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Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\cmu.png                         Description: Description: ARELEN logo.jpg      







Arab European Leadership Network in Higher Education (ARELEN) is an organised body that was formed to enhance "Leadership in Higher Education Management". It is co-ordinated by Cardiff Metropolitan University and Co-founded by Association of Arab Universities. ARELEN aims at building cooperative activities between universities in the Arab region and Europe. The body comprises of a network of 200 Arabic Universities and 100 European universities, rendering itself suited to build bridges and provide a platform for exchange of views and best practices in the industry.

With growing demands and trends in higher education and  changes in society that happen with evolution of times, the need for sound management systems to respond effectively and aid  future growth, becomes imperative.

ARELEN joins hands with its member institute, Gulf college, a premier higher education institution in the MENA region and a member of AARU, in its endeavour to provide an international forum for member universities to meet, discuss matters of concern, exchange views, share good practices and find solutions to modern issues and challenges facing the higher education community.

This event is scheduled for 6th and 7th of February 2017, in Oman, will serve as a bridge between universities in the Arab region and Europe to increase international cooperation and mutually respect to their contributions and leadership to the sector.

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The programme aims to explore the global challenges that universities in the region face and enable participants to prepare responses to those challenges. It will focus on internationalisation and engagement with industry and commerce in particular and other topics, as raised by the participants. It aims at being…

  • Issue centered: Analytically focused on issues that are relevant to universities in the region in their present  stage of development
  • Purposive and action oriented: the experience will be geared towards assessing the relevance of the evidence providing and formulating appropriate action plan for the universities
  • Collaborative: in the sense there will be cross fertilization of experiences and good practices through the discussion and feedback sessions; and participants will work in groups to produce conclusions for use in their universities after the programme; and that they will give advice to each other on matters of common concern
  • Comparative: the programme facilitators will encourage participants to look at international evidence and the experience of peer institutions in the MENA region on select issues.
  • Frank and open: in the sense that the style of discussion will be based on transparency about the issues confronting the participants and readiness to share experiences and evaluate and accept advice.
  • Challenging: in the sense of providing expert and analytical questioning on the adequacy of national and international responses to challenges in resolving particular issues.

Day 1:

  • Global challenges : Gulf & international perspective
  • The challenges as we see them: opportunities, threats and priorities for action
  • Internationalisation: what is happening elsewhere
  • Engaging with industry and commerce

Day 2:

  • Reflection on yesterday
  • Internationalisation: opportunities for Gulf Universities
  • Enabling women leaders
  • Priorities for responses

Other sessions may be added according to the interest and challenges being faced by participants

This programme is for Vice Chancellor of universities, Deans of Colleges, Rectors & Vice-rectors of universities and senior staff members in the MENA region.


The programme will enable participants to

  • Reflect on key issues and challenges and develop responses for adoption in their universities.
  • Share their experience and develop their leadership capabilities.
  • Acquire specific skills and competencies needed to succeed in the field of higher education
  • Meet fellow members to improve understanding and aid business ties
  • Hone internal management systems to be prepared for the future of this sector.
  • Professor Sultan Aboud Orabi, Secretary General, Association of Arab Universities, Jordan
  • Dr. Issa Sabeel Al Bulushi, Chairman, Board of Directors; Vice Chair, Board of Trustees, Gulf College, Sultanate of Oman
  • Prof. Cara Aitchison, President & Vice Chancellor, Cardiff Metropolitan Universiy, UK
  • Professor Taqi Bin Abdulredha Al Abduwani, Dean, Gulf College, Sultanate of Oman
  • Professor Mohammed Loutfi, PVC (International), Cardiff Met University, UK
  • Ms. Alison Johns, Leadership Foundation for Higher Eduction, UK
  • Professor Fabio do Prado, Rector, Centro Universitano FEI, Brazil
  • Alessandra Scagliarini, Vice Rector for International Relations, University of Bologna, Italy
  • Mr. David Lock, Secretary General, Magna Charta Observatory, Italy




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - Sultan Orabi.jpgDr. Sultan Abu-Orabi is an organic chemist who currently holds the position of secretary general of The Association of Arab Universities. Prior to this he served as president of Yarmouk University, president of Irbid National University and Tafila Technical University in Jordan. He is also president of The Jordanian Chemical Society and president of The Arab Union of Chemists. Dr. Abu Orabi also worked at Bahrain University and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals as a visiting professor.

Dr. Abu Orabi is the editor in chief of two international chemistry journals and holds a place on many editorial boards. He has organised and served on advisory boards and presented lectures at numerous international conferences. He has also received several research fellowships and awards and published 60+ papers throughout his extensive career in the field spanning over thirty years.

