Centre of Foundation Studies (CFS)

Dr. Ali R Al Hassnawi, CFS Director

Dr. Ali R Al Hassnawi, CFS Director

Welcome to the Centre of Foundation Studies (CFS) at UoB. It is first place almost all new students usually have to pass by before moving to join their specialization programs offered by the Colleges of the University.

CFS accommodates and prepares newly admitted students to enroll in their degree programmes by offering a number of preparatory courses such as English, Mathematics, Information Technology and Study Skills. Our multicultural team includes a large number of qualified personnel who are committed and enthusiastic to achieve CFS aims and goals. All CFS students and staff are subject to the requirements laid down by the University with respect to the regulations, bylaws, policies, and procedures. As such, we constitute an integral part of UoB structure and larger community. We work in close collaboration with all UoB’s academic as well administrative entities to achieve our goals, aligned to UoB’s Mission and Vision. Student is the centre of all CFS academic teaching and learning activities and practices. Towards the achievement of our goals, we strive to use modern methodologies in this regard supported by latest supportive teaching and learning technologies.

As we aspire to provide quality services to our students, we need the contribution of all stakeholders, being students, parents, academic, or administrative staff.  We highly recognize and appreciate all contributions that help us to reach our goals.

My best wishes of sustainable success for all.

Dr. Ali R. Al-Hassnawi

CFS Director


CFS Objectives

– The main objective of the Centre for Foundation Studies is to prepare candidates for admission into their Bachelors degree programmes of the university

– To assist students acquire basic soft and technical skills that enable them succeed in their study at the Degree program.

– To upgrade students’ capabilities to adapt themselves to the new environment of university education.

– To train students how to use modern learning resources to enhance their independent learning and accomplish their academic tasks.

– To contribute effective to the accomplishment of UoB mission of being an excellent regional source higher education.

Core Values

  • Learner is centre of the learning-teaching process.
  • Practice is the most effective tool for mastering professional soft and interpersonal skills.
  • A holistic approach is adopted in foreign language teaching and learning.
  • Technology has a vital role in enhancing learning experiences.
  • Innovative methodologies of teaching create better learning environment and lead to achieving intended learning outcomes.
  • Creative use of available resources lead to excellence in building up the learner’s academic and social personality.


  • Promoting a culture among learners that is relevant to University life, rules, regulations and Bylaws;
  • Providing learners with necessary study skills that help new learners lead a successful academic life in their future academic degree programs.
  • Providing academic services to other UoB faculties by offering some common university courses.
  • Contributing effectively to the accomplishment of UoB’s mission of being an excellent regional source for higher education.

Courses offered by CFS

       Currently, the CFS offers three types of programs:

  • General Foundation Program (GFP), which comprises the following four components:

– Three-level English Courses

– Math Courses (Introduction, Basic Math, Pure / Applied Math)(3hrs/w)

– Computre Skills Courses

– Study Skills Courses (embedded in English courses)

  •  English for Specific Purposes (ESP), courses:

– English for Business Students

– English for Nursing Students

– English for Engineering Students

– English for Optometry Students

  • General University Requirements (GUR)  courses:

–  Oman History

– Omani Society

– Arabic Language

– German Language for Health Science Students

Distribution of hrs/ w for the GFP

Levels English  hrs/w Math hrs/w Computer hrs/w Study Skills hrs/w Total No. hrs/w
Elementary 15 3 2 5 25
Intermediate 15 3 2 5 25
Advanced 15 3 2 5 25
  • The GFP is basically meant for freshmen joining UoB to pursue their higher education. The maximum duration of this program is two years; however, students are strongly encouraged to minimize this period by working hard to achieve the Intended Learning Outcome (ILOs) of each component in order to join their degree Programs.
  • Staff members have to ensure that their students read and understand the objectives and ILOs set for each component and try to work hard towards meeting these objectives within the least possible time.
  • The CFS adopts an Exemption Policy for those students who have already achieved the required level of efficiency in both English and Computre skills.
  • New students are required to sit for a Placements Test (PT) to identify their level of proficiency in all GFP components. According to their performance in the PT, a student is placed in one of the three levels of the three sequential levels: Elementary, Intermediate, and Advanced. Each of these levels is a pre-requisite to the one that precedes it.
  • In all language courses, all four skills of language learning (i.e. Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing) are equally emphasized.
  • All courses are taught by learner-centered and interactive teaching and learning methodologies.
  • CFS’ staff strongly believe in the learner as an active participant in the process of learning.
  • All ESP courses are tailored to the student’s specialization of study in terms content, methodology, and assessment.

Assessment and Evaluation

Assessment methods and techniques have to serve as reliable means to evaluate the achievements of ILOs; therefore, instructors are expected to use various evaluation and assessment techniques considering that:

– Different learners use different learning styles and strategies; hence they need to be assessed differently;

– There is no one-for all assessment technique that measures the achievement of all ILOs; therefore, a variety of assessment methods are used for this purpose.

-Instructors of the same course have to develop standardized mid-semester and final exams for these courses. [1]

-Students should be enabled to review their assessed worksheets and be informed of their mistakes; worksheets have to include explicit feedback for students and must be returned to students to be aware of their weaknesses.

Exams and Grades Moderation

  • Dates of mid-semester and final exams are communicated to all students on the syllabus document of the course.
  • Exams and assessment tools are designed to measure students’ achievement of ILOs.
  • Exams preparations and marking activities are subject to rigorous internal moderation process to avoid any potential marks inflation or inequity of assessment criteria.
  • Instructors keep accurate records of all grades they assign to their students’ works.
  • Internal moderation of exams and grades is mandatory for all courses to ensure normal marks distribution, fair marks allocation, robust and rigorous assessment and marking activities are implemented.
  • Standardized marking scales and rubrics are used for all courses.
  • Students are informed of grade breakdowns and their evaluation criteria.
  • The following Matrix used for marks distribution of all courses. Instructors should include this matrix as part of the syllabus they circulate to their students in the first lesson of the program.
Program 1st  8 weeks 2nd 8 weeks Grand Total
GFP (continuous assessment)Class participation, etc. 10% Class participation/Attendance 10% 100%
Midterm Exam 30% Final  Exam 50%
ESP & GUR (continuous assessment)Class participation etc. 10% Class participation/Attendance 10% 100%
Midterm Exam 30% Final  Exam 50%

 Advising and Office Hours

  • Staff members are available for designated office hours where their students can come for advice and assistance with any academic issue.

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

  • CFS abides by the UoB Official Plagiarism Policy and encourage all students to be aware of the citation and the use of various information resources. Staff members inform their students of the concept of plagiarism and teach them how to use the material from other resources when preparing their assignments/ projects.

Contact Us

Phone: + 968 25655509
Email: info@uob.edu.om

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