University student celebrates their own personal
triumph on graduation day, but the first graduates
of the special University of Leeds degree
programme for Omani teachers of English have
been lauded as a triumph for their country
Government ministers for education and for
higher education attended the ceremony in
Muscat, which saw nearly 300 teachers receive
their BA in education studies (TESOL). The
programme was developed at the University
of Leeds as part of far-reaching reforms in
the Omani education system.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor David Sugden,
who attended the ceremony and held talks with
the ministers, said: This programme
is the Omani governments biggest single
education contract and the largest overseas
education undertaking for the University.
Its satisfying to know that our graduates
will be helping to implement the educational
reforms in Oman, drawing on knowledge and
skills developed during their degree.
The ceremony, and Professor Sugdens
meetings with government ministers, made the
headlines in the countrys main English
language paper, Oman Daily Observer.
Graduate Shamsa bint Ali bin Khamis Al-Rashidi
said: The course motivated us and refreshed
our interest in teaching. It helped us to
develop our analytical and reflective skills
and introduced us to different ways of doing
classroom research. And it greatly improved
our skills in English, she added.
The programme aims to upgrade over 1000 Omani
teachers of English to BA status by 2008.
The teachers study for three years, primarily
in Oman on a day release basis, taught by
Leeds and local lecturers. During their second
year, the students spend eight weeks in at
the University, improving their English and
learning more about British culture.