The Association of Arab Universities has about 260 member and is affiliated with bodies such as The Arab Council for Training of Arab Universities Students; The Arab Council for Higher Studies and Scientific research; The Arab Council for Students Activities. The role of AArU is to seek & support internalization in higher education across Arab region. AArU would encourage its members to participate within the context of the project and would enhance its sustainability.

Sultan Abu-Orabi earned his BSc degree in chemistry from the University of Jordan, 1973, MSc in organic chemistry from Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, 1977, and a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1982.




Description: issaDr. Issa Sabeel Issa Al Bulushi is one of the founders of Gulf College, Oman, which is affiliated to Cardiff Metropolitan University & Staffordshire University.

He is the Chairman, Board of Directors, Vice Chair, Board of Trustees. He is a profound academician with sharp business acumen. His immense passion for the field of education mooted him to build an educational institution that will stand to not only educate young Omani men and women but also to  contribute to the nationalisation initiatives of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos and to the overall development of the nation.

He completed his Masters from Bristol University, UK in the field of Development Administration and Planning. In 2009, he was conferred with Doctorate in Economics from Staffordshire University. He has been an Honorary member of Council of Arab-Latin America and the Caribbean (CARLAC) since 2013.

He is the recipient of World Leadership Congress Award by World Leadership Congress. He has been conferred an Education Leadership Award by World Education Congress.

He is known for his world-class strategising capability in business and academic institutions. He published his first book entitled ‘Participation in Industry-Science Links in an Oil-based Economy’ in 2010.

He published several research articles and publications in international journals in the field of Economics and Industry-Science Linkages. He has participated and presented research papers in international conferences.

He has held prime positions in various governmental organisations between 1991 and 2006. He started working as an Economic Researcher in the Ministry of Development since 1991.

He then attained the role of Director of Supreme Councils and Committees Affairs in the Office of the Minister of Development. Based on his outstanding contribution and engagement in crucial matters, he was given the role of Director of The Privatisation Department, in The Ministry of Development and later for The Ministry of National Economy.

After more than half a decade of contribution to the national affairs of the country, he was invited to be a part of the Chief Councils and Communications Affairs at The Presidency of Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. Thus, his wide experience and in-depth knowledge makes him an apt personality to spearhead the college and move it to greater heights. 




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\crs.jpg​Cardiff Metropolitan University has appointed Professor Cara Carmichael Aitchison, currently Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, to succeed Professor Antony Chapman who retires as Vice-Chancellor on 31 August 2016.  

Professor Cara Aitchison has led the University of St Mark & St John through a significant programme of development. She joined from the University of Edinburgh where she was Head of Moray House School of Education and Chair in Social and Environmental Justice (2010-2013). She was previously Dean of the Faculty of Education and Sport at the University of Bedfordshire (2008-2010), Professor in Human Geography and Director of the Centre for Leisure, Tourism and Society at UWE Bristol (2003-2008) and held earlier leadership positions at the University of Gloucestershire (1997-2003) and two London institutions (1988-1997). She is also an Honorary Professor in the Department of Health at the University of Bath.

Professor Aitchison was Chair of the UK Joint Research Councils' Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) Panel for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism. She is a Council Member of the Academy of Social Sciences, Member of the Economic and Social Research Council's Peer Review College and a Board Member of the Equality Challenge Unit, Plymouth Area Business Council, Plymouth Culture, and Askel Veur Academies Company for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. She has held a number of previous national and international appointments and roles including Scottish Government-appointed Member of the Commission on the Delivery of Rural Education (2011-2013), Chair of the UN-affiliated World Leisure Commission on Women and Gender (2002-2008) and Chair of the UK Leisure Studies Association (2001- 2004).



Description: deanpic

  • Professorship, International University of Vienna
  • Phd University of Reading, UK
  • Master, University of Lincoln, UK
  • CMA, The Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia
  • ISO 9001:2008 Internal Auditor


Current Position : Dean, Gulf College Oman

Prof. Taki Al Abduwani’s first degree was from the North East Wales Institute of Higher Education, UK.  He obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (Finance) from University of Lincolnshire, UK in 1998. In 2009 he was awarded the PhD Degree in Education from University of Reading, UK. His thesis was on assessing the role of the soft component of human capital theory and explains the differences in soft skill endowment in Oman.                                  . 
Prof. Taki has participated in various training programmes: namely Advanced Quality and Accreditation in Higher Education hosted by Cardiff Metropolitan University, UK; Human Resources and Personnel Management in University of Pittsburgh, USA; Human Resources Development Technology in Arab Consulting and Development Corp., Egypt among others.  He has also been a resource person in several international and National seminars, trainings, workshops and conferences on topics relating to risk management, capacity building, soft skills, human resource development issues and localisation of jobs in GCC countries. His sessions have included: Ownership and Management of Businesses; Small Business Incubators; Teaching Methods; Managing Your Teaching Profile; Research Ethics; Plagiarism and Over-marking. 

