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Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium held at Sultan Qaboos University March 16-18, 2013

Al Qasimi Foundation
March 31, 2013

Over 400 participants from 13 different countries came together to attend the Fourth Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium (GCES) in Muscat, Oman. The symposium, organized and sponsored by the Al Qasimi Foundation and hosted by Sultan Qaboos University, provided a unique platform for educators, scholars, practitioners, and students to exchange ideas and present papers on “Bridging the Policy/Research Divide in Education in the GCC.”

The two-day event was opened by H.E. Dr. Muna bint Salim Al Jardania, Under-Secretary of Technical Education and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Manpower in Oman. It featured a total of 20 sessions including two plenary sessions, three featured panels, four Arabic panels, and three “News Scholars” panels. Presentations from 71 papers covered a range of topics that focused on the promise and possibilities of evidence-based education research to policy-making in the Arab Gulf region. Question & Answer sessions provided attendees with an opportunity to pose questions and comments directly to the panel. One of the attendees commented that he enjoyed “meeting research experts and people from the GCC and around the world and enhancing knowledge of relevant issues.”

This year’s symposium also highlighted a pre-conference workshop on comparative research methods delivered by Dr. Christina Gitsaki, Associate Academic Dean of English at the Higher Colleges of Technology and Dr. Matthew Robby, Chair of Applied Academic Program Research for the Higher Colleges of Technology. The workshop attracted over 50 education practitioners and researchers interested in learning about research ethics, research designs for educational program evaluation, and data analysis techniques in educational research. It included practical applications using real datasets ad gave attendees a hands-on experience in analyzing data for their research.

Dr. Natasha Ridge, GCES executive board member and Executive Director of the Al Qasimi Foundation remarks, “This year’s GCES symposium was a great success, particularly in that the theme of the Symposium was reflected in the mix of attendees. By having practitioners, academics, and policy makers assemble together to share best practice and new research, the symposium adds great value to education in the Gulf.”

To view a selection of pictures from the Symposium, please visit the Photo Galleries section of this website. More information on the Gulf Comparative Education Society is also available on the GCES website.