DU established and implemented a formal “Policy Management System” (PMS) in November 2010. The PMS is concerned with identification of areas for which policies are required, the formulation of policies, laying down the relevant procedures and guidelines, proper implementation of the policy and its periodic review.
Over a period of time, DU has developed and implemented a number of policies, covering various aspects of its academic and administrative operations and also as per the requirements of MoHE and/or OAAA. As of now, DU has a comprehensive set of 34 policies, which are divided into four major categories - (1) Academic Policies, (2) Administrative Policies, (3) Research and Consultancy Policies and (4) HR Policies.
Posting an accurate schedule at the appropriate time is a sign of good planning, organized operation and strong coordination between the various departments/units and the Department of Admission and Registration. This policy sets the procedures and establishes the timeline to prepare and publish the schedule and the rules to modify it thereafter.
The policy applies to schedule preparation for all DU Colleges and the FP Unit and covers Fall, Spring and Summer semesters.
Ensure that the teaching schedule for the forthcoming semester is prepared, as per the scheduled timeframe and in coordination with all the stakeholders concerned, ensuring convenience to the faculty and students.
DU is a private non-profit University dedicated to providing quality higher education for its students and maintaining a healthy and motivating work environment for its staff. There are various categories of academic staff from Instructor to Professor, who are required to perform many administrative duties in addition to their normal teaching work. At times, there is a shortage of staff for reasons beyond the control of the University, which is met by recruiting part-time qualified staff from outside or, in very exceptional cases, using the services of existing staff to teach more than their normal load. In view of this, it is necessary to have well-defined rules and regulations, which will form the basis for load reduction for administrative duties, allocation of extra teaching load and overtime payment for that.
The policy applies to the teaching load calculations and overload payment and to all DU academic staff.
Provide a framework for the calculation of the teaching load of academic staff across the University for the purpose of overload payment and specify the load reduction for various categories of staff for administrative work done by them. Also, specify the remuneration to be paid to part-time academic staff from outside DU.
Academic advising is a key attribute of authentic education. When it is done correctly, it will enrich the student's learning experience. It is an essential part of the educational process, which aims to mentor, guide, coach and inspire students to have a useful learning experience. Effective advising helps students understand their academic rights and responsibilities, develop their capacities and realize their potential through commitment, integrity and trust, which come from the advisors' concern for the students. Proper advising requires that advisors be patient, understanding and fully aware of the programs offered, policies and the related software package.
The policy applies to the academic advising offered by each academic advisor to students in the three specialisation Colleges (CAAS, CCBA and CE) and the Foundation Program (FP) Unit.
Provide high quality academic advising for students, adhering to the University procedures and guidelines. Ensure that all students, in particular graduating students, students at risk or those in need of counselling, recieve proper, effective and timely advice and academic support. Continuously monitor and review the quality of the academic advising service offered to students to make it more effective.
DU has outcome-based programs and approach to teaching. The outcome-based assessment relies on having clearly articulated and measurable course learning outcomes and a matching assessment strategy that can measure the achievement of these pre-defined outcomes. In addition, assessment has to be a continuous process and should be fair and transparent. Regular monitoring is also necessary to ensure adherence to the set standards.
The policy applies to assessments of all courses in various programs of DU.
Provide a framework for assessment that enables us to measure the attainment of students’ course learning outcomes. Ensure that assessment is comprehensive, valid, reliable, fair and transparent. Also, ensure that assessment is effective in maintaining academic standards. Wherever possible, assessment methods are benchmarked against contemporary best practices.
Moderation is a quality assurance process which has to be an integral part of the assessment system. It is particularly important when a large number of students are taught by different academic staff. It ensures that students receive fair treatment in assessment.
Moderation should include: moderation of assessment tools and moderation of marked answer sheets. This will ensure that assessment is valid, reliable, fair and transparent, that there is consistency across the University and that this leads to maintaining appropriate benchmarked academic standards.
The policy applies to all assessments conducted in DU Colleges and the Foundation Program (FP) Unit.
Carry out the moderation of assessment tools to ensure that they are adequate and effective in measuring the achievement of prescribed course and program learning outcomes and also of the marked answer sheets to ensure that the marking is fair, appropriate and complete.
