Welcome to Dhofar University
Dhofar University (DU) is one of the leading Universities in the Sultanate of Oman. It is a not-for-profit private institution of higher education established by the Ministerial Decree No. 5/2004, issued in January 2004. The University formally commenced its operations in September 2004.
DU is a young university, where campus life is brimming with social and cultural events that reflect the rich heritage of Oman and especially that of Dhofar. It is the only University in the region offering Diploma, Bachelor and Postgraduate Programs.
The University is mission-driven and pursues excellence in teaching & learning, research and community outreach in an open learning environment conducive to creativity and innovation. Ever since its establishment, DU has pursued its aspirations of occupying a recognized position among the institutions of quality higher education sincerely and enthusiastically. This ongoing journey is driven by our determination and commitment to meet the expectations of stakeholders for quality higher education.
Location of the University
DU is located in the city of Salalah in the Dhofar Governorate, which is known for its geographical beauty, blessed with lush green mountains, pristine beaches, and moderate weather throughout the year, particularly in the Summer, which is locally known as Khareef Season.
The University moved to its new campus in November 2010, which is spread over an area of 450,000 square meters and encompasses a blend of both modern and traditional Omani architecture. The campus is nicely landscaped and there is plenty of open space, with adequate provision for parking and waiting areas for female students. All the buildings on campus are constructed in compliance with Omani Health and Safety Laws.
The campus includes a main administration building, separate buildings for colleges and Foundation Program (FP), a common classroom building, a library building, engineering workshop, a student activities center, a Mosque, hostel for female student and housing for the senior administrative personnel.
Common classroom building, consisting of two blocks, is centrally located providing easy access from all Colleges. In addition, DU has a well-equipped big multipurpose hall with a seating capacity of more than 1000 which is used for extracurricular, social, recreational and religious activities.
For ensuring compliance with Omani Health and Safety Laws, DU conducts regular inspections of its facilities, equipment and work areas. In addition, regular safety checks are also carried out by external regulatory agencies such as: Dhofar Municipality, Public Authority of Civil Defense and Royal Oman Police.
The campus can accommodate up to 10,000 students.
High speed WIFI facility is available 24/7 in all the buildings and the campus.
DU has the honour and privilege of being the first University in Oman to be accredited nationally by Oman Academic Accreditation Authority (OAAA) in December 2018 and also internationally by Accreditation Services for International Schools Colleges and Universities (ASIC) from UK in April 2019. DU is also honoured with “ASIC Chairman’s Award for the Development of Outstanding Student Centered Education”. ASIC is an independent government approved accreditation body in UK.
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 BoT is empowered with an overseeing authority to manage all the affairs of the University and safeguard its best interests. The Vice Chancellor (VC) is the Chief Executive of the University, who reports to the BoT, and represents the University in all its business with other institutions and parties concerned.
The VC is assisted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC). Next in the hierarchy are the College Deans. All the colleges have Assistant Deans and then Department Chairs. 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.
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.
Colleges and Programs
DU has four colleges, namely the College of Arts and Applied Sciences (CAAS), the College of Commerce and Business Administration (CCBA), the College of Engineering (CE) and the College of Law (CL). Through its four Colleges 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.
Currently (2019-20), DU offers 56 Academic Programs, comprising of 16 Diploma Programs, 26 Bachelor Programs, 13 Master Programs and 1 Teaching Diploma Program. All these Diploma and Degree awarded by DU are duly approved by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
The medium of instruction is mostly English with some programs offered in Arabic.
DU is also working on expanding its portfolio of Postgraduate Programs and intends to start joint programs in collaboration with reputed regional and international universities.
DU also offers a Foundation Program, which is aligned with Oman Academic Standards (OAS) for General Foundation Program (GFP). The FP is headed by a Director who reports to the DVC. it is comprised of the English Language Unit, the Mathematics Unit, and the Information Technology Unit.
FP is a one-year program designed to bridge the gap between Higher Secondary Education and University Undergraduate Studies.
All students admitted to DU at undergraduate level have to take a placement test conducted by the FP. Based on the results of this placement tests, students are either exempted from the FP and can proceed directly to the first year of Diploma/Bachelors Program or are required to study the FP for one or more semesters until they successfully complete the Program.
Those who have to study the FP are placed at the appropriate level, depending on their performance in the placement test. There are three levels in the FP for English language and two each for Mathematics and IT.
Academic Year and Semesters
The academic year at DU is divided into two main semesters (Fall and Spring) of sixteen weeks each and a Summer semester of eight weeks of instruction.
Every applicant (domestic or international) for Diploma, Bachelor or Master Program is required to submit an application online through the DU Website (www.du.edu.om). The Online admission is the only way through which DU accepts the admission applications. The steps for completing the online admission are set clearly on the DU Website.
Tuition Fees for the Diploma and Bachelor Programs are RO 70 per credit hour. Likewise, Tuition Fees for the Postgraduate Programs are in the range of RO 90 to RO 150 per credit hour, depending on the program. This does not include the cost of books, accommodation and transportation.
The tuition fees are the same for both domestic and international students.
Student enrollment at DU has grown steadily, from 1500 students in 2004 to around 5300 students in Fall 2019 (including FP). The majority of the students are Omanis, with a small number of expatriates (International students.
The University provides its students with cutting-edge learning experience which equips them to become competent professionals, able leaders, successful entrepreneurs, effective community servers and active nation builders. In addition, the students at DU have ample opportunities to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and events organized throughout the year.
Students with Special Needs
DU has taken the utmost care in designing its physical facilities to ensure the convenience of students with special needs. All DU buildings have ramps and specifically designed and designated washroom facilities apart from separate parking spaces for such students. All classrooms and labs are wheel-chair compliant for their easy movement.
