The FSU (Foundation Studies Unit) at AOU Oman under the supervision of the Foundation Studies Unit prepares students (in both modes of study: open education and sponsored students) for their higher education studies and hence precedes the first formal year of specialization courses. The courses in the FSU have zero credit and the assessment mechanisms only determine if a student has acquired the desired learning outcomes. However, it may require a student to take level/course again if he /she does not score the minimum in the assessments and the final exams.
The FSU at AOU Oman consists of:
- English Language (three levels)
- Mathematics (Basic Math and Applied or Pure Math)
- General Study Skills
Though the AOU has branches in other countries, the FSU is not unified as it is tailored to students’ needs in each branch. At AOU Oman, the FSU follows the standards set by the Ministry of Higher Education.
Entry to the FSU Unit at AOU Oman requires a student to take placement tests for English, IT and Mathematics. These tests are administered electronically and place a student at the appropriate levels. Depending on the scores of the placement tests, a student may be placed in level 1, 2 or 3 for English; scores in the Math placement test will determine if a student needs one or both levels of Math (Basic Math, Applied or Pure Math) or has cleared both levels. IT placement tests decide if a student will require Foundation in IT (one level).
It is also possible for a student to clear all three levels of English. In this case, the student may directly enter post foundation English Courses (2 levels) but still may have to take IT and Math foundation courses if the score secured is not acceptable.
Study skills are incorporated into all the courses of the FSU Unit in the form of assignments, quizzes, and assessments. Tutorial hours for English courses vary between 10 and 20 hours a week (depending on the mode of study), 2 and 4 hours a week (depending on the mode of study) for IT and Math.
As the FSU at AOU Oman is designed to provide a strong foundation to students in language, IT and Math skills, it is imperative that students try to attend all classes for the semester.