Below are key initiatives implemented by SACM Australia with the objective of maintaining quality services, programs and development policy.
Cancellation of student forewarnings – 2016
This initiative aims at encouraging students, whose academic achievement is poor, to work harder and improve their achievement and performance. According to the initiative, one forewarning can be cancelled from the student’s academic file, provided the student has:
• achieved good academic results after the academic Term in which the forewarning was issued.
• completed SACM’s Orientation Program and obtained the program certificate after 15/07/2016. (SACM is currently working on developing a new version of the Orientation Program.)
• participated in some of the activities organized by the Saudi Student Club in the city where the student studies.
This initiative is currently under preparation.
SACM’s Permanent Exhibition – 2016
SACM’s Permanent Exhibition is part of SACM’s endeavors toward cultural promotion. It aims at providing information about Saudi Arabia and its culture, heritage and prosperity. The exhibition also aims at highlighting Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the Arab and Muslim worlds, as well as the cultural and scientific development achieved in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition will also highlight Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and the role of the Kingdom in the service of the Two Holy Mosques, and its role in spreading peace and combating extremism and terrorism. Outstanding academic and scientific achievements and distinct artworks of Saudi students in Australia will also be displayed.
Early 2016, SACM obtained the necessary approvals for organizing the exhibition. SACM also obtained the approval to organize a fortnightly Open Day for Australian school and university students. On the other hand, SACM has organized a contest for Saudi scholarship students to share their artworks. The launch of the exhibition will take place as soon as the sponsoring body finalizes their preparatory works.
SACM’s Open Day – 2016
It has been a practice of many government and private agencies in Australia to organize open-day programs on a regular basis, in order to showcase their activities and duties. Likewise, SACM plans to organize a fortnightly open day for Australian school and university students to visit SACM’s exhibition. This initiative is currently under consideration pending the launch of the exhibition.
Translation – 2016
SACM began working on this initiative in October 2015, as part of its efforts toward cultural promotion. Details of the initiative will be released in July 2016, after the completion of some relevant procedures. This initiative is currently under preparation.
Evaluation of sponsored students’ educational performance – 2016
SACM has implemented a student performance evaluation initiative through a database it developed, whereby SACM could compare the educational performance of the Saudi sponsored students to the performance of other students at the same level in the same institution. The evaluation tool monitors achievements and performance of Saudi sponsored students according to educational institutions, fields and levels of study, thus establishing statistical patterns that would help evaluating students’ performance.
SACM’s Infographic – 2015
This initiative is implemented in line with the increasing use and modern trends of displaying the information in the form of pictures and illustrations.
SACM’s website contains a large amount of information and quality helpful publications; therefore the initiative is meant to simplify the presentation of information, making it easier for the reader to browse and understand these contents.
Currently, SACM is working to gradually transfer some web contents to be displayed in infographic formats. To view some examples of SACM’s infographic materials, please click here.
Initiatives for enhancing SACM’s cultural role – 2015
The Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) in Australia has launched a number of initiatives toward enhancing its cultural contribution to the Australian society, in addition to its educational and academic role. In line with its endeavours toward cultural promotion, SACM launched its new English website, aiming at providing English readers with information about Saudi Arabia and its culture, heritage and prosperity. The website also provides English readers and Australians, in particular, with useful information about studying in Saudi Arabia, Saudi educational system and Saudi universities and research institutions. Information about Saudi students’ academic achievements and their clubs across Australian states/territories and cities can also be found on the website. SACM’s English twitter account was also launched as another channel of communicating with the Australian society. SACM has also published a number of cultural and guiding publications in English language, and has organized and/or participated in a number of cultural conferences and events. It has also held open day events to provide an opportunity for people to visit SACM and learn about Saudi Arabia.