At Dhofar University (DU), students’ grades are mostly derived from examinations (Mid-Semester and Final). In view of this, smooth and secure conduct of examinations is of vital importance. The aim of this policy is to ensure that the examinations are conducted in a secure environment and in compliance with DU’s rules and regulations about academic honesty, integrity and fairness. The policy also provides guidelines for continuous (coursework) assessment.
The policy applies to all examinations and continuous (coursework) assessment conducted at DU for all academic programs.
Conduct the examinations and continuous (coursework) assessment in a secure environment, in accordance with set procedures and guidelines and ensure academic honesty and integrity. Continuously monitor and review the academic security procedure and guidelines so as to make them more effective.
As per its vision statement, Dhofar University (DU) aspires to occupy a recognized position among the institutions of quality higher education. For that purpose, it is imperative that its students and staff uphold academic integrity in close cooperation with each other. One of the Graduate Attributes laid down by the University is to exhibit honesty, discipline and accountability, (Graduate Attribute number 3). Accordingly, DU has set one of the objectives in its Strategic Plan (SP) as “Focus on improving students’ academic honesty”.
This policy aims to highlight the positive academic conduct expected from students and staff, as well as the various forms in which academic integrity may be violated by them. Prevention and detection methods, as well as sanctions and penalties for such academic misconduct, are stated in this policy. The policy also presents guidelines for combating misconduct and maintaining a highly academic atmosphere among students and staff.
The policy applies to all students and academic staff (Faculty) in Colleges, the Foundation Program (FP) and the Continuing Education Centre (CEC).
Create an environment where students and faculty work together to uphold academic integrity in all coursework programs, focusing on hard work, honesty and responsible behaviour in the pursuit of knowledge. Provide an effective mechanism to prevent, detect and address all forms of academic misconduct and ensure that it is readily accessible and effectively communicated to students and faculty.
In a dynamic world, where advancement in technology and changing market needs are demanding rapid changes in all matters of life, it is imperative that higher education institutions offer relevant and effective academic programs. HEIs must be responsible for the quality and relevancy of the academic programs they offer by periodic reviews of these programs. The periodic review of the academic programs is also in accordance with one of the values of DU - ‘continuous improvement’.
The policy applies to all academic programs offered by DU.
DU implements systems and processes for curriculum development and review which ensure curricula are relevant, current and effective in supporting students to meet learning outcomes appropriate to the level of the award. Curricula are based on national and international expectations of relevant field(s) of study and are formed by a range of stakeholders, benchmarks and recognised good practice. Curriculum development takes into account national priorities, such as the need to develop a culture of entrepreneurship.
The intellectual and motivation level of all students joining DU is not the same. Some of them are self-motivated and intelligent enough to withstand the pressure of higher education and perform decently. Others may be of a mediocre level and lack the motivation to perform well. The latter need to be identified and provided with extra academic support in the form of some remedial work so as not to fall behind their peers.
The policy applies to all under-performing students (students at risk), who need special attention.
Providing under-performing students with individualized assistance in a supportive atmosphere through a peer-assisted learning scheme. Expand, strengthen and decentralise the activities of the Learning Support Center in a phased manner.
DU has a well-defined Policy Management System (PMS) which governs policy development, implementation and review. The PMS assists DU in achieving its mission, vision, values, goals and objectives. It promotes operational efficiency and reduces the associated risks.
Through PMS, DU strives to ensure that: (1) there are policies and procedures to guide all its academic/administrative activities and support services; (2) stakeholders concerned are consulted while the policy is being reviewed and these policies are readily accessible and clearly communicated to them; (3) all policies are reviewed periodically to ensure that they remain current and appropriate and (4) the PMS is regularly reviewed to make it more effective.
A risk is any event or action that may adversely impact the University’s ability to achieve its Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives. DU is exposed to a variety of risks, notably: the risks related to environment, equipment, facilities, staff, students, reputation, competition and finance. In view of this, it is imperative that DU identifies various risks, takes necessary preventive steps and has plans to mitigate the damages in case the risk materialises. A Risk Management system shall play a vital role in this regard and shall enable DU to utilize its financial, human and physical resources more effectively. Managing risks requires identification of the risks and the exercising of prudent judgment to eliminate, limit, shift or accept the risks.
The policy applies to all academic and non-academic units at DU.
