International student’s Chester learning experience boosts business skills development in Middle East

Sarhan Al Zeidi
Sarhan Al Zeidi

Skills learned during his PhD studies at the University of Chester will help an international student, who graduates this week, boost the employability skills of people back home in Oman.
Mature student, Sarhan Al Zeidi, successfully completed his doctorate at the University’s Business Research Institute in December 2016. On returning to Oman, 40-year-old Sarhan was promoted to the position of Director General of the Royal Cavalry, where he oversees human resources and skills development across around 20 departments of Oman’s Royal Court of Affairs.

He said: “Studying in Chester was one of the best decisions I have ever made. While completing my PhD, I learned a great deal from my supervisors – their experience and knowledge helped me understand how I can further develop the skills of the people I work with in my home country.

“I’m confident I can apply my knowledge of teaching, managing and developing human resources within the Royal Court Affairs in particular and within the Omani economic sectors as applicable.”

After completing his MSc in Management at the University of Leicester, Sarhan won a scholarship from his employers to continue his studies in Leicester, where he took an advanced English Language course.

“After that, I wanted to further develop my business skills by completing a PhD and realised that finding the right environment and support was very important in choosing where I wanted to study,” said Sarhan.

“I read about the Business School and Business Research Institute at the University of Chester, and particularly about Professor Phil Harris’s work – and concluded that the University of Chester was be the perfect place to research my PhD.”

In May 2013, Professor Harris – Executive Director of the Business Research Institute – became Sarhan’s director of studies and his primary supervisor. During his PhD studies, Sarhan was also guided by Dr David Perrin, Head of the Faculty of Business and Management’s Centre for Work Related Studies.

Sarhan’s thesis looked in depth at the economic and social development of skills in Oman, focusing on supporting his government’s policy of providing jobs in Oman, for people in Oman.

Professor Harris added: “Sarhan specifically targeted the expertise at the University of Chester, and it has been a delight to supervise and support his career progression.

“He is a leader for the future development of his country, and has become a great ambassador for the University and UK Education and Training.

“His success has encouraged other students from Oman to come to study in Chester. He continues to play a significant role in helping attract world-class students to our University, as well as developing business links between his country and the UK.

“His work will be of great benefit to strengthening Skills Development in Oman and strengthening links with the UK.”

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