SACM’s comprehensive inquiry system – 2015
SACM has launched a comprehensive inquiry system symmetrical with MOE’s SAFEER system. The system is daily updated with processed information extracted from a range of reports extracted from MOE’s various systems. Such information is reordered and displayed in an easier manner and colored categories. This will make it easier and quicker for the user/students to find the required information. The system provides various search options including, but not limited to, searching by student’s name; searching by student’s ID number; searching by student’s academic number; searching for a group of students by their academic advisor’s name, by their educational institution name or by the nature of their missing academic or technical data; or by any combination of the foregoing. The system also provides the feature of transforming the extracted data into Excel sheet/file.
SACM’s inquiry system was designed at SACM’s Academic Affairs Department, was experimentally implemented amid 2014 and officially launched early 2015. The system undergoes continual updates. It has saved time and effort, contributed to the quality assurance and improved student performance monitoring process. The system helped SACM to have missing data and documents completed by about 100%. According to MOE’s statistics in 2014 following implementation of the system, the rate of SACM’s incomplete transactions has fallen to zero. Saudi Ministry of Education has praised this initiative and instructed its electronic transaction department to study the initiative to determine the possibility of circulating it to all Saudi cultural missions. In 2015, the Ministry launched this service as part of (SAFEER) program to the benefit of all users, whether sponsoring bodies or cultural missions.
Continual evaluation – 2014
SACM has developed a performance evaluation program whereby it seeks students’ feedback on the services provided by SACM and evaluates the performance of SACM’s staff, student advisors and Saudi Student Clubs in Australia. Collected data and outcomes are analyzed biannually, in order to evaluate the performance and pave the way for improvement, and also for SACM to monitor the efficiency of its development programs. This initiative was implemented twice during 2014, and will be implemented as such every year.
In 2014, SACM launched an orientation program for the Saudi sponsored students as part of its development programs aimed at raising the awareness and offering guidance to students. The program is delivered to students, whether before or during their scholarship, in a tailored and innovated manner. Studies made by SACM showed that most issues and difficulties encountered by some sponsored students are attributed to lack of their knowledge of proper regulations and procedures. Hence, this Orientation Program has been developed to help minimizing such issues and saving time and efforts.
SACM’s Orientation Program is a short training course that a student can register for and complete online. The program provides the student with key information students would need to know during their scholarship, including regulations, instructions, FAQs and some guiding videos. The program ends with an information test where the student is required to answer 20 questions which will qualify him/her for a certificate of completion sent automatically to the student by email. This initiative was launched in 2014. More information can be found on Orientation Program.
ASDAA – the Cultural Status in Australia – 2013
In 2013, SACM published “ASDAA – the Cultural Status in Australia” as part of its quality cultural initiatives aiming at boosting SACM’s cultural contributions in addition to its role as academic service provider.
The first version of ASDAA consisted of 128 pages discussing key features of culture in Australia and highlighting the prominent cultural and scientific events held in Australia in 2013. SACM’s cultural and academic activities were also highlighted.
ASDAA contained a list of most recent books published in Australia in 2013 in various fields and specializations, detailed information about Australian patents and annual scientific and cultural awards, plus a list of prominent 100 patents registered in Australia in 2013.
The publication also reviewed important cultural sites and corporations in Australia, and provided information about major exhibitions and conferences venues in various Australian cities and contained information about the history, fields and locations of important libraries in Australia.
ASDAA further discussed cultural and social contributions of Arabs in Australia, and contained detailed information about important cultural events organized by Arab migrants in Australia and their written and visual cultural production. Brief biographies of some Arab writers in Australia and an overview about World Arabic Language Day were also included.
Enhancing communication – 2013
SACM has implemented a number of measures to lift its communication efficiency and responsiveness to the possible utmost. Below are some measures implemented in 2013:
- Establishing SACM’s Call Center.
- Launching mobile phone urgent communication service for sponsored students.
- SACM’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
- Launching SACM’s smart devices applications compatible with (IOS) and (Android).
- Information and guidance for new sponsored students through 12 communication channels, with instructions relevant to each channel. See Contact Us.
- More communicative means provided at the lobby of the premises for sponsored students to utilize when visiting SACM. This would contribute to facilitating and expediting students’ transactions.