Identify risk centers at DU and associated risks. Ensure that all risk centers maintain risk registers and have necessary plans to prevent the identified risks and also the plans to mitigate the damages in case the risk materializes. Periodically review the approach to risk management to make it more effective
DU is a private university in the Sultanate of Oman with its own identity and existence. At the same time, it is composed of a number of independent yet inter-linked academic units, which offer a number of programs and non-academic units, which provide various support services. For the smooth running of the University, and for continuous improvement, it is necessary that all these constituent units of the University, its programs and services be reviewed on a regular basis. The review system will help DU in identifying its strengths and weaknesses and in further improving the quality of services provided to various stakeholders.
The policy applies to all entity, activity and program reviews carried out by DU, its colleges, non-academic departments and self-study groups.
Carry out entity, activity and program review on a regular basis, involving faculty and staff from all colleges and departments and covering all activities of the University, so as to further improve the quality of services provided to its stakeholders.
Whereas Dhofar University aims to develop a student’s social character, knowledge and professional skills, it is also committed to producing law-abiding, responsible citizens who deserve to carry the name of the University. To that end, the University reserves the right to implement a range of disciplinary measures that are commensurate with violations of the rules and regulations of the University. At times, violation of the rules and regulations of the University may also constitute a violation of the laws of the Sultanate of Oman and will be dealt with by the regulatory authorities concerned.
This code of conduct applies to all existing students of DU.
Provide a code of conduct to govern the behaviour of students within the University so as to develop students’ social character and produce law-abiding and responsible citizens.
Grievance is a feeling that something unfair or wrong has been done, which constitutes grounds for complaint. When this feeling develops among the students, it is likely to affect their academic performance. In view of this, Dhofar University (DU) feels that it is necessary to have a well-defined student grievance policy and procedure, through which students’ grievances are handled.
The policy applies to students in all the Colleges (CAAS, CCBA and CE) and the Foundation Program (FP).
Ensure that the students are offered adequate opportunities to raise their academic as well as non-academic grievances. Ensure that there is consistency, fairness, equity, transparency and promptness in dealing with such grievances. Also, ensure that the students are aware of the opportunities available to them for raising their grievances.
DU aspires to provide a healthy environment to the students within the university campus and ensure that they feel comfortable and have a feeling of belongingness and involvement. For that purpose, it is necessary that a formal mechanism is established to collect feedback from students to review and improve student services regularly. This mechanism will provide regular opportunities to students to express their concerns on academic and non-academic issues and the students will be communicated about actions taken on their concerns.
The policy applies to all the students studying in DU in its three colleges (CAAS, CCBA and CE) and Foundation Program.
Ensure that student feedback is collected, addressed and students are informed of the actions taken on a regular basis. Also ensure that students are encouraged and are aware of mechanism for providing feedback.
DU recognizes the importance of effective communication services and believes that its communication tools should effectively enhance awareness and understanding of policies, events, issues and activities by staff-members and students. In addition, it is important to have a clear policy on the language of communication between different stakeholders of the University.
The policy applies to all internal and external communications between various stakeholders of the University.
Provide numerous channels of communication, which include a blend of traditional and modern IT-based channels, for effective and speedy communication. Ensure that the language of communication with different stakeholders is clearly defined.
The life and sustainability of a higher education institution depends on the quality of education the students receive and how well they perform in the real world, after graduation. The interpersonal and communication skills that complement the technical skills a graduate possesses are vital to his/her success.
DU is keen to engage students in extracurricular activities to develop their soft skills and put them in a better, more competitive position. An effective University platform to allow extracurricular activities is provided by student clubs. Through club activities, students will have a chance to develop relationships and strengthen bonds with their fellow students, faculty and the community at large, gain self-confidence and experience personal achievements, acquire interpersonal skills, improve communication, teamwork, leadership, presentation and organizational skills, enhance their inner strengths and explore their creative capacities and develop self-awareness of contemporary issues, such as the environment, health, safety, education and more.
The policy applies to all student clubs at DU.
Provide a platform for students who share common interests to form clubs through which they can organise extracurricular activities, under the supervision of DU staff, to enhance their learning experience and derive the soft skills which would put them in a better, more competitive position.
