The University of Portsmouth has won a prestigious contract to oversee the courses at a new military technological college in Oman.
The agreement is the first of its kind for the University, and the Faculty of Technology will be involved in the development of the college from the outset.
The partnership between the University and the Military Technological College in Oman will see the joint development of four engineering degrees for up to 4,200 students. The college, funded by the Omani government, is due to welcome the first 1,000 students in September 2013.
The Omani Ministry of Defence contacted several universities in the UK and Europe before awarding the contract to the University of Portsmouth. The University has a successful track record in accrediting education and training of military engineers at HMS Collingwood, HMS Sultan, and DSEME Arborfield.
Dean of the Faculty of Technology, Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for the University to be involved in such a significant project right from the start. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Oman to help build the future for the education and training of military engineers.”
Wing Commander Nasser Bin Khamis Al-Suwaidi, the head of the Omani delegation team, said: “This project is a milestone for the Omani Ministry of Defence and Oman itself, providing students with international professional recognition.
“The Military Technological College chose the University of Portsmouth as its partner institution because of the University’s strong reputation, its long history in validating military aligned programmes and in its continuous professional accreditation record.”
The Military Technological College will provide academic education and training for the Omani armed forces and Ministry of Defence engineering services. Students will study for a BEng (Hons) degree with a Diploma of Higher Education exit point at the end of the penultimate degree year. Students can look forward to achieving recognition from the professional engineering bodies, and for the aeronautical students, an international civil EASA 66 licence.
The contract will begin with a development phase, where the University will provide academic guidance in developing the courses and gaining approval. The second phase will be to ensure the degree programmes are taught and run successfully. A lecturer from the University will spend two years at the military college to oversee the initial development of the programmes.
The UK has a long history of educating military engineers and technicians for international armed forces. The involvement of the University will provide quality assurance comparable with that in the UK, giving the students internationally recognised and conferred qualifications.