Dhofar University (DU) is a not-for-profit private institution of higher education in Salalah, Sultanate of Oman, established by Ministerial Decree No. 5/2004, issued in January 2004 (SM01). DU formally commenced its operations in September 2004 on the premises of the National College of Science and Technology, which was then officially incorporated into DU.
DU is a young university, where campus life is brimming with social and cultural events that reflect the rich heritage of Oman and that of Dhofar (art exhibits, performances, poetry readings, environmental awareness presentations, etc.).
DU moved to its new campus in 2010. The new campus is well-planned and constructed while keeping in mind the future needs of the University. There is plenty of open space for further expansion. All the buildings on the campus are constructed in compliance with the Health and Safety aspects of Omani Health and Safety Laws.
The new campus has an administration building, two big blocks of common classrooms, a main library building, a student activity center, a mosque, a female student hostel and housing for senior administrative staff. In addition, there are three separate buildings for the three Colleges and the Foundation Program (FP). The new campus has a capacity to accommodate up to 10,000 students comfortably.
Student enrollment has grown steadily, from 1500 students in 2004 to around 6000 students in 2016. The majority of the students are Omanis, with a small number of expatriates.
DU has a well-defined structure and hierarchy of management. It has a Board of Trustees (BOT) that represents its highest policy-making body. The Vice Chancellor (VC) is the Chief Executive of the University and represents the University in all its business with other institutions and parties concerned. The VC reports to the Board of Trustees. The BOT is empowered with an overseeing authority to manage all the affairs of the University and safeguard its best interests.
The VC is assisted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC). Next in the hierarchy are the three College Deans. All the colleges have Assistant Deans and then Department Chairs. The FP Unit is managed by a Director.
In addition, there are several administrative Departments/Centers at DU that provide different services for effective operations and the smooth functioning of the University. All these Departments and Centers are headed by a Director who reports to the VC or DVC, as shown in the DU Organisational Chart.
The University Council (UC) is the highest decision-making body within the University, which takes all the necessary decisions that are required to assist the VC in performing his duties in the best interests of the University. The UC is headed by the VC.
DU has three colleges, namely the College of Arts and Applied Sciences (CAAS), the College of Commerce and Business Administration (CCBA) and the College of Engineering (CE). DU offers a two-year diploma, a four-year bachelor’s degree and a two-year master’s degree that follow the credit hour system and use English (except for a few programs which are taught in Arabic) as the medium of instruction.
The three colleges at DU offer 60 programs through their academic departments. CAAS offers twenty-seven programs, which include: eight Diplomas, thirteen Bachelor’s and six Master’s; CCBA offers fourteen programs, which include: six Diplomas, six Bachelor’s and two Master’s. CE offers nineteen programs, which include: eight Diplomas, nine Bachelors and two Master’s. All these Diploma and Degree programs awarded by DU are duly approved by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
There is a separate Foundation Program (FP) headed by a Director, which is comprised of the English Language Unit, the Mathematics Unit, and the Information Technology Unit. The Director reports to the DVC. Conveners are appointed for each unit and they report to the Director of the FP.
The FP is designed for students who are not sufficiently prepared to join academic programs at the University. These students are required to spend one or more terms in the FP, depending on their level of English. The placement of the students in various levels of Foundation is based on the results of a Placement Test.
DU also has a Community Service and Continuing Education Center, which offers a variety of courses and training programs for executives and employees of government agencies and commercial firms and local community needs.