at SQU, was held under the patronage of HE Mohammed bin
Salem al Tobi, Minister of Environment & Climate Affairs.
The symposium addressed several issues related to the actual environmental situation in the Arab World as well as the economic, social and
environmental changes it is witnessing, in an attempt to monitor various aspects of deterioration caused to the ecosystems and to identify the
local and foreign elements which contribute to this deterioration at the
human and natural levels. The event was supported by the Research
Council Oman (TRC) and the Association of Arab Universities. Dr. Salim Al Hatrushi, Chairman of the symposium said that the event was
the best forum to draw appropriate comparisons about the prevalent
environmental challenges and to explore the initiatives taken by Arab
countries to address them. “It also encompasses an attempt to examine
the interaction of local communities –urban, rural and nomadic-with
these initiatives”.
Prof. Mustafa Idris Elbasir, Assistant Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities gave a talk on behalf of the Association. He
said that the Arab World is facing a lot of environmental problems like
elsewhere in the world. Lack of drinking water, air and sea pollution,
global warming, and irregular population distribution, etc. are some of
them. He called for urgent remedial measures to address these problems
and hoped that the symposium would come up with solutions to a wide
range of problems that the region is facing.
In the opening ceremony, Prof. Ruud Schotting, who holds the Sultan
Qaboos Chair for Water Management in Utrecht University, delivered
a presentation on “How natural processes can assist in solving environmental problems”. He explained how algae and bacteria could be
utilized clean up oil spills in seawater and oil field produced contaminated water.
News Update
GESU Group at SQU
HH Sayyida Dr. Mona bint Fahad Al Said, Assistant Vice Chancellor for
External Cooperation, Sultan Qaboos University, recently received the
Gulf Encyclopedia for Sustainable Urbanism (GESU) research group at
the university. The team was headed by Prof. Nader Ardalan of Harvard
Graduate School of Design. Their research study will focus on sustainable urbanism in the Gulf region and the project will result in the creation and circulation of an encyclopedia called the “Gulf Encyclopedia for
Sustainable Urbanism,” which will make the research findings widely accessible.
Prof. Nader Ardalan said that the researchers are studying 10 cities including Muscat in the 8 countries in the Persian Gulf. “The GESU project
is expected to be completed in three phases and will draw on the region’s
environment -both land and sea, its urbanism and architecture, and its
society, culture and economics”.
At SQU, the researchers exhibited the materials about Muscat city which
they gathered during the first phase of the project and discussed it. The
next phase of the research will involve the contemporary historic perspective, drawing relations among growth, planning, architectural, urban design, economic and socio-cultural studies. The project will generate ideas
about development for the future that are friendly to the environment.
HH Sayyida Dr. Mona Al Said said that SQU is looking forward to play a
key role during the second phase, proceeding from a facilitator role in the
first phase. She promised all support from SQU in providing further information on the geography, topography and marine ecosystems of Muscat to the GESU team with the help of researchers in the university.
The GESU study is meant to solve the lack of written resources on the subject. The similarities, differences, and interconnections among the eight
countries that border the Gulf – Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Iran and Iraq – have not been previously studied. The initial
research is seen as important for the region’s coastal strips, as despite differences in environmental and socio-economic conditions, the countries
share the coastal zone of the Gulf, and have a direct impact on each other.
The project is funded by Qatar Foundation.
Advanced General Medicine Conference Held
The opening ceremony of the Second Advanced Medicine Conference,
held jointly by SQU, the Royal College of Physicians-London, and the
Ministry of Health, was held at SQU under the patronage of HE Dr. Ali
bin Talib al Hinai, Undersecretary for Planning & Training at the Ministry of Health. Sir Richard Thompson, President of the Royal College of
Physicians (London) attended the conference.
In his opening remarks on the occasion, Prof. Nicolas Woodhouse of the
College of Medicine & Health Sciences at SQU said that the link between
the Royal College of Physicians and SQU would benefit in terms of exchange of knowledge, educating the medical and technical staff, and flow
of medical students for internship to the UK institutions, and postgraduate training for doctors. He said that this association would also help the
medical researchers at SQU to further advance their work and benefit
from the collaborative efforts. Delivering the welcome address, HE Dr.
Ali bin Saud al Bimani, Vice Chancellor of SQU said that the conference
is attended by top medical professionals from Oman and around the world
and promises to further the reputation of the College of Medicine & Health
Sciences for excellence in undertaking and promoting advanced medical
research.
