What is the development plan for Bayan College and how is Bayan College prepared to contribute to 2040 vision?
Working to accomplish the Oman Vision 2040, our vision is to recruit more international students which will contribute to the development of the economy. Higher education institutes (HEI) have a huge impact on a country's overall comprehensive development. In Oman, my focus towards the development of HEI is to recruit more students from different countries. We have taken different initiatives to recruit from Asian countries. Oman is ranked both the safest and the friendliest country in the world for expatriates to live and work, according to a new global report that looks at the countries that are the most welcoming of foreign nationals. This is an advantage that creates peaceful environment for international students to pursue their higher studies in Oman.
Where is the media industry in Oman heading, and how are you adjusting to the trends in the sector?
In media, having an international perspective is crucial, which is why we send our students to Germany, Tunisia, Jordan, Qatar, and Lebanon for intensive 10-day media programs every year. At the same time, we make sure our students stay up to date in terms of advancements, technology, knowledge, and information trends. Bayan College was also the founder of the Arab-European Association for Media and Communication Researchers (AREACORE). All communication professors and representatives that belong to it meet annually to exchange knowledge and participate in workshops, presentations, lectures, and networking. Meanwhile, we also intend for our students to adopt the positives of the media trends of our neighboring countries. However, Oman has its own personality, and Omani media worker should take that into consideration. Blending this international and local touch is thus paramount to grow future media professionals, which is why our teachings are in English and Arabic.
What role will the private education segment in Oman play in the medium term, and what gaps can be filled by the private sector?
Education has always been the top priority of His Excellency, the Late Sultan Qaboos' leadership. The private higher education sector has the ability to fulfill his vision, and position Oman as the leading knowledge hub in the region. The private higher education sector will align its work with Oman Vision 2040 and ensure a vibrant and high-quality educational system with communal partnerships with national and international bodies is maintained and strengthened. Bayan College is committed to complying with the integrated and independent system for the governance and evaluation of the educational system in accordance with national and international standards and priorities. Bayan College is an internationally accredited college with premium institution status by Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC) in the UK. All courses offered by Bayan College adhere to the following principles: value-reinforcing curricula; deep respect for the principles of Islam and the Omani identity; drawing inspiration from the history and heritage of Oman; keeping abreast of the requirements of sustainable development and future skillsets; and supporting diversification of educational pathways. Bayan College upholds a system that empowers human capabilities in the educational sector. It prioritizes scientific research, creativity, and innovation that contribute to building a knowledge-based economy and society. The senior management of the college has always ensured that there is proper funding in place for high-quality teaching and learning and to support and encourage innovative scientific research. It has also implemented various initiatives to identify and motivate national talents with the competitive capabilities and skills, both nationally and globally.
What are the strategic priorities for 2020 for Bayan College?
The first priority is to attract international students and ensure quality education. We are also doing our best to expand through new programs, and we intend to build additional facilities on a large piece of land we own. We will imminently be evolving into a university, upon our merger with Mazoon College.