Transnational Higher Education in Selected Private Colleges in Oman: Academic Staff Perceptions and Experiences
The primary aim of this study was to develop an in-depth understanding of Transnational Higher Education (TNE) in Oman by investigating the implementation of TNE programmes hosted by two Omani private colleges. TNE in private Higher Education (HE) is the outcome of government policy requiring all private Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to establish collaborative partnerships with credible international universities; the latter being responsible for awarding the degrees. With the private HE sector in Oman currently accommodating about 50 percent of the new students entering the national HE system, it was important to examine issues around the nature of institutional partnerships; curriculum development; academic impact (teaching and learning, and quality of education) as well as problems or challenges faced in the delivery of TNE programmes by private local HE colleges. By recognising the dearth of research in this area, this qualitative study focused on the perceptions and experiences of academic staff regarding TNE in Oman. It also examined the policy drivers for TNE in Oman and its implications at the national and institutional levels, in order to understand the political and economic context in which these institutions were operating in. Data were generated primarily through the use of semi-structured interviews carried out with 27 academic staff from two selected private colleges. The data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis which enabled the identification of various key themes from the data. The study confirmed that the provision of TNE by private colleges is driven by government policy which seeks to accelerate the building of national capacity through the provision of good quality HE. The academic staff were generally satisfied with the provision of TNE programmes, however, the study highlighted that the implementation of TNE programmes was affected by a number of factors including,financial constraints; socio-cultural challenges; and ineffective communication among key stakeholders. The thesis further investigated participants‟ views regarding the ways in which the implementation of the existing TNE programmes could be improved. Participants identified that enhancing the role of the local colleges in the development of a quality culture and rethinking of the role of the foreign partner Universities and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) in the development of TNE programmes were key areas for policy and academic action
Tribochemical interaction of newly developed organic lubricant additives with ZDDP; the influence of organic additives on tribological performance of ZDDP
Reduction in fuel consumption and tighter environmental restrictions on the combustion emission products are among the key challenges of automotive industry, which can be partially addressed by developing more efficient, environmentally friendly lubricant additives. Zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) and friction modifier (FM) are considered as the most important lubricant additives for the tribological performance under boundary lubrication condition. ZDDP is an effective anti-wear (AW), anti-oxidant (AO) and extreme pressure (EP) additive but presence of ZDDP in engine oil increases the engine friction and have negative impact on the fuel economy. Organic friction modifiers (OFMs) are environmentally friendly lubricant additives, which have the capability to reduce boundary friction and improve lubricity by reducing the friction coefficient and contributes to improve the fuel economy. However, the performance of ZDDP in reducing wear is remarkable but it is established that the AW capability of ZDDP is compromised with the addition of OFMs in the lubricant blend. Result showed that the AW behaviour of ZDDP swings significantly from substantial increase to remarkable decrease in wear factor value
Exploring new developments within, and the evidence base for, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme in the United Kingdom
The Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) initiative was launched in 2008 in the United Kingdom (UK) to offer evidence-based psychotherapies to patients with anxiety and depression in a stepped care service delivery model. The programme reports evaluation data in the form of monthly and annual reports of recovery rates by service and care commissioning group. In recent years the plurality of intervention in this programme has also been expanded. A systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted to review the published practice-based studies arising from the first 10-years of the English IAPT programme, focussing on the effectiveness of IAPT interventions delivered in routine practice. A total of 60 studies were included overall, with n=29 of those making up the meta-analysis. Results found large pre-post treatment effect sizes for depression and anxiety, and a medium pre-post treatment effect size for functional impairments. Implications for future work include exploring how IAPT can become more effective for people with comorbid long-term conditions and medically unexplained symptoms and improving the designs of practice-based studies. The research report investigated the effectiveness of cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) within the IAPT programme at step 3 (high intensity). Outcome comparisons with the ‘treatment as usual’ intervention offered at step 3 (i.e. cognitive behavioural therapy; CBT) were completed. Longitudinal multilevel modelling (MLM) was used to investigate symptomatic changes over time and between groups. Results suggest equivalence between CAT and CBT in an IAPT setting. CAT and CBT trajectories of symptom change do not appear to differ over time during the therapies. Implications for CAT being offered as a first-line treatment within the IAPT programme are discussed
This thesis examines the relationship between romance and ‘the outside’ in the works and lives of three modern lesbian writers: Gertrude Stein, Radclyffe Hall, and Djuna Barnes. I consider romance – in terms of both literary genre and the articulation of amatory attachments and desire – as a heterosexual space or plot upon which lesbian novelists have wilfully set up camp. The locating of lesbian romance in my title refers to romance as space, to the theoretical and political positioning of lesbian writing, and to the detection of lesbian themes in outwardly heterosexual novels. ‘The Outside Thing’ is taken from Stein’s meditation on romance (‘An American and France’, 1936), which, I argue, marries ‘outside’ (or expatriate) geography to ‘outside’ sexuality. ‘The Outside Thing’ might also define my methodology, as I consider alternative readings of canonical texts and address the significance of works on the peripheries. The thesis is presented in three parts: I. GERTRUDE STEIN Chapter 1 defines romance in Stein’s terms, reading Q.E.D. as a prototype lesbian romance. Chapter 2 penetrates Stein and Toklas’ domestic and romantic arrangement, examining Toklas (and lesbian love) as an ‘outside thing’ in relation to Stein’s work. II. RADCLYFFE HALL Chapter 3 challenges the popular view of The Well of Loneliness as an ‘ordinary [romance] novel’, going on to posit the ostensibly heterosexual Adam’s Breed as lesbian writing. Chapter 4 explores real-life romance in the affair between Hall and Evguenia Souline. III. DJUNA BARNES Chapter 5 positions Barnes in a new romantic and theoretical space, proposing a reading of her fiction and journalism as performative bisexual writing. Chapter 6 presents Nightwood as a bisexual romance. My project intervenes in ongoing discussions about the relationship between aesthetic obscurity and political radicalism, the middlebrow and the modernist, and the 'in' and the 'out'
Malaria remains a large burden in many areas of the world, with millions of deaths caused by the Plasmodium parasite each year. There are several existing treatments for malaria but none are perfect, especially with the increasing prevalence of resistant strains. Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) is an enzyme in the de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway. It is an attractive target for Plasmodium parasites in particular, since these species lack a salvage pathway and therefore rely solely on the de novo pathway. In this project, a potent and selective series of inhibitors based on a 1,8-naphthyridine scaffold has been developed. Once a reliable synthetic route to the desired 1,8-naphthyridines had been established, a library of compounds was synthesised, allowing the series to be optimised with special focus on pharmacokinetic properties. Initial compounds showed excellent selectivity and potency against both DHODH and Plasmodium parasite but solubility in fasted-state simulated intestinal fluid (FaSSIF) was quite poor and metabolism by aldehyde oxidase was detected. Subsequently, compounds were made which overcame this metabolic liability while retaining excellent potency (IC50 50 µM in FaSSIF). These lead compounds will be taken forward for further assays to assess whether they could be used as novel anti-malarial drugs. Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, was also targeted with this series of molecules. However, T. gondii DHODH has a mutation which results in lower levels of inhibition with these 1,8-naphthyridines. By using computational design, potency against T. gondii was increased, albeit not to as high a level as against P. falciparum, with the best inhibitors for this species having EC50 values around 500 nM. The tight binding site in this species made the design of potent inhibitors challenging