- Organizing training courses for SACM’s academic advisors and staff in customer service and effective communication.
- Biannual evaluation of performance of SACM’s academic advisors and staff, which is based on communication and responsiveness.
- Allocating a FAQ page on SACM’s website of 200 questions with their answers.
SACM also pays visits to students in their cities to hear from them and solve their problems. Such visits are organized through structured programs such as (Meeting with my Students) program which toured all cities where sponsored students live and study. The Cultural Attaché, his assistants and academic directors pay regular visits, organized by Saudi Student Clubs, to most of the Australian cities to meet with the Saudi sponsored students.
The Legal Guide – 2013
The Legal Guide is one of SACM’s publications that aim at educating Saudi sponsored students on the Australian laws and regulations affecting their living in Australia as international students. The Legal Guide discusses topics influencing the student’s everyday life, such as housing laws, traffic laws, immigration laws, banking, social relations, intellectual property laws and laws affecting international students. The Legal Guide was issued in 2013 and can be viewed here.
Encouraging excellence – 2013
SACM is keen to motivate outstanding sponsored students in appreciation of their achievements, and also to encourage other students to follow their model. For this purpose, this initiative was gradually implemented in 2013 and 2014 through the following measures:
- Establishing the (List of Honour) published on SACM’s website. The List includes names of outstanding sponsored students with scientific achievements or prominent researches. Strict selection criteria apply.
- Establishing lists of outstanding sponsored students, particularly in the scientific field. These lists are updated on a monthly basis and published on SACM’s website and on SACM’s pages on social media channels.
- Publishing news about students’ achievements on SACM’s website and SACM’s pages on social media channels.
- Organizing student achievements fairs as part of SACM’s annual graduation ceremonies. The first fair was organized at the graduation ceremony held by SACM in Brisbane on 9th -10th August 2014 and inaugurated by the Saudi minister of higher education.
- Honouring outstanding students at some official events.
- Mentioning sponsored students’ achievements on SACM’s publications such as SACM’s Annual Report and ASDAA, or on a special publication like “Innovators”.
SACM has also developed a policy for rewarding outstanding PhD and fellowship students at the language level according to set criteria.
Academic Advisor Guide – 2011
In 2011, SACM produced the Academic Advisor Guide as part of its quality assurance and development initiatives, with a special focus on the Academic Affairs Department. The purpose of the Guide is to enhance the performance of the Department and promote quality of the services it provides. The Guide explains procedures of all applications in detail and provides information about SACM’s Academic Affairs Department and its quality and development programs. The Guide contains 168 pages and defines work principles and rules for effective communication with the sponsored students. It also provides corrections for potential mistakes. Version 2 of the Guide was issued in 2012. Later in 2014, an electronic version of the Guide was published on SACM’s intranet site “STAFF”.
Saudi Student Clubs’ electronic election system – 2009
The Saudi Student Clubs’ electronic election system is an initiative launched by SACM in 2009 to conduct the annual Saudi Student Clubs’ elections supervised by SACM. All Saudi sponsored and non-sponsored students in Australia, whether registered in the system or not and their companions, can use the system to vote in the elections. The system is flexible and allows the voters to vote online at any time and from anywhere. Votes can be securely and fairly cast on the system, with the possibility for voters to view the election process on SACM’s website.
Saudi Cultural Administration System (SCAS) – 2005
Saudi Cultural Administration System (SCAS) was launched in 2005. The system operated through SACM’s Intranet and enabled its users (SACM’s employees) to electronically conduct their work. Types of transactions processed through the system included, but not limited to:
- Students’ applications
- SACM’s financial transactions and management
- Decisions relating to students’ scholarships
- Air tickets transactions
- Documentation, emails, invoices…etc
SACM kept constantly upgrading the system until the Saudi Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) created “SAFEER” system which links all Saudi cultural missions across the world with MOHE.
In addition to these initiatives, SACM Australia implemented in 2013 and 2014 a number of quality assurance and development programs involved all aspects of SACM’s work. More information can be found on quality and development programs.