Dhofar University (DU) offers a limited number of packages under the Student Employment Program every term, excluding summer. This form of scholarship is a win-win proposition: it provides limited financial support to qualified students for services they render at DU. More important to the student is the practical experience he/she attains. Student employment is open to students who meet the eligibility criteria only. Work is limited to 10 hours per week at the rate of 1 RO/hour.
Faculty members or unit directors inform the SA office of their need for student help at the beginning of a semester by submitting the Student Employment Need Form. Any faculty-member in need of student help may identify an eligible student and convince him/her to apply for the program. If the student applies and his/her application is approved, then he/she will be assigned to work with the faculty member who supported the application.
Health and safety (H&S) of staff and students on the University campus is of prime importance and goes a long way to creating a healthy environment. In view of this, DU needs to make adequate arrangements for health and safety of its staff, students and visitors. It is also necessary to ensure that legal obligations relating to health and safety legislation of the country are met at all times.
The policy applies to all internal stakeholders of the University (staff and students) and external visitors.
Ensure health and safety of the staff, students and visitors on the University campus by complying with Omani Health and Safety Laws, making adequate arrangements for prevention of potential accidents, providing for minimisation of damages when an accident occurs and creating awareness among staff and students.
Dhofar University (DU) is classified as a “Private University” by OAAA, as per ROSQA classification of higher educational institutions, and is expected to be actively involved in research and consultancy activities. Accordingly, the Horizon 2020 document prepared by DU envisages that the University will work in close collaboration and cooperation with private and public sectors to know their expectations and meet their demands of human resources, applied research and consultancy services. On the one hand, DU has a large pool of qualified and research-oriented faculty with a rich experience in consultancy and on the other hand, the Sultanate of Oman, and especially the Dhofar Region, is witnessing a rapid development in various sectors, which provides a huge scope for consultancy. In view of this, DU needs to provide a favourable atmosphere for its faculty and staff to embark on consultancy activities. Accordingly, one of the goals set by DU in its strategic Plan for 2014-19 is to “Promote research activities and consultancy services”.
DU considers consultancy as an essential professional activity related to the faculty’s area of expertise, skills and research and a tool for providing solutions to various challenges in business, social, economic and technical areas. It is perceived as an activity that is mutually beneficial to the faculty, University, industry and society in general. DU recognises that all consultancy activities benefit both the University and the faculty or staff and considers consultancy work as an important contribution from the University to society, through the transfer of knowledge and expertise to businesses, industry and community.
The policy applies to all consultancy activities undertaken by DU faculty and staff for external clients.
Provide an environment conducive for consultancy activities and encourage faculty to undertake consultancy activities. Work in close collaboration and cooperation with both private and public sectors to know their expectations and meet their demands of consultancy services.
All living beings (human and non-human) have been bestowed with certain fundamental rights around the world. The purpose of this policy is to respect the moral rights of living beings and lay down fundamental ethical principles for all research activities conducted on them at Dhofar University (DU). The University also reserves the rights to protect non-human living beings and ensure that experiments involving them are conducted in a safe and socially responsible manner.
This policy applies to all leading investigators, staff-members, students and researchers engaged in approved research projects on University premises which involve human, animal or genetic ethical considerations.
Ensure that all research activities involving human, animal or genetic ethical considerations are well-managed and controlled by providing comprehensible procedures and guidelines for approval of such research projects and to ensure the basic rights of living organisms used for research purposes.
As per the Horizon 2020 document, during the current strategic plan period of 2014-19, research and consultancy are one of the main focuses of DU. For that purpose, DU intends to provide a positive environment for staff-members to conduct research and provide consultancy services.
The research activities carried out by DU staff-members may involve the use of bio-hazardous materials or may result in the generation of bio-hazardous waste. Bio-hazardous material refers to materials that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals or the environment. They can be infectious agents or chemicals or other products that can damage the environment. In view of this, it is imperative that there be set procedures and guidelines for management and control of bio-hazardous material and waste.
This policy applies to all leading investigators, staff-members, students and researchers engaged in approved research projects on University premises, involving the use of bio-hazardous materials or generation of bio-hazardous waste.
Ensure that all research activities involving bio-hazardous materials are well-managed and controlled by providing comprehensible procedures and guidelines for approval of such research projects and for safe handling, storage, use and disposal of bio-hazardous material. Ensure that the staff, students and researchers involved in these projects are aware of the risks associated with the handling of bio-hazardous materials and take the necessary precautions.
