In February 2011, HE Dr Rawya Saud Al Busaidi, Minister of Higher Education of the Sultanate of Oman, chaired a round-table discussion at Rhodes House in Oxford. Taking as her theme ‘Oman’s Education Renaissance, 1770–2010’, Her Excellency spoke on a wide number of topics relating to the country’s educational initiatives in primary and higher education. These included increasing access to higher-education programmes, benchmarking accreditation according to international norms, and the importance of gender equality and vocational training in support of Oman’s long-term future.
The round table was attended by invited scholars who represented a broad spectrum of academic fields, and provided scope for the wide-ranging discussion that followed. This included observations from members of Dr Al Busaidi’s party: HH Sayyid Taimur Al Said, Assistant Secretary General for International Relations at the Oman Research Centre; HE Habib Al Riyami, Secretary General of the Sultan Qaboos Centre for Islamic Studies; HE Dr Ali Al Bimani, Vice-Chancellor of Sultan Qaboos University, and HE Abdulaziz Hinai, Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Kingdom. The Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford University offered the vote of thanks.
Following the round table, a reception and dinner were held in Her Excellency’s honour at the Centre. This event forms part of a series of events hosted by the Centre to mark the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said to the throne of Oman. Dr Al Busaidi received her doctorate from Oxford University.