University Leading Role in the Parliamentary Movement
Rawan Al Nadabi
The University of Nizwa is a pioneering academic institution in the parliamentary movement. The first student council in Oman was established in 2008 at the University.
Since its early years, the University believed that students are part of the educational process. Students were partners in developing and enhancing university services and academic programs. Dr. Saleh Al Azri, the Dean of Student Affairs and Community Services, said, "the student council is a university initiative to provide space for students to share their ideas and to uplift the intellectual, artistic, social and sports university prospect and strengthen the communication between students and officials within the institution."
In the beginning, the students were selected through their colleges. However, in 2014 when the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation adopted the university parliament experiences in all academic institutions, some modifications were made to the idea. The name was changed to Student Advisory Council, and an organizational guide was issued.
The organizational guide explained the role and responsibilities of each member. Furthermore, it defined the number of members based on the total number of students in the academic institutions. Dr. Al Azri mentioned the Ministry's effort and said, "The Ministry pays great attention to the Students Advisory Council. |It organizes workshops and meetings with his Excellency, the Deputy Minister. A number of our students have participated in those workshops and meetings."
A new Student Advisory Council is elected every year. The candidates need to meet the rules and conditions to run for membership in the council. Voting is possible on election day when students ask their peers to vote for them. They distribute posters that show their aims of running for the membership and the issues they plan to discuss with the higher management on campus.
The Students Advisory Council has a direct connection to the Chancellor's Office. Whenever the Minister of Higher Education visits the institution, the minister meets the council members and discusses their comments and ideas.