GCU graduates will help transform health care across Oman

18 December 2012

Kay Keir (far right) with students of Omans Institute of Health Sciences

Kay Keir (far right) with students of Omans Institute of Health Sciences

Students of Oman’s Institute of Health Sciences have graduated from GCU in a unique transnational collaboration designed to help improve health care across the country.

In November, 31 students graduated in absentia from the School of Health and Life Sciences in BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy Studies, BSc (Hons) Radiography Studies and BSc (Hons) Medical Laboratory Sciences and will formally graduate at a national ceremony in Oman on January 30.

Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean, Professor Veronica James, School of Health and Life Sciences, will present the GCU graduates with their scrolls at the ceremony, where they will be joined by graduates of institutions across the Sultanate. Vice Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences Vincent McKay will also attend the national ceremony.

Said Mr McKay: “The School is delighted to welcome this first cohort of graduates into the GCU community.  The primary aim of the collaboration with our Omani colleagues is to contribute to the improvement of health care in Oman through the academic development of Omani health care professionals. As such, the project is a further example of the School and GCU’s commitment to the common good in action in the international arena.”

The students were taught in Oman by staff from GCU and staff of the Institute of Health Sciences, run by Oman’s Ministry of Health. As well as improving health care across Oman, the project is contributing to the Sultanate’s “Omanisation” policy, a drive towards replacing its international workforce with Omani nationals.

Kay Keir, project leader, said: “The GCU team has really enjoyed working with Omani students and we have learned so much from working with them in their own community. We hope that these programmes will make a difference to how evidence-based practice is embedded within each discipline and that our graduates will fulfil our aim of having a lead role in shaping the future of their professions in Oman.”

GCU was selected by the Ministry from universities across Britain to run a five-year teaching programme, which initially focussed on physiotherapy but has been expanded to include radiography and medical laboratory sciences and, now, doctorate programmes. The collaboration is designed to improve professional standards in health care in Oman and gives Omani diploma holders an opportunity to “top-up” to Honours level in a GCU-designed programme.