International prestige of Maldives National University growing strongly in South Asia
By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor
Foreign Exchange the Diplomatic Society
Maldives National University (MNU) the largest university in the Maldives with a broad vision is promoting excellence in teaching and has earned a formidable international reputation for its pragmatic approach to higher education. The University situated in the heart of Male’ the capital city of the Maldives is renowned for its spectacular scenery and for tourism .The Maldives National University (MNU) formerly known as the Maldives College of Higher Education (MCHE) gained university status in February 15, 2011. The MNU provides a range of courses and training needs for today’s Maldivian society. Each year several hundreds of children apply for admission to the prestigious university in the Maldives. In 2012 more than seven thousand students were accepted for long and short term courses. Of this number some six thousand student s were enrolled in long term courses at the University. Today, Dr. Hassan Hameed the Vice-Chancellor is vigorously trying to develop the MNU’s international profile by .enhancing the student life and teaching environment in all faculties.
Dr. Hassan Hameed, Vice-Chancellor
The Maldives National University (MNU) contributes to a number of courses across faculties . Among the programmes conducted at the Faculty of Health Sciences , Faculty of Arts ,Faculty of Hospitality & Tourism Studies ,Faculty of Islamic Studies , Faculty of Education , Faculty of Health Sciences , Faculty of Engineering Technology and at Faculty of Science offers the opportunity for students to explore and discover their own academic interest . In addition Research Centre , Centre for Maritime Studies , Centre for Open Learning (COL) and Centre for Foundation Studies are the four main centers other than the faculties. In addition the MNU Centre for Open Learning (COL) with nearly thousand two hundred student enrolments in 2012 established outreach centres in R.Dhuvaafaru ,GN.Fuvahmulah and in GA. Viligili islands .The Maldives National University Business School is developing a range of courses to ease the path of students in attaining qualifications. Faculty of Arts located few blocks away from the Vice Chancellors office is one of the extensive providers of arts courses . Mr Abdul Rasheed Ali the Dean of the Arts Faculty is concerned about the knowledge and skills about the enrolled students at the faculty. More than a decade ago the Maldives College of Higher Education (MCHE) launched the first Dhivehi language Bachelor of Arts degree programme .Almost twelve years later in 2012 nearly twenty students qualified in the Dhivehi language Bachelor of Arts degree programme. The School of Journalism a Centre of expertise under the Faculty of Arts is linked with other major professional bodies in the world provides a good foundation for the students in journalism and in mass communication. In 2012 nine students completed the Diploma in Journalism course. At the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies (FHTS) the module structure of the national diploma programme allows students many different study options. Scope for hospitality and tourism related subjects for students are far greater in the Maldives .The tourism related courses brings students into contact with globally renowned professionals in the tourism industry. More than hundred students completed hospitality and tourism related courses ranging from certificate to BTEC national diploma courses in 2012. New state of the art Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Studies (FHTS) building opened recently and will provide much-needed study space for students.
The MNU Business School is becoming a Centre of expertise for courses in business studies. The courses at the Business School provides a practical education for business and develop the knowledge that equip the MNU students with academic background for success in a range of commercial organizations . Faculty of Shariah and Law established as a Institute in 1999 provides challenging programmes of study . The carefully integrated courses at the Faculty of Science and at the Faculty of S Health provides a sound base of theory and practicality base. These two faculties are shaping the history of the university. The degree and associated diploma courses provides a good foundation in subjects associated with Faculty of Education. The courses offered at the Faculty of Engineering Technology covers a wide range of spectrum, embracing civil ,mechanical , electronic engineering and architectural design. In 2012 the Faculty of Management and Computing had an enrolment of more than thousand students for long term courses and nearly half that was women.
The Centre for Maritime Studies is unique in the Maldives for the range of areas of study it offers in the field of Maritime operations, engineering ,port -logistics, oil tanker safety and related subjects. These integral part of studies at the MNU Centre for Maritime Studies aim to produce professionals with technical expertise to successfully manage maritime , ports and safety in a quality orientated environment after completing the courses offered by the Centre. The Research Centre at the Maldives National University (MNU) is actively committed to an expanding research programmes. The university library with books ,periodicals ,videos and audio visual collections are freely available for students and staff . The library is designed to help students to make the most effective use of services. The catalogue of all the MNU library holdings is available directly to students through on line computers located in the ground floor of the university library. Nowadays with more opportunities available for aviation and medical sciences the university has made great strides by embarking on setting up an Aviation Training Centre and a Medical School for Maldivian students . Education has always been held in high esteem in the Maldives. Over the years the past and present governments spent large sums to equip schools, training institutes and also for the Maldives National University with the best teaching aids. The nation's premier university of higher learning in the Maldives signed memorandum of understandings with several Asian and European Universities and Institutes to offer diverse courses to the MNU students. The Maldives National University (MNU) with a national pride and an international prestige is known for its active engagement for preparing graduates who will make an impact on the Maldivian society.