The University welcomed last week 28 new academic and administrative colleagues. Many thanks go to all those new and existing staff who attended the Staff Induction Days. The event started with a very warm welcome by the Chairman of the BOTs, who highlighted the strategic directions of the University and the role new staff can play in its development. Following the welcoming speech by the Chairman of the BOTs, the President presented some key facts about the University and the many opportunities that they are within our grasp. The President presented the vision and mission of the University and the strategic priorities as specified in our strategic plan. He covered the three core pillars of Teaching and Learning, Research, and Community Engagement, and the four supportive pillars of Student Support, Internationalization, Quality Assurance, and Sustainable Growth.
He then spoke about institutional accreditation as a strategic investment in our future. He stated that Accreditation is a stamp of quality and should be our top priority over the next few months. All staff, admin and academic, should become familiar with the accreditation handbook and its content, which includes 8 areas, 33 standards and 218. In the 3 areas of Governance, and Strategy and Financial Management, Academic Administration and Management, and Teaching and Learning and Assessment we need to score “significantly met” or “fully met”. Management, Academic Administration and Management, and Teaching and Learning and Assessment we need to score “significantly met” or “fully met”.
These 3 areas demonstrate that as an institution we are properly governed and managed including risks mitigation, and our students are getting the best learning experience. However, it is still important for the other 5 remaining areas of research, community engagement, facilities, student’s progression and quality management to score as high.
Our staff, students and other stakeholders should be familiar with our strategy house, vision, mission, values, and physical and organizational charts, which are displayed on our screens and banners across various locations in the University. In addition, our golden rules of teaching, a great teacher, and graduate attributes are displayed on screens and banners across the University. This will demonstrate that our students are fully aware of what we are doing in the University and what’s useful for them.
The president concluded his presentation by highlighting our priorities over the next 5 years including sustainable growth, international professional accreditation and creating research capacity.
The Director of Marketing and Students Affairs made the next presentation about the Kingdom of Bahrain and its historical and touristic attractions. She highlighted the friendliness of the Bahraini people and how they make expatriates feel very welcome. She also made reference to HM the king’s vision in promoting tolerance and peaceful coexistence. The Director concluded with the activities of the various divisions of her directorate, which include marketing and student recruitment and public affairs.
The third presentation was made by the VP for Academic Affairs and Development who spoke about our teaching and learning strategy emphasizing the importance of course portfolios preparation, staff development and quality of teaching delivery. He emphasized the importance of peer review of teaching and class observations. He also presented a good summary of our achievements last year in the area of teaching and learning including the achievement of full confidence in 3 programs in Administrative Sciences and the submission of our application for institutional accreditation.
The VP was very clear about making quality at the heart of all what we do in the university and about making students at the center of all our activities.
His concluding remarks fed nicely into the Dean of Students Affairs who spoke about the support we give to our students in terms of counseling, club facilities, career progression and employability, and support to our alumni. The Dean emphasized the importance of providing extra-curricular activities to our students and academic and personal support in order to help them complete their studies successfully.
She also presented the structure of her Deanship and how each division can provide the support needed whether it is in counseling, students services, career development, alumni and support to the students council, alumni club and the other five clubs namely: media, women, volunteering, cultural and sports.
After lunch, the staff induction event was delivered by the team of the VP of Admin, Finance and Community Engagement. The Director of Admin and Finance spoke about the various divisions that report to him including HR, procurement and logistical issues, finance and admin. The heads of these divisions presented then about HR policies and processes, the automated procurement system, the budgeting process and various functions supporting admin and finance and our excellent work on health and safety. The Director of ICT and KM presented our IT systems including SIS and web site and showed how our staff portal could be used. The Head of the Community Engagement Office summarized our key achievements over the last few years and how the University could become more engaged with community engagement activities. Finally, the Head of HR and Training presented about our staff recruitment, appraisal and support. He emphasized the importance of automating some of our HR process and clearly stated that our work is progressing well in this area and we expect to see some innovative development in this area by the end of November 2017.
The various presentations that were made by various senior colleagues covering various aspects of the University were very informative to our new colleagues. We have put a lot of efforts to support our new colleagues through a comprehensive induction programme.