17th Session of the Executive Council Naïf Arab University for Security Sciences Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 26-27 May 2012
With the help of Allah, the General Secretariat of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) held the 17th session of the Executive Council on 5-6 Rajab 1433 A.H./26-27 May 2012, at Naïf Arab University for Security Sciences, in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The proceedings of this session were inaugurated with an opening session presided over by H.E. Prof. Dr Suleiman bin Abdallah Aba Al-Khail, Rector of Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW). Addresses during this opening session were also delivered by H.E. Prof. Dr Abdulaziz Bin Sagr Al-Ghamdi, President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, H.E. Dr Rufat Kasumov, Head of the Department of International Relations and Information Technologies of Azerbaijan State Economic University, Representative of the President of the Federation’s 5th General Conference, and H.E. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Deputy Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), representative of the Federation’s Secretary General.
Taking part in the opening session were the members of the Executive Council whose names are annexed hereto (Annex 1: list of participants in the 17th session of the Executive Council).
After recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, Prof. Dr Abdulaziz Bin Sagr Al-Ghamdi, President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, gave an address in which he welcomed the participants in the meeting, underscoring the university’s pleasure to host the 17th session of the Executive Council, thanking H.E. Dr Abdualziz Othman Altwaijri, the Secretary General of the FUIW, for the efforts he exerts to promote education, science and Islamic culture and for his vision for the development of the Federation’s programmes and activities over the next three years, and expressing his confidence in the ability of the Federation and its Member Universities to rise to the challenges of globalization and to take advantage of its positive aspects in the scientific and cultural fields.
Thereafter, H.E. Prof. Dr Suleiman bin Abdallah Aba Al-Khail, Rector of Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World, delivered an address in which he expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the President and administration of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, as well as for the generous hospitality and good organization of the present session of the Executive Council. He also conveyed his pride in the outstanding status of the Federation, and expressed his appreciation of the FUIW General Secretariat efforts to improve university education in the Muslim world thanks to the sound planning, clear vision and earnest action of the Secretary General, H.E. Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, and the members of the Executive Council. He also expressed his confidence in the future of the Federation and in the capacity of the General Secretariat and Member Universities to improve the Federation’s working methods and promote its position among the best specialized university federations at international level.
Then, H.E. Dr Rufat Kasumov, Vice-rector of Azerbaijan State Economic University, Representative of the President of the 5th General Conference of the Federation, made an address in which he extended his thanks to the President and administration of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, for the generous hospitality and commendable organizational efforts devoted to the convening of the present session of the Council. He also commended the achievements of the Federation, stressing that the rapid evolution of higher education at global level poses new challenges which need to be addressed properly to develop higher education and scientific research in the Muslim world. This, he explained, would favour an adequate response to demands of the labour market, by the utilization of the huge technological potential of the Member Universities, and promotion of cooperation and coordination among them to keep abreast of new developments, achieve ambitious academic projects and improve education quality standards.
Thereafter, H.E. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Deputy Director General of ISESCO, read out an address to the Council Members by H.E. Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of ISESCO, Secretary General of the Federation, in which he conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the President of Naif Arab University for Security Sciences for hosting the current session of the Executive Council and for the laudable organizational efforts devoted to it. He also extended his thanks to the Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federation, Rector of Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University, for his efforts aimed at fulfilling the Federation's goals. He also expressed his deep thanks to the President of the 5th General Conference of the Federation, Rector of Azerbaijan State Economic University, for the efforts he is devoting to the implementation of the resolutions of the 5th General Conference in order to enhance the action of the Federation and achieve its objectives. He then pointed out today’s growing challenges and rapid changes, which add to the responsibilities of education, in general, and university education and scientific research, in particular, given their vital role in promoting development. Moreover, he stressed that the academic projects provided in the documents placed on the agenda of this session of the Executive Council are sound enough to contribute to broadening the Federation's scope of action, improving its performance, and enhancing its role in developing Islamic universities and supporting joint Islamic action.
As part of the Federation’s endeavours to advance academic research and align it with the developmental needs of the Islamic world, and in recognition of scientists' outstanding contributions, and in a bid to encourage researchers in Member Universities to publicize their research efforts and outputs, the winners of Al-Imam University sponsored FUIW 2011 Prize for Academic Research Papers on the theme "Obstacles to Creation and Ways to Promote it in the Universities of the Islamic World" were announced, namely:
H.E. the Chairman of the FUIW Executive Council, Prof. Dr Suleiman Aba Al-Khail, handed the prize certificates and the Shield of Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud University, together with the pecuniary amount of the prize (US$5,000 for the first best prize and US$3,000 for the second best prize) to the winners, thanking them for their contribution to the scientific action in the universities of the Islamic world.
Thereafter, the Council held the first working session during which it adopted the draft agenda and draft programme in their versions annexed hereto. (Annex 2: the Agenda; Annex 3: the Programme).
