The Department of Business Studies, Al Musanna College of Technology organized a one-day seminar titled ‘Building a Culture of Academic Integrity among HEIs in Oman: Challenges and Solutions’ on 13 February 2020 (Thursday).
The objectives of the seminar were to identify the underlying ethical and moral principles of academic integrity; to identify the importance of academic integrity to all stakeholders (Students, Staff, HEIs, and society) and to reaffirm academic integrity as a core institutional value.
Students and academia from the other Colleges of Technology [HCT, Ibri, Ibra, Nizwa & Shinas] and Higher Educational Institutions [Sultan Qaboos University, Sur University, Muscat College, Gulf College & Mazoon College] in Oman participated in the Seminar.
The seminar began with the recitation of the holy Quran. Dr. Halah Ahmed Al Khathri, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs welcomed the gathering.
The significance and need for practicing academic integrity in educational institutions was disseminated in the seminar inaugural address delivered by Dr. Halima Saleh Al Badwawi, Assistant Director General for Academic Affairs in the DG of the Colleges of Applied Sciences. She also emphasized on the imperativeness of creating awareness about academic integrity amongst the students.
The inaugural address followed a panel discussion session on ‘Building a Culture of Academic Integrity among HEIs in Oman”: Challenges and Solutions’. The panel was chaired by Dr. Halima Saleh Al Badwawi, ADG, DG of the Colleges of Applied Sciences, Ms. Moza Ahmed Al Weshahi, Head of the Academic Programs Planning and Developing, Mr. Ian McNaught, Associate Dean (Planning & Resources), Majan University College and Dr. Reshmy Krishnan, Head of Research Unit, Muscat College. Dr. Aziza Abdallah Al Qamashoui, Head of Technology Transfer Office, the Research Committee Deputy and Ms. Rawdha Al Balushi, Coordinator of Technology Transfer Office, the Deputy Chairperson of Industry Link and Community Engagement committee moderated the panel discussion. The discussion was reflective and constructive as it detailed on various practical facets of academic integrity. It was followed with an interactive question and answer session to facilitate participants to articulate and explore the wherewithal for nurturing academic integrity.
As a part of the seminar, a series of workshops were conducted for academia and students belonging to various specializations to offer them hands-on-training.
Mr. Ian McNaught, Associate Dean (Planning & Resources) of Majan University College enlightened the faculty fraternity on the topic ‘Tools supporting Academic Integrity’. His valuable inputs enriched the faculty members with the pragmatic strategies that could be incorporated in the process of cultivating academic integrity.
Dr. Dinesh Kumar Saini from Sohar University trained the Business Studies/Management Students; Dr. Reshmy Krishnan and Dr. Sara Chandran Nair from Muscat College conducted workshop for the students specializing in Engineering and Information Technology and Mr. Robert Mc Mullian from Sultan Qaboos University coached the students pursuing their Senior/Graduation project in Business Studies Department of Al Musanna College of Technology in the workshop.
The guests and participants were honored in the valedictory session by Dr. Halah Ahmed Al Khathri, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs and Dr. Mouza Al Habsi, Head, Department of Business Studies. The Seminar concluded with words of gratitude pronounced by Dr. Mouza AL Habsi, Head, Department of Business Studies.
The Student Academic Activity Committee organized several activities, which intended to create awareness about academic integrity. The committee members along with the student volunteers managed an ‘Info Booth’ through which brochures, leaflets and bookmarks were distributed to all the participants, interlaced with meaning, tips, quotes, etc. about academic integrity. A ‘Sign the Wall – Pledge’ campaign encouraged participants to reiterate and acknowledge their commitment towards promoting academic integrity.
The seminar provided a rich learning experience and significant takeaways to be pursued in academic endeavors.