As per its Mission, Dhofar University strives to achieve excellence in teaching, research and community service in an open learning environment conducive to creativity and innovation and to the acquisition of cutting-edge professional knowledge. DU also has a large pool of research-oriented academic staff and research is one of the criteria for their promotion.
In view of this, DU encourages and supports its staff-members in bringing the results of their research, consultancy and other similar activities in diverse fields of knowledge to public use and benefit and encourages their commercial development, subject to protecting the University’s rights.
The main aim behind developing the Intellectual Property (IP) Policy is to encourage advancement of technology and its transfer for public benefit. The policy defines the ownership and rights of the inventor(s)/ creator(s) and the University and provides procedures, guidelines and a governing mechanism.
The policy applies to all intellectual property generated through research or consultancy activities of DU staff and students.
Encourage, promote, preserve and commercialize inventions, discoveries and intellectual works created in the course of the University's research and consultancy activities. Define the ownership of intellectual property generated through research and consultancy activities and provide guidelines for sharing financial benefits. Also, provide a mechanism for resolving disputes regarding the ownership of intellectual property.
The purpose of this policy is to establish fundamental principles of research ethics and a code of conduct which will serve as the foundations for research conducted at DU. The University expects all those conducting research under the auspices of DU to honour these principles and adopt them as standard practice, irrespective of whether they are employees, students or visiting researchers at the University and irrespective of the source of their funding or the field in which they conduct their research or the site where the research is conducted. However, there are bound to be instances of violations of research ethics and the code of conduct. Therefore, it is necessary to provide a well-defined procedure for dealing with cases of misconduct in research.
The policy applies to all research conducted by DU staff, students and visiting researchers under the auspices of DU.
Ensure responsible and ethical practices in research through compliance with research ethics and the code of conduct, which would result in enhancing the reputation and standing of the University. Also, ensure that all cases of research misconduct are dealt with as per procedures and guidelines laid down.
As per its Mission and Vision statements, DU strives to achieve excellence in teaching, research and community service and aspires to occupy a recognized position among the institutions of quality higher education. In addition, as per ROSQA classification of Higher Educational Institutions in the Sultanate of Oman, DU is classified as a “Private University” and is expected to be actively involved in research and consultancy activities. Likewise, as per the Horizon 2020 document, DU aspires to be a well-known University in the Sultanate of Oman and also to be recognized in GCC countries. It also aims to be a research hub for all research activities that are important to the region.
The accomplishment of DU’s aspirations is possible only when it has an adequate number of qualified, experienced and dedicated staff. This is where “Recruitment and Selection” plays an important role.
The policy applies to recruitment of both academic and non-academic staff in all colleges, FP and non-academic departments at all levels.
Attract, recruit and retain an adequate number of qualified and experienced staff to support the full range of the University’s academic and administrative activities, ensuring compliance with the requirements of the regulators at all times.
Over a period of time, Oman has made tangible progress in the field of higher education. In many specializations, qualified Omani citizens are available for employment. The Sultanate of Oman has adopted a policy of Omanisation in order to give priority to its citizens in the field of employment, provided they are experienced and qualified for the job. DU fully endorses the policy of Omanisation followed by the Sultanate of Oman.
The policy applies to employment of both academic and non-academic staff in all colleges, FP and non-academic departments at all levels.
Show wholehearted commitment to Omanisation by increasing the proportion of Omani staff, both academic and non-academic, at DU so as to not only meet but exceed the Omanisation targets set by the Sultanate of Oman for the higher education sector. Provide necessary professional development opportunities to ensure their career progression and retention.
The majority of academic staff and some non-academic staff at DU consist of expats from different countries around the world and with different cultural backgrounds. When new staff-members join DU, many of them are new to the Sultanate of Oman or Salalah. In view of this, they need to be acquainted with Oman, Salalah, Dhofar University, their working place, colleagues, immediate supervisor and their duties and responsibilities. This will help them feel at home in their new environment and enable them to fulfil their roles and responsibilities at DU successfully.
The policy applies to all new staff members (academic and non-academic) of DU.
Introduce the new staff to their working environment, living conditions in Salalah, local culture and students’ level and background so that they get settled as soon as possible and start working efficiently.
