NILAI, October 6, 2017 – Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM) has held a meeting with the Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of Oman, Tuan Salam Yahya Al Mandhari in Kuala Lumpur. The USIM delegation was headed by the Vice Chancellor himself, Professor Dato ‘Dr. Musa Ahmad. Also present were Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni), Dean of the School of Graduate Studies with senior university officials and Oman Cultural Attaché Office.

The meeting was set up following a current issue regarding the decision the Ministry of Higher Education of Oman forbidding its students to pursue studies at four local universities including USIM.

The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere and goodwill as USIM has long established friendly and cordial relationship with the Oman Embassy. As a result, the Cultural Attaché party graciously received a visit initiated by USIM to discuss these arising issues collectively and inclusively.

In this meeting, the Vice-Chancellor expressed his grief over issues arising and the university admitted the ban issued by the Oman Ministry of Higher Education has affected the reputation and image of the university as well as raising various speculations and negative interpretations from various parties.

USIM receives an increase in student enrollment from Oman every year since 2014 and this also shows the recognition of Oman’s Higher Education Ministry and the high interest of its students to pursue studies here. The current prohibition does not affect the existing 126 Oman students who are pursuing Master’s degree and Doctor of Philosophy in various fields in USIM.

Through the explanation given, this ban made against USIM was not related to the quality of academic programs offered. It provided a clear idea that USIM’s academic programs are of high quality and is in line with the rigorous assessment the university needs adhere to obtained accreditation by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) for each program. The University will not compromise with the quality of the courses we offer.

It was made because it involved administrative issues at the university level among which are regarding visa application, academic management and financial process. Through research and reviews made, USIM admitted there are some things raised due to the weakness of the internal administration of the university while some specific problems are still in the process of settlement as it is closely linked to the current policies of universities and external agencies enforcement which would require some time.

In this meeting, the Vice-Chancellor also announced the establishment of a special task force which will be composed of members from Oman’s Cultural Attaché Office and USIM to resolve issues arising between the two parties promptly. In addition, USIM will seek further clarification from the Ministry of Higher Education Oman on a clearer interpretation of the withdrawal of the recognition to USIM and to provide official feedback to the Cultural Attaché Office on every issue raised to be extended to the Ministry of Higher Education Oman.

University also affirmed in this meeting that USIM has never appointed any party as an agent to locate and manage international students pursuing studies at USIM including Oman students. Problems arose from this irresponsible party that brought trouble to the affected universities and students of Oman. Internal investigations are currently carried out to identify the irresponsible party.

At the end of the meeting, the Cultural Attaché Office expressed its commitment to assist the university to reward the recognition to USIM without going through the re-registration application procedure to the Ministry of Higher Education of Oman. USIM puts high expectation that the issue of this prohibition to be resolved soon. USIM wishes to maintain the good relations between the two parties and greatly welcomes the entry of Oman students into the university in the future after the ban is lifted.

Released by :
Strategic Communication Centre (StraComm)
Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia