FAQ for undergraduate programmes: admission and registration
1- What is an open university?
An open university is a university that operates under the Open Learning System that provides higher education for all students regardless of their age and nationality.
The Open Learning System is characterized by flexibility to accommodate a wide base of learners in higher education thereby offering educational opportunities to qualified applicants in accordance to their needs and abilities. It offers flexibility in tutorial hours, and tuitions. Tutorial hours are offered from 8:00am till 9:00pm evening.
The Open Learning System involves face-to-face tutorial sessions, using educational packages, and requires attendance; it provides as well indirect learning support materials such as CDs, and other multimodal methods.
Does the AOU apply the online or distance learning educational system?
The AOU does not apply the online or distance learning educational system. The university adopts various direct and indirect teaching and learning methods as outlined below.
a- Direct teaching and learning methods:
- Face-to-face tutorial sessions where attendance is mandatory at least once a week. The tutorials are available from 8:00am to 9:00pm and could be organized into 1 or 2 days per week to accommodate working students.
- Office hours, on a one-on-one basis, where students individually meet with their course tutors. These hours aim to help students cope with the topics that they face difficulties with and provide help to students in any other academic issue. Office hours are available till late evening hours, enabling working students to meet with their tutors according to their work schedule.
b- Indirect teaching and learning methods that enhance the learning process:
- Reading materials: books and printed materials.
- Audios and visuals: in the form of CDs, DVDs, and other multimodal methods
- Lectures and PowerPoint presentations: Those are uploaded on Moodle as well as other supporting teaching materials.
- Student forums: whether online or face-to-face, enhance the learning process, stimulate critical thinking, foster collaboration in problem-solving, and promote the sharing of information and ideas.
2- What are the acceptance requirements to the AOU?
Applications for acceptance are based on the student obtaining the Lebanese Baccalaureate or its equivalent. There are neither set percentages nor required averages for acceptance. The number of acceptances is based on the university’s capacity with respect to its human resources and available facilities. All students are required to sit for an English placement test. In addition:
- Students who do not hold the Lebanese Baccalaureate are required to sit for an Arabic placement test.
- Students applying to join the Information Technology and Computing programme are required to sit for a placement math test. Holders of the Lebanese Technical Baccalaureate (BT3) are exempted from taking the math placement test.
- Students applying to the Elementary Education programme are required to sit for an Arabic placement test.
Applicants from graduate students or students enrolled at another university, and would like to join AOU, will be considered on an individual basis. A certain number of credits could be transferred to the programme of study that they are applying to taking into consideration the specifics of that programme.
3- Do the language placement tests affect admission decisions?
The language placement tests results do not affect admission decisions but help place the student at the appropriate language level.
Depending on the test results, students who do not meet the language required level will be given remedial courses or students who achieve high results will be exempted from taking the language courses.
4- How long does it take to graduate?
It takes typically about three years of study (six regular semesters and one summer semester) to complete the Bachelor degree requirements.
5- What is the language of instruction?
The English language is the language of instruction for the BA and BS in the following fields of study:
- Information Technology and Computing
- Business Administration
- English Language and Literature
- Graphic and Multimedia Design Technology
The Arabic language is the language of instruction for:
- Elementary Education
6- What is the adopted evaluation system?
Continuous evaluation and assessment is carried out throughout the entire study course period. The final course grade consists of 50% of the Continuous Assessment and 50% of the Final Examination. The 50% of the Continuous Assessment comprises 20% of the Tutor Marked Assignments and 30% of the Midterm Assessment.
7- Are the degrees issued by the AOU recognized and certified?
The AOU was established under the decree 3257 dated June 22, 2000 issued by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education. The decree states that AOU is a licensed university and not an institute. All the degrees that the university offers are recognized and certified by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education.
The Open University – United Kingdom validates undergraduate and postgraduate degrees offered by the Faculties of Business Studies, Computer Studies, and Language Studies and awards a degree in all of them as well.
8- What is the British Institutional accreditation?
The Arab Open University is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organization to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University Validated Awards. The accreditation and validation of the programmes, indicates that the level of education at the Arab Open University is the same quality of education as in British universities. Therefore, the students can continue their studies, without the need of any equivalence, at any British university or any international university that recognizes the British degrees.
FAQs regarding Post Graduate Studies
What majors does AOU offer at the post graduate level?
AOU offers the following majors at the post graduate level:
a- The MBA programme which entails the following tracks:
- Business Administration
- Human Resource Management
b- The MSc programme which consists of the following track:
- Information Security and Forensics
Are the Masters degrees officially recognized?
The MBA and MSc degrees are officially recognized by the Lebanese Ministry of Education.
The Arab Open University is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organization to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University Validated Awards. The MBA & MSc programmes are currently validated by The Open University-UK
Upon graduation, the student receives 2 degrees: a British degree from the Open University and a Lebanese degree.
If my Bachelor degree was not in Business, can I still pursue the MBA programme?
AOU allows you to pursue the MBA programme even if your BA is in any other major. However, you will have to take two 8-credit Remedial Courses as pre-requisites.
Will I have to sit for an English test as an Admission requirement?
In case your undergraduate degree was NOT from an accredited English speaking institution, AOU requires an English Proficiency Evidence with a minimum score of 6.5 for IELTS, or 575 on the paper based TOEFL, 500 for the TOEFL ITP or 85 for the internet based TOEFL).
Do I have to fulfil the English Proficiency tests before applying to the MSc programme?
You will be allowed to register even if you did not sit yet for the TOFEL or IELTS. AOU will grant you a period of 6 months from the date of registration to provide the university with the TOEFL or IELTS certificate.
If my BS degree is not in Information Technology, can I pursue the MSc programme?
If you have a BS degree in majors such as Mathematics, Physics or Computing with Business, you should complete additional 12 credit-courses from the BSc information technology and computing (ITC) programme before starting the MSc programme. This would be essential to confirm that applicant has the necessary underpinning knowledge and understanding to undertake the MSc.
How long does it take me to graduate?
The MBA and MSc programmers take typically two years of study. However, if you wish to take less credits during a particular semester, you may do so, taking into consideration that it will increase the time needed to complete the programme.
How many credits do I need to graduate?
To complete the MBA/MSc programme, you need 48 credits.
Can I pay by installment?
Your tuition fees can be divided in 3 payments during each semester.
I work until 4:00 PM, so I cannot attend classes. Can I still register?
All classes are given after 5:00 PM, so it should not conflict with your working hours. To note that each class is given once a week for 3 hours.
How can I apply?
You need to fill out the online application form and bring it to the Student Affairs Office along with the required documents.
Applications for the MBA is on the following link: http://www.aou.edu.lb/aou/files/mba.pdf
Applications for the MSc is on the following link: http://www.aou.edu.lb/aou/files/msc.pdf