DU has communicated to the MoHE about the category of students with special needs that can be admitted to the University and for whom DU has the necessary facilities available. One room in the main library building is specifically allotted for such students. The room serves as a rest area for them and it is equipped with a computer, printer, tables, chairs, and internet. DU also takes the responsibility to provide the visually challenged students with transportation facility, to and from the University, as long as they live in the apartment buildings next to DU campus.
Voice recorders are provided to visually challenged students for recording the proceedings during the normal classes. They are also provided a scribe to write the exams for them. Arrangement for visually challenged students is made in a separate exam room and the time allowed for these students to write the exam is one and half times the time allowed to normal students.
DU has also launched a student club to cater exclusively to the needs of students with special needs. The club organises extra-curricular activities for these students and also attract volunteers within DU and the Dhofar community at large to bring awareness on issues related to these students.
Learning Support Center
DU has a Learning Support Center (LSC), for providing personalised assistance in a supportive atmosphere to the students who are academically weak and also the students with special learning needs. This is accomplished through peer-assisted learning scheme using the services of outstanding senior-level students.
The LSC provides its services free of charge to all DU underperforming students and there is a provision of monetary incentive for peer tutors.
Hostel for Female Students
DU provides free furnished accommodation for its female students on-campus and local transportation facilities for them. The hostel has four buildings which can accommodate up to 1000 students. There are 12 supervisors to oversee the hostel, working in three shifts, under the leadership of Director of Hostel Services. There is adequate security arrangement on a 24X7 basis provided by 12 security guards who work in three shifts. Other facilities available inside the hostel include: restaurant, supermarket, study hall, gymnasium and recreation rooms.
Each student at DU is assigned an academic advisor in the first semester of study, who is a faculty member from the concerned academic department. The role of the academic advisor is to assist the advisee in preparing course schedule for the semester based on his/her “Plan of Study”, support and guide him/her during the university studies, monitor the academic progress, and offer counselling on any academic difficulties the student may face or experience. The academic advising continues from the day student joins the University till he/she completes the study at DU.
The academic excellence of the University is led by a team of erudite faculty members consisting of 199 full-time and 22 part-time faculty (including FP) drawn from 26 different nationalities. This includes 152 PhD holders. All these faculty members continuously endeavor to deliver international standard education, with an emphasis on student centered education.
DU recognizes research as one of the main pillars of academic excellence. Accordingly, it continuously encourages its faculty and students to engage in research activities, provides them with necessary facilities and financial support and also acknowledges their research excellence through various rewards and incentives.
DU also has a dedicated Research Center that focuses on few niche areas of regional importance, especially investigating and exploring the potential benefits from frankincense and other flora and fauna found exclusively in the Dhofar Region.
As a result of these efforts, DU is deservedly ranked 2nd in the field of Research among all private Universities in Oman by the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) based on ResearchGate score. Du also has to its credit 733 Scopus indexed publications, more than 700 publications in Web of Science and around 50 research projects funded from external agencies including “The Research Council” (TRC) of Oman.
In future, DU aims to be a research hub for research activities in the Dhofar region producing impactful research with special focus on the national priorities for research and development. To achieve this, DU has an independent Department of Research (DR) fully dedicated to create a favorable research environment within DU.
DU has an independent Department of Quality Assurance (QAD), which is responsible for maintaining and enhancing the quality of teaching, research, and support services to its students, staff, and the DU community at large. The QAD develops appropriate qualitative and quantitative measures of teaching and service performance taking into account local, regional and international recommended practices, including standards set by OAAA and other international accreditation bodies.
Facilities for Religious Activities
There is a centrally located Mosque to serve the religious needs of staff and students. Apart from that, there are prayer rooms for students in all College buildings. The Department of Student Affairs (DSA) arranges religious lectures by eminent guest speakers and also provides opportunities for students’ religious observance consistent with Islamic beliefs and traditions.
Cafeterias and Coffee Shops
DU has two exclusive cafeterias for male and female students in the main classroom building. There is also a coffee shop located in the courtyard of each College to serve snacks, sandwiches and beverages. In addition, there is a large restaurant in the ladies’ hostel with kitchen facility to cater to the requirements of meals and snacks. The hostel also has a mini supermarket to satisfy students’ daily needs.
DU has an on-campus clinic that serves the basic health needs of its students and staff, where a nurse is available for clinical consultation and service during day time. The clinic provides basic medical assistance for minor physical injury and sickness. Urgent and emergency cases are transferred to the nearby Medical Complex or to the City Hospitals. This medical assistance is also made available to female students in the DU hostel on a 24/7 basis.
Security and Safety
There is adequate provision for security services within the campus. The security guards are on duty 24/7 and are responsible for patrolling the University campus. DU has provided them with a patrol vehicle.
The entire DU campus is covered by surveillance cameras which are installed in all the buildings as well as on the open grounds. The surveillance cameras are regularly monitored by the security department through its control room.
The University also ensures safety of its students, staff and visitors on the campus. For that purpose, it conducts mock drills for fire safety on a regular basis. It has provided assembly points at a number of places on the campus in case of emergencies.
Community Service and Continuing Education Center
The Community Service and Continuing Education Center (CSCEC) at DU links the University resources and expertise in catering to the needs of the community. It partners with public and private sector organisations to launch various initiatives for the local community. The CSCEC also offers training programs to meet professional and personal needs of community at large. It provides on-campus and off-campus offerings that include certificate programs, workshops, seminars, conferences, and customised training programs both in English or Arabic.
University of Preferred Choice for Students
Embracing above mentioned favourable curricular and extra-curricular aspects, students find campus life at DU stimulating, vibrant, and full of opportunities for self-development, healthy interaction and ethical grooming, which makes DU a preferred choice of study for them.