Sir Richard Thompson said that the Royal College of Physicians is pleased
with its links with the Sultanate of Oman. “We are looking forward to more
trained doctors from Oman to come to our institution for advanced training and we also would like to learn from the experiences of Oman in the
field of Medicine.” Sir Thompson said that his institute would be relentless
in its pursuit of improvements in healthcare and the health of the population. He observed that smoking and alcoholism are creating a lot of health
problems in societies worldwide. “Contagious diseases like malaria and
dengue fever and still common among populations. Diseases like diabetes
is another concern. Air pollution from traffic and industry is causing a lot
of respiratory problems”, he added.
29 February 2012 P3
Insight
Prof. Lamk Al Lamki
Taking into consideration the negative aspects of
medical tourism worldwide, experts in Oman have
stressed the need for comprehensive studies on the
growing tendency among the people to go abroad
for medical treatment. Prof. Lamk Al Lamki, Chief
Editor of Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
(SQUMJ), says that the quality and safety of medical
treatment abroad has to be studied and questioned
and it should be under the scrutiny of the medical profession and the Ministry of Health in Oman.
Many Omani patients are sent abroad as “outsourced
patients”. They are sent abroad by the government,
when the necessary treatment or the specialist is not
available locally. Sometimes locally available treatment is not trusted by the patients. “Unless we have
good grip on the quality of the care that our patients
are receiving abroad, their safety may be at risk. We
need more statistics, better studies and better reporting systems. The question of who will look after these
patients when they return, has not been answered,
but must be tackled”, he says.
In the editorial of SQUMJ issue dated November 2011, Prof. Lamk points
out that there is a major lack of systematic data about health services provided abroad, not only for Omanis, but also for citizens of many other countries. “More organised studies are needed and specifically outcome studies.
Research into the delivery of health care has not yet adequately evaluated
the case of medical tourism. The issue of lack of data must be taken very
seriously. Medical tourism has some benefits, but there are more problems
with it and, as physicians, we have to keep in mind our basic principles of
beneficence and non-maleficence”.
Prof. Lamk says that there are many problems associated with medical
tourism which include poor or no follow-up care. “After being in hospital for a short while and having a vacation, the patient comes home with,
perhaps, complications of the surgery or side effects of the drugs. It is a
surgical principal that every surgeon looks after his own complications and
obviously that does not apply for most if not all patients who have been
treated abroad. Many countries have very weak malpractice laws and thus
patients have limited ability to complain about poor medical care”.
Another risk is that patients may not tolerate travel very well, or may not
have inherent resistance to some of the diseases in the host countries. Prof.
Lamk therefore underscores the need to have better scientific studies on
the impact of medical tourism on the health care services of the source and
destination countries as well as on the patients themselves. “We need more
statistics on the rate of complications”.
He observes that many medical tourists are satisfied, but satisfaction does
not always parallel good outcome. “Often satisfaction can simply be a result of good service. The “outsourced patients,” or those who are sent by
the government, are often dissatisfied with the total experience compared
to the true self-financed medical tourists. That is why an institution has
to be accredited for good medical care with a good quality assurance programme rather than just good service”.
Prof. Lamk further clarifies that patients going abroad need to get good advice. According to the World Tourism Organization’s Global Code of Ethics
29 February 2012 P4
Possible Risks of
Medical Tourism
for Medical Tourism, medical tourists should have the same rights as
citizens of destination countries. Unfortunately, that is not always the
case and that is another potential source of problems.
According to Prof. Lamk, a further potential significant problem with
medical tourism is that sometimes it impacts the source country’s health
care system. A source country may become complacent by being able to
send its citizens abroad for certain procedures and thus fail to develop
the appropriate national services. He cites the development of positron
emission tomography (PET) in Oman as an example of this. “This has
been delayed for years now as patients are simply sent abroad for PET
imaging. Sending patients abroad is not only costly to the government,
but it also dilutes the political support and the will to develop certain essential national services. This situation often helps create a 2-tier system
in the destination country whereby the local population receives secondclass treatment while medical tourist gets much better treatment in the
more sophisticated, well-equipped, state-of-the-art hospitals”.
One of the major concerns related to medical tourism is the ethical aspects of treatment. These are to be examined and the risks discussed with
the patient, but, on the other hand, it is important that patients have their
own autonomy in decision-making. Beneficence and non-maleficence are
the basis of medical ethics. Prof. Lamk calls attention to the fact that it is
the responsibility of the physicians to promote patients’ welfare, treat
them with justice and improve their health while avoiding harming
them. These ethical principles are not easily upheld in the delicate balance of commerce versus medical ethics.