Then, the Deputy Director General of ISESCO presented the report of the Secretary General on the General Secretariat’s Activities between the 16th and 17th Executive Council Sessions. The report features the activities implemented by the FUIW over the period between the previous and current sessions of the Executive Council. The noted that the reported period was marked by the effective participation of the FUIW in international conferences and symposia aimed at promoting university research and improving its resources and methods, as well as by the field visits made by the heads of universities and specialized experts, in a bid to encourage experience sharing and performance assessment and promote the integration of the different visions of the Member Universities. In his report, the Secretary General also reviewed the projects on the “Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation”, the “FUIW Prize for Academic Research Papers”; the “Islamic Virtual University”; and the “FUIW University Chairs”.
After due discussion of this report, the Council members lauded the efforts exerted by the Secretary General and his assistants, and expressed their appreciation of the qualitative development made by the Federation in promoting cooperation between universities, improving their quality standards, evaluating their performance, and increasing the number of Member Universities. They also invited the Secretary General to pursue his efforts to expand the scope of cooperation and partnership between Member Universities, and upgrading their role in research, training and education, and commended the universities having hosted activities of the Federation and those having collaborated with it in this regard, as part of the promotion of joint Islamic action. The Council members also commended the increased quantity, quality and scope of activities implemented under the Federation’s successive action plans despite its limited resources.
This is particularly attributed to the General Secretariat’s policy for rationalizing expenditure and developing cooperation and partnership among the Member Universities.
After the adoption of the Secretary General’s academic report, the Secretary General’s Financial Report for the financial year 2011 (extending from 1 January to 31 December 2011) was presented to the Council. The report highlighted the continuous efforts exerted by the Federation’s General Secretariat to increase incomes and urge Member Universities to pay their contributions, in line with the recommendations of the Executive Council and the General Conference, and in a bid to implement the largest number possible of the programmes scheduled under the 2010-2012 three-year Action Plan. In this regard, the report shows that the General Secretariat received, in 2011, a total sum of US$ 260,515.98, including US$ 214,566.72 under the Financial Year 2011, and US$ 45,949.26 as arrears from the previous financial years, in addition to bank proceeds and various resources totaling US$ 8,146.62.
The Report also mentions that the General Secretariat, being aware of the limited resources received compared with the number of Member Universities, made its best to rationalize expenditure and implement activities jointly with similar institutions and organizations, on top of which are ISESCO and the Member Universities. It also noted that the General Secretariat has always shown eagerness to implement such joint activities and open new avenues for cooperation and joint action.
Having examined and discussed the Financial Report, the Council members adopted it and agreed to submit it to the 6th General Conference of the Federation. They also reaffirmed the previous decisions and resolutions of the Executive Council and the General Conference regarding the situation of Member Universities' contributions and arrears to the Federation's budget together with the incentives given to encourage payment thereof. In the same vein, they expressed their thanks to the Member Universities which paid up their contributions for the year 2011, while urging others to promptly settle their contributions and arrears in order to enable the Federation to accomplish its mission and carry out the programmes scheduled under its Action Plan. In addition, the Council members expressed their appreciation of the Secretary General’s intensive contacts with Member Universities to urge them to pay up their contributions. They thanked him for implementing the relevant decisions of the Executive Council, and invited the Member Universities to appoint focal points to ensure coordination with the Federation in implementing their programmes, improving their performance and following up their financial commitments vis-à-vis the Federation.
Then, the representative of the Secretary General presented a report on the progress made on the Project of the Islamic Virtual University, in line with the recommendations of the 5th General Conference, which invited the Secretary General to pursue his efforts devoted to the implementation of the Project, and in compliance with the decision issued in this regard by the 16th session of the Executive Council. The report reviewed the resolutions and recommendations of the 3rd meeting of the IVU Board of Trustees. The Executive Council adopted the Final Report of the meeting, and invited the General Secretariat and the IVU presidency to take the necessary measures to launch the project. In the same context, the Council expressed gratitude to the FUIW General Secretariat, to His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to the Board of Trustees and to the IVU presidency for their continued cooperation on the project, while inviting universities, organizations and institutions in the Arab and Islamic worlds to financially and technically support to IVU to discharge its mission. The Council then invited the Secretary General to submit a report in this regard to its next session.
The representative of the Secretary General then presented the Report of the Bureau of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation, which was drawn up following the experts meeting held on the IBQA activation, and the meeting held at the International University Malaysia. The Council adopted the Report of the Bureau of the Islamic Body for Quality and Accreditation, and invited the General Secretariat and the IBQA to finalize the executive plan in order to be examined by an experts meeting, with due account of the recommendations of the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Riyadh, 4-5 October 2011).
Afterwards, the representative of the Secretary General presented a review of the “Draft document on the Establishment of Leagues of Parallel Faculties”, in which he laid out the vision, mission, objectives, functions, and organizational framework of the proposed leagues of parallel faculties. After due discussions, the Executive Council adopted it, thanked Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University for its initiative to host the League of Medicine Faculties of the FUIW Member Universities, inviting it to presnt a report on this experience, and thanking the Federation’s General Secretariat for preparing the “Draft document on the Establishment of Leagues of Parallel Faculties”, and decided to include an item on the subject in the agenda of the next session of the Council.
