Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free online Islamic university attracts thousands of students

Dr. Bilal Philip’s Islamic Online University (IOU) launched the world’s first tuition-free, Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies in English completely online in April 2010 – a major new step towards helping Muslims across the globe fulfill the Prophet’s command to seek knowledge of the religion. Since then thousands of Muslims have registered to the course.
After successfully running a collection of 20 free short courses since 2007 in which more than 26,000 students are currently registered from more than 177 different countries, Dr. Bilal has taken the bold step of offering a BA along similar lines.
This path-breaking initiative utilizes the worldwide presence of the internet and advanced open source online learning technology to bring tuition-free university level Islamic education within reach of virtually anyone on the planet who has access to a computer and the internet.
The program has recorded video lectures and weekly live tutorial classes in a virtual classroom setting on the net and its syllabus is based on the BA in Usool-ud-Deen (Religious Foundations) curriculum of Madina University, Saudi Arabia, Omdurman Islamic University, Sudan, and other similar institutions. Six subjects are available each semester.
Each semester is 5 months, having a mid-term exam after two and a half months and the final at the end of the fifth month. Students are free to access their classes whenever it is convenient for them, however assignments and exams (mid-term and finals) have to be taken at fixed times.
There are no fees for the courses. However, there is a fixed symbolic registration fee and examination fee each semester which is calculated on a sliding scale (from $10 to $50) depending on the student’s country of

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