Dynamic interaction sought between HEIs and industries

STAFF REPORTER –
MUSCAT, Dec 19 –
The participants at the scientific virtual symposium on ‘Higher education and industrial institutions: Strengthening links towards Oman 2040’ recommended more dynamic interaction between the industries and the HEIs.
The symposium was held at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) in Nizwa that focused on the recognition of the integral role of higher education in promoting sustainable economic and social development towards the Oman 2040 vision — a role that has been recently amplified in response to the ever-changing dynamic needs of the labour market.
Among 28 research papers presented during the symposium had five main themes: The alignment of the curriculum with the labour market needs; Quality standards in preparing higher education graduates for the labour market; The skills required for the global market; Promoting the culture of entrepreneurship in higher education institutions; and Internship and on-job-training programmes and community participants.
Reflecting on the symposium, Dr Amna al Abri, one of the chairpersons in the symposium sessions and Assistant Programme Director of the Mass Communication programme, stated it had surpassed expectations amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has been fruitful in leveraging the relationship between the industry and entrepreneurial experts on one hand and HEI’s leaders and researchers on the other and creating deeper engagement.
The symposium focused on recognition of the integral role of higher education in promoting sustainable economic and social development towards the Oman 2040 vision — a role that has been recently amplified in response to the ever-changing dynamic needs of the labour market.
Dr Salim al Shaikh, Assistant Dean for the Academic Affairs and Scientific Research, said, “The most prominent indicators of Oman Vision 2040 is to increase the Omani workforce in the private sector to 40 per cent. This percentage, he stressed, cannot be easily reached unless the gap between the higher education and labour market is bridged.”
In his keynote speech, Dr Faisal al Balushi, Head of the Office of Science, Knowledge and Technology Transfer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, called for necessary famaliarisation of the higher education institutions to understand the requirements of the labour market.