Then, the Federation’s General Secretariat submitted the Draft document on the Establishment of Network of Strategic Planning Experts in Member Universities, which describes the network’s strategic objectives and functions, along with the criteria for the nomination of experts and coordinators. It also explains the concept and characteristics of strategic planning in university education, the stages of the strategic planning process and its relationship to strategic thinking and management, rationale and prerequisites for applying strategic planning within universities, and components of the strategic planning system for the development of universities.
After due discussion of the draft document, the Council decided to adopted it, thanked Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saudi Islamic University for its offer to host the Network in coordination with and under the umbrella of the FUIW, as well as the General Secretariat for preparing the document, and recommended devoting an item to it in the agenda of the next session of the Federation’s Executive Council.
The representative of the Secretary General then presented a Draft document on the Establishment of a Center of University Education and Scientific Research Ethics, which lays out the objectives and functions of the projected Center, its roles regarding faculty, scientific research and intellectual property. Having discussed the document, the Council adopted, thanked Naif Arab University for Security Sciences for its offer to host the Center in coordination with and under the umbrella of the FUIW, and recommended devoting an item to it in the agenda of the next session of the Federation’s Executive Council.
Subsequently, the Council discussed the Draft document on the Establishment of the Authority of Program, Student and Faculty Exchanges, Recognition of Qualifications and University Legislation, which was presented by the representative of the Secretary General. The document lays out the organizational chart of the proposed Authority, together with the rationale for its creation, its functions and its regulations.
After due discussion of the document, the Executive Council adopted the document, thanked Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University for its offer to host the Authority, in accordance with regulations and directives in force and subject to obtaining the relevant official approvals, and in coordination with the FUIW General Secretariat and under its umbrella; expressed gratitude to the General Secretariat for having prepared the document, and decided to include an item on it in the agenda of the 17th session of the Council.
The General Secretariat then presented the Draft Action Plan and Budget for the years 2013-2015, highlighting its referential framework and reviewing the specific character of its content, its strategic orientations, its methodological structure, its central foundations, and its new budget, which has totaled US$ 1,560,000, thus marking an increase by US$ 300,000 compared with the previous one.
During the discussions, the Council members expressed their appreciation of the Action Plan’s diverse content and integrated vision. They underscored the fact that the plan is at par with the rapid evolution of university education in this age of science and knowledge, and takes account of today’s challenges and demands. They then thanked the Secretary General and his assistants for the efforts they put in devising the Action Plan, and invited the Member Universities to contribute to the implementation of the activities to be scheduled under it.
The draft Action Plan was adopted along with its budget (US$ 1,560,000), taking into account the implementation priorities and needs of the Member Universities, and their proposals to increase the forthcoming Action Plan’s budget by US$ 300,000.
The Council then agreed to submit the Draft Action Plan to the 6th General Conference, recommending that it be adopted by the Conference.
Then, the representative of the Secretary General presented a report on the 21 membership applications the General Secretariat received in 2011 of which 11 fulfilled the required conditions. The said report also highlighted the Secretary General’s satisfaction with the number of applications for the Federation’s membership.
After examining the applications submitted, the Council commended the outcomes of the efforts exerted by the General Secretariat in this respect and approved the applications of the following universities: COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) (Islamic Republic of Pakistan), Burkina Faso Polyvalent University Center (Burkina Faso), University of Aboubaker Belkaïd (People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria), University of Al-Fashir (Republic of the Sudan), Misan University and University of Diyala (Republic of Iraq), University of Palestine and Palestine Ahliya University College (State of Palestine), Teacher’s Training College and University of Islamic Sciences – Aioun (Islamic Republic of Mauritania), and Al Andalus University for Science & Technology (Republic of Yemen) (Annex (4): List of Universities admitted to the FUIW by the Executive Council).
In the same vein, the Executive Council recommended to the Secretary General to pursue efforts to invite other universities in the Islamic world to join the Federation. It also agreed to submit this document to the 6th General Conference with a recommendation to adopt it.
The Executive Council thanked the University of Technology Malaysia (UTM) for its kind offer to host the next session of the Council and decided to hold the 18th session of the Council at the UTM, in 2013.
At the closing session, the Council members adopted the draft final report and the annexed decisions, while reiterating their thanks to Naif Arab University for Security Sciences and its President, H.E. Prof. Dr Abdulaziz Bin Sagr Al-Ghamdi, for the generous hospitality and good organization, and H.E. Prof. Dr Suleiman Aba Al-Khail, Rector of Al-Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University, Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federation, for his wise running of the sessions of this meeting. They also expressed their appreciation to the FUIW Secretary General for the substantial progress achieved by the Federation in its endeavour to improve university education in the Islamic world and to reinvigorate its role in boosting the progress of Muslim communities and fulfilling the civilizational mission of Muslim universities.
At the close of this session, the Chairman of the FUIW Executive Council, Prof. Dr Suleiman bin Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, expressed thanks and gratitude, in his name and on behalf of the Executive Council members, to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and to His Highness Crown Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, Deputy Premier and Interior Minister, for the facilitations provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the convening of this blessed meeting at Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, in Riyadh, which has greatly contributed to its success and to achieving its goals. In the same vein, he decided to extend messages of thanks and gratitude to them for the lavish hospitality and facilitation devoted to the participating delegation.
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