Professional development refers to the skills and knowledge attained by the staff for both personal development and career advancement. Professional development and continuous learning are necessary to maintain the quality of the University staff. Provision of professional development opportunities keeps the staff motivated. Individuals participate in professional development because of various reasons such as: an interest in lifelong learning, to maintain and improve professional competence, to enhance chances of career progression, to keep abreast of new technology and practice, or to comply with mandatory requirements of regulatory bodies.
The policy applies to all academic and non-academic staff at DU and areas of teaching & learning, research and contemporary issues.
Provide assistance and support for professional development and training of staff to improve their performance in the present positions and also encourage them to obtain skills and knowledge to improve their chances for career advancement.
Faculty members are the “Intellectual Capital” of the University. They need to be motivated to give their best. This also facilitates the University to retain good faculty over a longer period of time. Incentives and rewards linked to an annual performance appraisal are important strategies used by the University to do so. These go a long way in creating a healthy and motivating working environment that contributes to the University’s success.
The policy applies to all faculty members (Academic Staff) of DU.
Motivate and retain good faculty by providing them with a number of well-defined incentives and rewards linked to annual appraisal results.
Dhofar University (DU) promotes its faculty based on their achievements in teaching and learning, research and scholarly achievements, as well as University and community service. This promotion policy supports the commitment of the University’s Strategic Plan and acknowledges the importance of career progression for the effective and efficient operation of the University and also for the recognition of its staff. This promotion policy recognizes the priorities of teaching, research and service. The Assistant Professor is the entry-level academic post at the University, the Associate Professor is the mid-level academic post, and the Professor is the most senior academic post. To assist individuals in understanding the promotion process, the University has developed this policy, which states the regulations for both candidates and academic administrators. Strict confidence shall be maintained throughout the evaluation process.
Academic staff at DU.
Provide systems and processes for the promotion of academic staff with well-defined criteria. Ensure that the procedure is fair, equitable, based on merit, transparent and effectively communicated to all staff.
Severance is the termination of the contractual relationship between DU and its staff. This can be either by mutual consent or with one of the parties taking the initiative. In view of this, it is imperative that there be well-defined procedures with regard to severance, which will guide both the University and its staff.
The policy applies to all academic and non-academic staff at DU.
Provide comprehensible procedures and guidelines for severance of staff that are well communicated and understood by all concerned. Ensure that all cases of severance are handled in a fair, transparent and equitable manner, which results in the settlement of the issue, amicably avoiding any future complications.
In every organisation, there are certain key positions. Success of the organisation depends to a large extent on the persons occupying these key positions. When these key persons retire or leave the organisation for some reason, a void is created and the working of the organisation is likely to be hampered. It is not always easy to have an instant replacement for a key person and in any case the new person is likely to take some time to understand the working of the organisation. In view of this, it is imperative for DU to have successors ready for all key positions.
The policy applies to all key positions at Dhofar University, academic and non-academic.
Ensure that DU has at least one successor ready for each key position, both academic and non-academic, so that work does not suffer but goes on smoothly in the absence of any key person.
Faculty-members are the intellectual capital of the University and the driving force for academic excellence. They shoulder the responsibility of providing quality education for students who are the most important members of the University. As the success of students’ learning outcome is essential, it is important that faculty performance be assessed on a regular basis. Assessment provides the means to document the best teaching practices, identify areas of concern and provide necessary feedback to improve performance. This also applies to merit increase, contract renewal and severance decisions.
The policy applies to all faculty members of DU.
Carry out a faculty appraisal annually, as per the set criteria, and use the results of the appraisal to decide upon merit increase, load reduction for research activities, professional development and contract renewal or severance.
Grievance is a feeling that something unfair or wrong has been done which constitutes grounds for complaint. It is a feeling of unfair behavior which is in violation of department, College, University policy or established practice. With an objective to provide a healthy work environment, DU feels it is necessary to have a well-defined “Staff Grievance Policy”, which shall provide a fair, internal process to handle employment-related disputes that arise between a member of staff and DU administration or other staff-member or even students.
The policy is applicable to all the academic and non-academic staff-members of the University, including part time staff and staff on contract basis.
Ensure that the staff-member is offered adequate opportunities to raise his/her grievances. Ensure that there is consistency, fairness, equity, transparency and promptness in dealing with such grievances. Also, ensure that staff are aware of the opportunities available to them for raising their grievances.