Prof. Taki is a certified ISO 9001:2008 Internal Auditor, Research Reviewer and member of Education and Human resources sector committee in The Research Council, Programme Reviewer for the Ministry of Higher Education He has been the member of the OQNHE Executive Committee for consecutive two terms, one term as Chair of the committee and the other term as member. He has Certified Management Accountant Membership from the Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia, as well as being a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, USA, and the Arabian Society for Human Resource Management. He is also a member of the Club of Rectors of Europe.                                                 .  
Prof. Taki has been the Dean of Gulf College since 2004. He has had held several significant posts, including Managing Director for the first privatised higher educational institution in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Prior to this he worked in several government organisations in various designations such as Director of Human Resources, Director of Training, and Director of Follow-up and Administrative Regulations. 
He was awarded the Honorary Professorship by the International University of Vienna during the Oxford Summit of Leaders which was held during March 2010. He was awarded as Outstanding researcher of Oman, World Advocacy Award 2015 organised by IAMURE Multidisciplinary Research in May 2015. In March 2016, he was bestowed with the Name in Science Award by the Europe Business Assembly in London.

Prof. Taki is a peer reviewer in The Research Council of Oman with effect from February 2013 and also a programme reviewer in the Ministry of Higher Education, Oman with effect from March 2014.

Prof. Taki has been appointed as a Director of the Governance body of the Arab European Education Leadership Network (ARELEN) in Oman.

Prof. Taki has been appointed as peer reviewer in the Arab Journal of Quality in Education and also member of the Editorial Board and Advisory Board Consultant of the International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering.




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - Mohamed Loutfi.jpgMohamed Loutfi is a Professor of Internationalisation and Pro Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff Metropolitan University with responsibility of Partnerships and Internationalisation including the development and implementation of the University's Internationalisation Strategy at home and abroad. Before joining Cardiff Met, he held the posts of Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer, and Head of Transnational Education at the University of Sunderland, UK.

Nationally, Professor Loutfi is an International Associate of Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and a member of its International Governance Group, and the reference group for the Global Leadership Programme for Higher Education.

Internationally, he is a council member at the Magna Charta Observatory of Fundamental University Values and Rights in Bologna and a member of the board of the European Quality Assurance Agency. Professor Loutfi has become the first in Europe to take part in a global education think tank, set up by the Ministry of Education in China, National Centre for Schooling Development Programme, to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and start-up education.   

Professor Loutfi is responsible for instigating and coordinating partnerships with over 25 different countries, some at Governmental level. Projects have included building partnerships with universities in different countries and enhancing institutional cooperation in learning, teaching and enterprise, as well as delivering programmes for university leaders to implement national higher education reform and internationalisation strategies.

He has also worked on many EU projects for Higher Education Reforms and on Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Ukraine, Russia, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. In addition, he led with the ministries of Higher Education in Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco to develop a framework for building capacity for leadership in Higher Education through European experiences in this field.

Professor Loutfi holds a BSc in Economics and Political Science, an MSc in Information Technology and a PhD in Systems Thinking.  His research involves Modelling and Simulation of Social Systems, Non-linear, Dynamic Feedback systems.




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - Alison Johns.jpgAlison is chief executive of the Leadership Foundation. She has worked in higher education for 25 years. Prior to becoming chief executive, she was head of policy for leadership, governance and management at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce), where she established both the Leadership Foundation and the Equality Challenge Unit.

She is a past president of the Association of University Administrators (AUA) and represents the UK on the Association of Commonwealth Universities Human Resources Management Network and has recently joined the British Council’s planning committee for Going Global, the major international higher education conference. Alison has extensive international experience of higher education including leading the review of teaching and learning for the Australian government which led to the establishment of the Office for Learning and Teaching to enhance teaching quality across the Australian higher education sector. Alison regularly takes part in conferences and events, both nationally and internationally, speaking on all aspects of university leadership, governance and management.




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - Fabio do Prado.jpgThe professor doctor Fábio do Prado was named the new rector of the University Center of FEI (Educational Foundation Inaciana), in place of the professor doctor Marcio Rillo, who died on May 24 of this year. Physicist and at the age of 44, Professor Fábio do Prado was the Vice-Rector of Teaching and Research at FEI since 2002. For his position, the Ignatian Educational Foundation Fr. Sabóia de Medeiros appointed professor Marcelo Antonio Pavanello. The Vice-Rectory of Extension and Community Activities of the FEI continues under the responsibility of the professor Dr. Rivana Basso Fabbri Marino.

