Sultan Qaboos University, with its deep-rooted academic status and its outstanding scientific achievements, is proud of its students who have worked hard to receive the great honor of joining this institution and benefit from its professors, curricula and research. At a time when advanced university education has become a major concern, a noble objective and a strategic option for governments and contemporary societies which seek to achieve a high position among nations, Oman has endeavored to prepare qualified national cadres and to train them, for they have been the target of development since the dawn of Oman’s Renaissance. From the time when Omanis received their education under the shade of trees at the beginning of the Renaissance, Oman has made big strides towards development by establishing Sultan Qaboos University, one of the finest academic institutions in the Arab region and the highest house of expertise the Sultanate. This prestigious university has shouldered the responsibility of preparing the future leaders of Oman in all fields, and providing scientific and research consulting services for public and private institutions.
In this prestigious environment, the College of Arts and Social Sciences launched the Mass Communication Department in 1987, with a focus on training Omani cadres who are interested in joining the mass communication studies with its various areas: journalism, electronic publishing, public relations and advertising, and radio and TV. The main objective of the department has been providing media institutions in the Sultanate with qualified journalists equipped with scientific knowledge through carefully selected courses and with the practical skills gained from field work on campus and within the Sultanate.
With regard to graduate studies, the first cohort joined the master's program in 2005, and by 2015, the number of graduates has reached thirty. As for the doctoral program, it has recently been approved by the Department’s Board and forwarded to the concerned entities at the college and university levels for approval. It is expected to commence in academic year 2016-2017.
As for students’ activities, the Department encourages students’ groups of which the Media Creativity Group has created a truly unique and rich environment for media-related activities and achievements. This is evident in the group’s annual Media Creativity Forum which showcases the students’ innovations in this field. The Department seeks to make the years which the students spend in the university a remarkable experience for them and at the same time to prepare them for their career by providing them with real life experiences from the world around them.
To foster cooperation between the department and media organizations, the department’s Advisory Committee, which includes a group of prominent media leaders form the Sultanate, met in May 2015 to discuss ways to enhance coordination between the department and media organizations. The department has also consulted them with regard to study plans and summer field training in various media institutions.
One of the positive aspects that we anticipate to be of great help to Radio and TV students is modernizing the department’s TV studios and supplying them with modern equipment. This will help students keep pace with the digital revolution that the new media is going through and will provide them with the skills necessary to excel in the workplace. This project, which was completed in October 2015, cost the department in excess of a quarter million Omani Rials.
With regard to international accreditation of the department’s programs, the Department has made significant strides in this process. It has recently invited an accreditation team from the American Council for Academic Accreditation (ACEJMC), which represents one of the largest international accreditation power houses with a portfolio containing the accreditation of 119 academic programs in various universities around the world from China down to other universities as the University of Qatar. This accreditation process will help to advance mass communication studies in the Sultanate and raise the department’s global profile.
In conclusion, we would like to remind our students that they are holding a huge responsibility to improve their profession, hold tight to its noble mission, maintain honesty, objectivity, and balance, and avoid exaggeration and distortion of facts.