Another ethical consideration is that each country may have a different
standard of medical ethics. For example, what is considered experimental therapy in one country, like stem cell therapy, is routinely used in the
private institutions providing care for medical tourists in other countries.
Likewise, the medical ethics related to organ transplantation differ from
country to country. While most countries do not allow the involvement
of money in organ donation, it is a common practice in some countries;
donors can even be a living non-relative which is not acceptable in most
countries and in medical ethics.
Mind Over Matter
Sri Lanka : the ‘Pearl’ in the Central
Asian Bird Migratory Flyway
By: Prof. Sarath Wimalabandara Kotagama
their return journey and by mid April many have left the country. A few stragglers do remain through the year. It is believed
that these birds have not matured and as such have not travelled
back to breed.
The routes of entry from these observations though not confirmed have been broadly recognized. The birds from the Northern land mass basically travel down to Sri Lanka along the East
and Western Coastlines of India to reach the tip of India. They
cross over to Sri Lanka mainly from Point Calimere, Coumorin
Point or along the Adam’s bridge. Some are known to fly across
the Palk strait over the sea. Entering the country they disperse
either along the coast line or enter the country along river systems or remaining forest clusters.
Sri Lanka, situated at the tip of the Indian subcontinent was referred to
as the ‘pearl’ of the Indian Ocean. Historically the sea on the north western sector south of the Mannar Island was a major pearl fishing bed. The
pearls fished from the waters were known to be the finest in the world
and sought after by the royalties across the world. The pearls are no more
today, but the country remain to provide its shores and sea around as
a “pearl” for the Central Asian migratory birds. In the absence of any
significant terrestrial land mass beyond to the south makes Sri Lanka a
unique place for the migratory birds.
Birds moving south due to the harsh winters of the north ends their journey
in Sri Lanka. Of the 494 recorded birds in the country today, 113 are regular
migrants, 93 are considered as vagrants, 55 species the status is uncertain/
unknown, while 11 species have both migrant and resident populations.
The regular migrants constitute mostly waders, ducks and birds of prey.
Among the most belong to the Plovers and Sandpiper group. The waders
travel down from both East and West of the Indian subcontinent. Available
literature indicate that many of such wide spread population show distinct
sub specific differences. Eg. Tringa totanus - Common Redshank, Limosa lapponica – Bar-tailed Godwit, Numenius arquata – Curlew, to name a
few.
Flying down to the winter feeding grounds in Sri Lanka brings the different subspecies together. When they depart back to the breeding grounds ,
do they part in the same way? These questions remain important and require future studies. The other main group that come to Sri Lanka is the
ducks (Family Anatidae; 06 are migrants, 06 are vagrants and 05 status is
unknown). In this group only two members breed out of 18 that have been
recorded in the country. In the Falconidae or “birds of prey” 35 have been
recorded in the country only 14 breed, the rest come from outside . Among
the forest birds the migrant numbers are extremely low.
Studies on migrants have been restricted primary to bird records made by
dedicated birdwatchers through the years. These observations have been
able to provide some information on the times of migration and routes that
they come and go from Sri Lanka. Migrants arrive by the end of August
and leave by March of the following year. Most birds have completed the
inward journey in October. The ducks come down mostly in November.
The months of December through to Early March is the best months for
observing migrant birds in Sri Lanka. By the end of march the commence
Confirmation of these routes and their roles in the country require intense studies primarily through ringing programmes.
Sri Lanka commenced this effort officially in 1977 and in 2000
a National Bird Ringing Programme was established. The ringing programme coordinated by the Field Ornithology Group of
Sri Lanka with the permission and active participation of the
Department of Wildlife Conservation has provided some key
information about the birds.
Bird ringing in 1982 at Sinharaja World Heritage Reserve and
Bundala National Park for water birds confirmed the concept of
Site Tenacity for forest and water birds. Three birds returned
back to the same locality , while the ringing at Bundala has confirmed the same for waders. The study has also shed light on
the confirmation of migrant populations coming from the East
and West of the Asian Continent. The preliminary analysis of the
Common Redshanks indicate this. Ringing also resulted in the
confirmation of two species for Sri Lanka, the Wryneck and the
White-cheeked Tern.
The forest bird migrants are mostly seen in the cool climes of the
hill country forests and home gardens. The available forest are
thus important stronghold for their survival. Similarly there is
a large portion of predators among the migrants their needs and
conservation has not researched yet.
Analysis of the large number of vagrants indicate very significant interesting trends. Are we seen the impacts of global climate change in the moving avifauna in the region is one of them.
