Bachelors of Arts in Arabic Language Studies
> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where does the coursework take place?
The International Open University is an online educational institution. The entire program is taught online via internet. Anyone from any part of the world can join easily and benefit from it, Insha'Allah.
Is an English language certification like TOEFL or IELTS required?
No. English language certification is not a requirement for any of the IOU programs. However, you should be aware that English is the medium of instruction for the entire program and you need to have a good command over the language to enroll into the program. You must display the ability to communicate effectively in terms of reading, writing and speaking fluently in English. This is vital for your success as a university student.
Is there any fee involved before the exams?
There is no fee charged by IOU separately for examinations. Students only need to pay a modest semester registration fee before enrolling into the semester. This depends on the country of residence of the student. Please click here to see the fees for your country. However, students will have to pay any associated fees to the exam center, if the center administrator/manager demands it (usually the centers do not ask for any fees).
How do I take exams?
Module tests and Midterm exams can be taken anywhere, within the prescribed time. The final exams must be taken only in an IOU approved exam center. There are several designated IOU centers present across the globe. You may look for a center near your city, prior to the start of semester exams, and register for it. If there is not an IOU approved exam center nearby, you can suggest an exam center and we will approve it even if you are the only student taking exams there, Insha’Allah. Please read the exam center requirements here https://iou.edu.gm/stream/exam-center-requirements/
When does the late registration period start?
Registration is open all year round though we advise you to register right away. You will be able to register in the current semester if the deadline has not passed. If the deadline has passed, you will be registered for the following semester and you may enroll into courses via the early enrollment system.
The deadlines of registration are broadly divided into three categories
|Early Registration Period:|
|Spring: beginning of October to mid-February|
|Fall: beginning of April to mid-August|
|Regular Registration Period:|
|Spring: mid-February to mid-March|
|Fall: mid-August to mid-September|
|Late Registration Period:|
|Spring: mid-March to end of March|
|Fall: mid-September to end of September|
Registered students will be sent the exact dates of each semester a couple of weeks before the semester starts.
What if i have a slow internet connection?
It is recommended that the IOU students try to have a high speed internet connection to make the best use of all the services. However, if a student is unable to obtain a high speed connection, we have audio and video lectures available which can be downloaded and saved to listen or watch later.
May I know the universities where IOU's graduates were able to take admission in higher/postgraduate studies based on IOU's issued degree?
While it is quite difficult to keep track of this, we have been notified of some of our graduates pursuing postgraduate studies in Indonesia and Gambia.
How is it that IOU is accredited by the Somalia's Ministry of Culture and Higher Education however, the institution as per the credentials is located in The Gambia? So is IOU following the Gambia standards and legislation or Somalia?
IOU is registered and accredited in Somalia. This was the first country in which IOU received full registration and accreditation. IOU then subsequently applied for registration in Gambia and has established a headquarters there. The finalization of registration is underway in The Gambia. We hope to conclude the finalization soon, In sha Allah. IOU also has provisional registration by the National Council of Higher Education in Malawi. We are also busy with the finalization of registration in Malawi currently. Once full registration is granted in Gambia and Malawi, IOU will then shift completely over to their systems and legislation.
As IOU has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with various universities, will the graduates of IOU be eligible for the admission/credit transfer in the said university automatically?
The onus lies with the applicant seeking credit transfer externally to apply using the standard IOU-issued documents. In the motivation of the application, the student may naturally refer to an MoU in place.
The other university will follow their procedures to determine the validity and scope of the MoU. If the MoU explicitly cites credit transfer/recognition, then the applicant should not face challenges.
However, there are instances where admissions departments of partner universities might not grant credit transfer of some/all courses because the MoU might not have been intended for the purpose of credit transfer, or there could have been changes to syllabi that prevents credit transfer, as courses between IOU and partner university are no longer aligned.
It would be best to check the conditions of the MoU in place with the specific partner university to explore its scope.
When will enrollment and classes begin?
The International Open University offers two terms each year.
Spring Semester - March to July
Fall Semester - September to January
The exact dates for the enrollment during the regular period, which is at the beginning of the semester, are announced on the site news before the semester begins. The early enrollment for those who want to enroll during the non-regular period can be accessed via this link.
Is International Open University an accredited university?
International Open University is globally accredited. However, institutions may have a list of colleges and universities that they consider acceptable. So, it is recommended that you check with the institution where you might want to do further studies or seek employment.
For more information about accreditation click on the given link https://iou.edu.gm/stream/accreditation/
Is there a separate fee for learning materials?
There is no fee charged for course materials, which consists of a PDF file. Flash videos and mp3 audios are available for online streaming as well as for download. We also provide an E-Library for students free of charge. If a student wishes to purchase hard copies of the required texts, they may do so from external sources.
What does the enrollment process entail?
Upon the completion of the 3 registration steps, the payment of the fees included, you will receive an email with the enrollment instructions few days before the beginning of the semester during the regular enrollment period. If you have completed the registration before or after the regular enrollment period, you may enroll via the early enrollment system by visiting this link. Please note that you have only two attempts to enroll. Therefore, you should choose your courses carefully. Administrative assistance would be provided only to genuine cases.