The professor doctor Fabio do Prado is a bachelors graduate in Physics from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie. He holds a Master's degree in Science from the Technological Institute of Aeronautics (ITA) and a PhD in Spatial Geophysics from the National Institute of Space Research (INPE). Since 1990, Professor Fábio do Prado has been a faculty member of FEI, having headed the Department of Physics from 1998 to 2001.

Professor at the University of Taubaté from 1995 to 2001, during which he participated in the restructuring of the practical activities of the Physics Laboratory, Professor Fábio do Prado is a licensed researcher at INPE, where he developed scientific work in the basic group of plasma research in the Laboratory Plasma Associate (LAP). He has published several publications in annals of congresses and international journals in the area of ​​"instabilities generated by interaction of electron beam and quiescent plasma". He is a member of the Brazilian Society of Physics (SBF) and the Brazilian Association of Engineering Education (Abenge). It belongs to the board of experts of the State Council of Education for the evaluation of Physics Courses.




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - Alessandra Scagliarini.jpgAlessandra Scagliarini Full Professor in the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences has been graduated in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Bologna, with 110 votes out of 110 in 1996. In 2000 he received the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology and Control of Zoonoses. In 1997 she completed a period of training abroad at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh-Scotland, in 1999 and 2005 at the Virus Research Unit, Department of Microbiology, Otago University, Dunedin-New Zealand, in 2003 at the Rega Instituut , Virologie en chemoterapie Unit, Leuven-Belgium, and in 2004 at the Imperial College of London. Since 1998, she joined as a researcher at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Bologna. She has teaching assignments such as: Veterinary Virology (Curriculum Veterinary Medicine), practical training on large animals transmissible diseases and Biomolecular Methods Applied to communicable diseases (Curriculum Animal Biotechnologies). She has held and teaching activities as part of undergraduate courses and postgraduate degree. She was a member of PhD evaluation commissions at the College of Veterinary Medicine (Edimburgh, UK), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Universiteit (Gent, Belgium), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Pretoria, South Africa). She is involved as coordinator in research projects related to the pathology and control of infectious diseases in animals in collaboration with different national and international research centers. In 2009 she joined the Ministry of University and Research (MIUR) working group on technological districts, technological platforms and infrastructures and in 2013 she was a member of the MIUR commission on restricted access degrees. From 2006 she has been involved in the activities of the European Technology Platform ETPGAH (European Technological Platform on Global Animal Health) and from 2007 she has been a member of the Organising Committee of the Italian Technology Platform on Global Animal Health (ITPGAH). Since 2008 she has been a member of the Gap Analysis WP3 and leader of the group of experts on poxvirus within the FP7 European project DISCONTOOLS. She coordinated the European FP7 project (research for the benefit of SMEs) POC4PETS funded in 2012.




Description: C:\Users\hayder\Desktop\Arelen\brochure - David Lock.jpgDavid Lock has had a varied career in international higher education and university leadership.

As Director of International Projects at the UK’s Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, David was responsible for instigating and delivering projects with over 30 different countries, some at Governmental level. Projects have included major programmes for Rectors and Ministry Officials to implement national HE reform and autonomy strategies over several years and building partnerships between universities in different countries.

Until October 2007 David was the founding Registrar and Acting Chief Executive of the British University in Dubai where he structured, built and then led the University following its legal creation by the Ruler of Dubai as a not-for-profit provider of Higher Education to UK standards.

Prior to going to Dubai David was Secretary to the University of Huddersfield and Registrar and Secretary to the University of Hull in the UK for a total of 14 years. A teacher and Chartered Secretary by background, David has served on a number of international bodies and undertaken a range of consultancy assignments including international development and UK HE governance projects. He is Chairman of the Gulf Education Conference and serves on the International Advisory Committee of the British Council.

He has been appointed Secretary General of the Magna Charta Observatory in September 2014.







Registration fee500 USD (or) OMR 192

Account details :

Gulf College llc., Oman

Account No: 1016-447704-003 (dollar account)

Account No: 1016-447704-001 (Rial Omani account)

National Bank of Oman



Send your registration form to:

Ms. Sumithra

Branding & Corporate Identity

Gulf College, P.O.Box:885, P.C.: 133, 

Al Mabaila, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman

Ph# +968 9661 6882


Ms. Kathryn Wheeler

International Engagement Officer

International Partnership Office, 200 Western Avenue Llandaff,

Cardiff, CF5 2YB, UK

Ph# +44 29 2041 6168

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