This year (2011) we saw over 16 Sooty Tern juveniles driven by
storms out at sea succumb on land. Among them were a few
adults and some with rings. One of them had been ringed 22 yrs
ago in the Aride Is, Seychelles by Dr Chris Fear.
In the light of reducing natural habitats competitive adjustments for feeding, habitat occupancy etc have yet to be studied
in detail. The conservation challenges the migrants face are immense. Sri Lanka is a significant location in the Central Asian
Migratory Fly way, yet the studies and focus to inquire has not
been adequate.
(The author is an Ornithologist-Wildlife Ecologist currently working
as Professor of Environment Science in the Department of Zoology at
the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. This article is based on a working paper that he presented at the International Conference on “Oman
as a Gravitational Center in the Global Flyway Network of Migratory
Shorebirds” organized by SQU.)
29 February 2012 P5
News Round Up
International Workshop on
Mathematics Held
Student Counselling Centre
Holds Open House
The Open House organised by the Student Counselling Centre at SQU gave
an opportunity for the university community and people from outside to
have a look around in order to gain information on the Centre and its activities. The first ever open house organized by the centre lasted for three days
from 19 February.
Sultan Qaboos University and GUtech jointly hosted the First International Mathematics Workshop which discussed the latest developments
in number theory and applied mathematics and special contributions
of students and e-learning.
Commenting on the importance of the event, Dr. Bernhard Heim of
GUtech, who was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the
workshop, said that number theory is one of the most important areas
of modern science in mathematics. “In the workshop, international experts in number theory and recognized researchers specialized in other
fields of mathematics presented their latest findings with respect to
applications in modern computer science, biology, traffic optimization
and statistics”, he said.
Dr. Mehiddin al Baali of SQU said that the event facilitated a close exchange between scientists and students of Germany, Oman and Japan
for developing and shaping their academic career. “The workshop gave
students and researchers in Oman the unique opportunity to attend
high quality scientific talks in their home country”, he added.
The workshop was held from 18 to 22 of February. The activities of the
first three days were held in GUtech and for the remaining two days,
the sessions were held in SQU College of Science. Around 40 mathematicians from Lebanon, Japan, Germany, France, India, Oman and other
countries participated in the workshop.
The Student Counselling Centre at SQU was opened in 1999. It provides a
comprehensive program of support services to assist the students in their
adjustment to the demands of university environment. Its goal is to help
students grown in self understanding and awareness so that they are able to
better meet the demands of the college life and enjoy the university experience. At the beginning of each academic year, during the student orientation
week for new students, the centre offers a general lecture for the ne cohort for
identifying the centre and the services offered.
Dr. Muna al Bahrani, Director of the Student Counselling Centre said that
the Open House is held with a view to publicise the activities of the centre among the university community consisting of students, academics and
other employees. “The centre provides individual and group counselling to
the students to better equip them with the university environment, organises regular lectures on personality development and leadership skills, holds
training workshops and provides consultation to staff members. The idea is
effective integration between the centre and the beneficiaries”, she said.
Badr al Amri, Director of Administration of the Centre said that consultation
services of the centre extends to organizations outside the university such
as private companies, schools and academic institutions, and government
organizations. “This open house is a milestone in the journey of the Centre to
be a distinct centre offering counselling services and applied researchers at
the regional level”, he said. The Centre also offers mobile phone counselling
for students. To avail this service students could dial 2414 1826.
SQU Hosts Commencement of Imagine Cup 2012
place in the world level competition in 2012. SQU team, Brothers for Ever, representing Oman had won the second place in software design category. Abdul Aseez al Kharusi, General Manager for Outreach and Media at ITA, in his
speech, said that ITA was successful in its efforts to enhance awareness among
university student community in Oman about international competitions like
Imagine Cup. Saif Hilal al Hosni, Business Development Manager, Microsoft
Oman, said the he was proud of the level of creativity and innovation of the
Omani students who won the second place in Imagine Cup 2011. “We hope
more victories for Omani student in the future”, he added.
SQU celebrated the commencement of 10th session of Imagine Cup
2012 competition for students, organised by Microsoft, under the
patronage of HE Dr. Ali bin Saud al Bimani, the Vice Chancellor. Microsoft Oman, Information Technology Authority (ITA), and SQU
are the co- organisers of the event, which is sponsored by Omantel.
Welcoming the gathering on the occasion, Humaid al Adwani, Acting Director of the Department of Public Relations and Information at SQU said that the university was proud to have won second
29 February 2012 P6
The competition provides the students with an active platform which empowers them to unleash their capabilities and passion for technical innovations.