What are the minimum and maximum periods in which the Bachelor's degree may be completed?
The details are as follows:
Minimum period: 4 years
Maximum duration: 6 years
Minimum period: 6 years
Maximum duration: 9 years
Can I receive a Master's degree or a Doctorate through the International Open University?
The International Open University offers MA in Islamic Studies and it has launched its own PhD program Alhamdulillah. The details can be found here: https://iou.edu.gm/stream/phdis/
Is a person who successfully completes the BA ALS qualified to teach? Or is one required to have more than just the bachelor’s?
The BA ALS program is specially designed for the non-native speakers, So a BA ALS program graduate can teach Arabic to the beginner and moderate-level students and not to the higher level or advanced students. Additionally, since Alhamdulillah, IOU students receive a good quality Islamic education, the student can teach the Islamic studies for these two kinds of students. A student who is sincerely committed will certainly acquire the correct understanding of the subjects taught and will be able to teach it to others. A student who has a degree or diploma in education will be able to teach Arabic after completing BA ALS.
I want to join the BA ALS program. Where do I begin?
The International Open University is an online educational institution. The entire program is taught online via the internet. Anyone from any part of the world can join easily and benefit from it, In sha Allaah.
Admission is open throughout the year. If a student is admitted and enrollment is closed, he/she will begin his/her studies the following semester.
The registration form is available here:
You will get a reply form the registrar regarding your admission confirmation and fee payment details in a few days, Insha Allaah.
Before you begin the registration process, make sure you have the required scans (a scan of your HSC or certificate and a recent color photograph) ready on your PC.
Does IOU have a system for course waivers for BA ALS?
No Course waivers are not applicable for the BA ALS program.
What are the tuition fees?
Alhamdulillaah, all the courses offered are completely free, but we charge affordable semester registration fees.
Please see here for details
Click here and select your county of residence to see the course fee
These are the only fees we charge per semester. The course is completely tuition free, and the course material is also provided free of cost. Additionally, there is an E-Library provided as a study aid for the students.
For new students: No matter when the semester is scheduled to start, once you complete the payment, you will be given access to course materials
What is the level of English required to join IOU BA ALS?
The course content is explained very clearly with the help of lectures recorded by the instructors and recorded supplementary sessions conducted by the teachers. You can contact the teacher if you have any questions about course content. Although the courses are simplified as much as possible, it is preferable that you first register for a free diploma course https://diploma.iou.edu.gm/opencampus/ and try to complete at least one diploma course. If you are able to understand the lectures and texts of the free diploma course, then you should be able to study in the BA ALS program with no difficulty inshAllah.
Please note that If you realize later that you are not able to understand course content and need to withdraw from the program, there will be no refund. We, therefore, request that you pay only after careful consideration.
If my transcripts are not in English, will you still accept them?
In order to make the process easy for the students, IOU has translators available who will translate your documents (for some languages). Please check with us to see if we have a translator for the language your certificate is in. If we do not have translation services available for your language, your non-English high school transcripts and certificate must be fully translated into English and notarized by a notary. You must submit the original transcript along with the translated copy. A copy of the translated notarized copy should be uploaded during the online registration process.
What is the minimum required qualification to apply for BA ALS?
To apply for the BA ALS program, the candidate must have at least a high school diploma. The high school diploma must be scanned and uploaded along with a recent color passport size photograph. If the diploma and photo are not uploaded, your admission will not be confirmed.
Can a student who doesn't have the minimum required qualification join the IOU BA ALS program?
The BA ALS is a degree program for students who meet all the requirements mandated by the Somalian laws. The requirement to enter a bachelor’s degree program in any country is the completion of 12 years of study. To accommodate students who do not have a high school diploma but want to study in an organized Islamic Studies program and obtain a certificate, the IOU has the Open Education Program, which offers the same courses as the BA ALS program. Students from both the BA ALS degree program and the Open Education Program are taught in a similar manner and given the same course materials. Students can access the same supplementary sessions conducted by the same tutorial assistants. The only difference is in the certificate provided upon successful completion of the program. For more information, click here.
The semester registration fee is the same for any of these streams you may choose; whether it be mainstream study, Open Education Program or the alternative stream of Audit Courses. This is because the manner we conduct the study for all our students is the same.
Can I do this course without taking exams? (Can this program be audited?)
This option is not available for the BA ALS Program.
What if a student does not meet IOUs minimum admission requirements or possibly has no provable educational qualification? Will he/she receive an IOU advanced diploma upon completion of the BA ALS program?
The option of BA ALS Advance Diploma program is not available.
Is it possible for me to complete the course in less than three years? If it is possible, how many courses should I take each semester?
No this option is not available for the BA ALS program. The program can only be studied under part-time or full-time study plan.
I am doing BA Arb program. Can I change my stream to BA ALS?
Stream change to and from this program is strictly not allowed.
When IOU’s site says it is accredited globally, does it mean IOU's degrees will be accepted by universities in all countries including US, Canada, Australia, UAE, etc.?
This program is accredited by NAQAA, the accreditation authority in the Gambia as well as National Council of Higher Education (NCHE), Malawi.
Can I take additional courses from another stream under the BA ALS program?
No, a student cannot take additional courses under this program.