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Posted On: 22 February 2013 04:48 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

Smart Card to be introduced in Universities

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Mr. Abdullah Al Yafei, Manager of Students Services Department at the Students Affairs, Qatar University, announced the creation of effective partnership with the students and stakeholders for the purpose of rendering distinguished services of innovative solutions as reported by Qatar Chronicle. He unveiled the preparation of smart cards for University students in the near future to be used in accessing the University campus and availing the services it renders including transportation, printing, copying, food services and sports facilities, and so on. He emphasized the completion of registration at the transportation services via the Banner System. He further added that the University is still receiving students applications for financial aids until the coming Thursday, indicating that the students are able to access the service online as reported by Qatar Chronicle. He further indicated the creation of a program for borrowing laptops, and a program for providing job opportunities at the Financial Aids Section for those who do not satisfy the aids requirements. He highlighted the allocation of 4 printing and photocopying centers at the students' activities building for boys and girls and the library. He also indicated the services rendered to students including transportation, university cards, food services, academic books and financial aids… Below is the interview made with him: To start with, what are the services provided by the University Transportation Unit? The University shall provide transportation services to girl students who do not have an appropriate means of transportation with the aim of facilitating the transportation process for them to and fro university. The Primary Services Section at the Students' Services Department organizes the process of girl students utilization of the transportation service in return for nominal charges to be collected on a term basis, i.e., QR 700. The Service will cover most of the Doha regions in addition to some external towns and regions. Registration at this Service has been electronically completed on a term basis, and the transportation service fees are charged throughout the academic term. What does this Service include? The Transportation Unit includes coordination of the service on a daily basis from home to university. Scientific and cultural and express trips are also included. The Transportation Service (University Express) is considered a new service we provide to all male students starting from the previous academic term because of the buildings distance from each other. We doubled the number of buses that carry male and female students following the increase witnessed by the University during the current academic year. The service is available between the girl students buildings, the Faculty of Science building, the Foundation Program building, the Faculty of Administration and Economy building (new). The University Express service is available (Sunday through Thursday), during the two semesters of Fall and Spring except for official holidays. This free of charge service will help facilitate the movement process among a number of major buildings in the University. The second stage will extend to further buildings with the aim of alleviating the burden on students. Likewise, we are going to follow up and assess the itinerary and time schedule. Has the Printing and Photocopying Center been developed to keep up with the schooling requirements? The Center provides various services and aids needed by the students as regards the schooling requirements at a high level of efficiency and quality in a timely manner. The Center provides miscellaneous services as well such as: Copying, scanning and printing within the Center or by using online printing from the website. The aim of the Printing and Photocopying Center is to satisfy the students' needs which enrich their educational experience at the university life. Students can avail from the rendered services by going to our offices at any of the students activities building for boys and for girls where 4 photocopying centers have been inaugurated in addition to the library facility. What is your role in providing the required university books? Our role is to communicate with the various faculties of the University to provide us with the lists of academic books they need. Then we communicate with the concerned entity for purchase of these books and making them available in a timely manner and in the required quantities. When the students face any shortage of a certain book, we request them to refer to us at a later time. The problem lies in the publisher not providing us with the sufficient required quantity of that certain book. At such case we overcome that problem by providing electronic copies of that book or of the studied chapters of that book at the Blackboard System or by providing a hardcopy of the chapters of that book that are being taught and distributing them to students. I would like to attract the attention that most of the academic books are properly made available and we rarely face the problem of books shortage. Among the improvements introduced into the book sale process and which helped in alleviating crowdedness and minimizing the time and effort of the students is the development of our electronic system so as to enable the student to pay the book price at a later time. The amount will be entered into the student's account and he/she can at a later time through the electronic system pay the books fees and any other charges using the banking Visa card. These improvements in addition to others minimized the period for distributing the books based on the announced schedule from three weeks to one week only. It has to be noted that the University bears 50% of the academic books charges studied by the students. Thus they only pay half of the prices of the books they are studying at the school term. What are the changes made in the University Card? The University purchased a universal system for university cards so that the student University Card becomes a smart card. We are currently issuing the new university cards for all students with the aim of activating the services through these cards. The project is expected to be completed using the new university card for accessing the various university campus buildings and availing the different services such as transportation, printing, photocopying, food services and sports facilities, and so on. How about requesting financial aids? Electronic application for financial aids by new students and renewal for continuing students started on 3 February and documents will be received next Thursday. This service is rendered to students who satisfy the relevant requirements pertaining to providing financial aids. Such aids consist in any of the following types; monthly financial aid, lump sum financial aids, or aids for payment of schooling, housing, transportation and books fees and charges. The Fund obtains its annual budget from the University. The amount of such aid helps support and assist the student to overcome the financial obstacles that face them in the course of continuing their study, on condition that a student shall not avail from more than one type of the first three types of aid. It is decided that the Financial Aids Section will render the service of lending laptops to students; and provide part time job opportunities within the university campus for those student who do not satisfy the requirements of obtaining financial aids. What are the most salient goals of the Parents Unit? The Students Parents Program mission consists in facilitating, developing and supporting the permanent relations between the University and the parents and helping them to become the University partners in the educational and developmental process of Qatar University students. We organized the orientation meeting for the parents of new students joining the Spring 2013 Semester. The meeting aims at instilling the partnership seeds between the University and parents and introducing them to the academic and nonacademic programs and the services and activities rendered to their sons and daughters and the way of availing of the same. Furthermore, we will, through the Parents' Program Unit, organize and conduct regular meetings between parents and the concerned persons at the University with the aim of enhancing the communication process between the parents and the University. We shall also provide them with any required support by providing training programs that help promote their capacities of communication and of following up their sons and daughters at the University. Will this step promote the Students Communication Center and its assigned tasks? The Students Communication Center has a significant role in responding to students enquiries and questions. We also refer some of the calls to the concerned entities at the University to respond to. Those who work at the Center are a group of University female students who have undergone a number of training courses and development workshops that qualified them to provide this service under supervision of the Students Communication Center female person in charge. Source :Qatar Chronicle