The First International Conference on Student Affairs: Reality and Challenges, organized by the Deanship of Student Affairs, in association with the College of Arts & Social Sciences at Sultan Qaboos University commenced on Tuesday, 26 March 2019 at SQU under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Nasser Al Harasi, Chairman of the Public Authority for Radio and Television. The conference features 35 papers to be presented in six scientific sessions in two days.
Dr. Hamoud bin Khalfan Al-Hadrami, Dean of Student Affairs at SQU said that the conference seeks to discuss the most important local, regional and international experiences and challenges in the field of student affairs presented by 61 researchers and experts in student affairs from six countries. “The philosophy of the Deanship of Student Affairs at SQU is to put the student at the center of attention as the first pillar of the educational process”, he said.
At the opening of the conference, Dr. Abdullah Ali Al-Shibli, Director General of the Colleges of Applied Sciences at the Ministry of Higher Education delivered a talk on the concept and objectives of student affairs. Dr. Al Shibli outlined most important challenges facing students. These are the changes in the psychological and social characteristics of students and the disproportionate increase in the number of students enrolled in various institutions in contrast to the absorptive capacity, facilities and services provided. The inability of students to meet the academic requirements and the lack of awareness on the part of the institutions on the importance of the role and objectives of student affairs also pose major challenges, he said.
The event included an exhibition highlighting the services provided in the field of student affairs in various higher educational institutions in Oman. In addition to SQU, the Colleges of Applied Sciences, Technical Colleges, University of Nizwa, Sohar University, and Al-Sharqiya University are participating in the activities.