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In Oman, Tech fosters emerging university

By Riley Prendergast, CT news reporter


Few students at Virginia Tech have ever heard of the small Arab country of Oman, let alone are aware that Tech is acting as one of the advisers on the construction of a new national university in its capital city of Muscat. "This is a very strategic area of the world, and these countries are going to be very critical players in the future of international relations. So what we envision here is a university that is going to be on such a status that it will attract students from the entire region," said vice president for outreach and international affairs John Dooley, "As we look at the future of Virginia Tech, as I think that it is very important that we have a global profile. And obviously opportunities like this help enhance our global profile and enhance our position and understanding as being a world-class university."

Tech's role will involve sending over senior level professors in the fields that the new university will specialize in to aid with creating a curriculum and assist in starting the education at the university. However, these faculty positions will be "a fairly short-term experience," Dooley said. "It's not like we are building a university in the Middle East," said Patrick Guilbaud, program director of IT in international relations. "We are only acting as educational advisers, and we are not putting any money into the project. The university will not have Virginia Tech in the name; we are simply acting as a partner to help with all of our capacity in technical areas."

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