Imagine Cup is also considered to be the world’s most important student competition. It is an initiative taken by Microsoft to stimulate students’ imagination and abilities and turn them into technical solutions capable of making a
clear and positive difference in addressing the challenges facing today’s world.
Imagine Cup is a significant supplement to Innovation Accelerator programme
hosted by Microsoft to increase social and economic opportunities through
programmes and software that contribute to advance learning levels and stimulate innovations for local communities as it provides more opportunities all
over the world.
A Sun that never sets
Twenty five years of commitment
Straight Talk
Horizon: Could you explain the purpose of your visit to Oman and SQU?
Prof. Cheryl Merle
de la Rey
Prof. Cheryl: The primary aim of my visit to SQU is to build on the existing
collaboration between the UP and SQU and to make sure that the collaboration
extends to more colleges at SQU which is currently limited to the College of Agricultural & Marine Sciences. We would like to have broader collaboration of mutual
benefits to both UP and SQU.
Horizon:
UP?
Prof. Cheryl Merle de la Rey is the Vice
Chancellor and Principal of the University
of Pretoria (UP) in South Africa. She is a
qualified psychologist and was previously a
Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of
Cape Town as well as Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Higher Education. Prof.
Cheryl Merle de la Rey recently headed the
University of Pretoria’s delegation to Sultan
Qaboos University (SQU) with a view to
strengthen the existing ties between the two
universities. Excerpts from her conversation
with Horizon:
Could you briefly comment on the teaching and research profiles of
Prof. Cheryl: UP is over 100 years old. It started as a research-intensive university. The university is organised into nine faculties and a business school. UP is
currently listed among the top universities in Africa according to various ranking
systems. Traditionally we have collaboration mostly with the European and North
American universities. However, we would like to become establish ties with other
regions of the world. Historically, South Africa has many years of collaborations
with Oman.
Horizon:
East?
Does UP have any collaboration with universities in the Middle
Yes, we do. We have collaboration with some universities in
this region in Engineering, Health Sciences and related areas. In terms of collaboration with SQU, we are currently focussing on Plant Sciences and Animal Sciences.
During my visit to SQU, I visited the College of Education and I hope to initiate
some new areas of collaboration with this college.
Prof. Cheryl:
Horizon: Do you think that both UP and SQU have many things in common so
as to further activate collaboration?
Prof. Cheryl: Yes, indeed! During my meeting with the Vice Chancellor of
SQU, I realised that his objectives for SQU are almost identical with my objectives
for UP. Both universities are stressing internationalization and improving international ranking of the respective institutions. We also have commonness in the sense
that both universities are growing rapidly. UP is the largest fulltime contact university in South Africa and we continue to grow. Both SQU and UP make sure that the
institutions are growing and improving quality of their academic programs at the
same time.
Horizon:
output?
Is UP the number one university in South Africa in terms of research
Prof. Cheryl: We produce the highest number of research publications each
year. In certain areas like Plant and Animal Sciences, we are one of the top performing universities in the world today. Our Faculty of Veterinary Science is the
second oldest veterinary school in Africa and the only veterinary school in South
Africa. Also, there are other areas in which we are really strong. We have the largest Engineering School in the country which has currently enrolled more than 3000
students in the Engineering programs.
Horizon: Could you summarise the outcomes of your meetings with SQU Vice
Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellors and Deans of the colleges?
Prof. Cheryl: In terms of collaboration, what is more important is the mutual
commitment to make sure that there is a real follow up for the discussions . What
we would like to see is joint research programs and exchange of students between
our institutions. To support this, I had a meeting with the authorities of the Research Council of Oman (TRC) who promised all support including financial assistance to proceed with joint researches in certain strategic areas. As countries, both
Oman and South Africa have priority areas and strategic projects. Cultivation and
conservation of healthy trees are important for South Africa. For Oman, conservation of date palms is an important concern. In fact, UP has expertise in this we area
and we hope to bring together plant scientists who could work together to mitigate
diseases affecting date palms in Oman.
Horizon: What is going to be the next step in furthering collaboration between
the two universities?
Prof. Cheryl: The very next step from my side would be an official invitation
to SQU Vice Chancellor to visit UP during this calendar year. We will hold a SQUUP joint workshop very soon where researchers on both sides could come together
and identify joint projects. The College of Education at SQU is hosting an international conference in November this year. I would provide funding to a group of
academics at UP to attend this conference and work out future areas of collaboration. We want people to move in both directions. Quality of teacher training and
quality of education are areas in which both universities are interested.
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Possible Risks of Medical Tourism