Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

The 2030 Vision of Scientific Research Deanship

- 2019/10/13

The vision of the Deanship of Scientific Research stems from the vision of UQU which is based on the importance of leadership in scientific research alongside with leadership in education and community service. Its vision relies mainly on (making UQU a reliable research reference in science and a key driver in the management and leadership of the knowledge economy and society as well as a key pillar in supporting scientific decision-making in Saudi Arabia).

Achieving the vision in the knowledge society is not easy, especially that the Deanship has adopted in building its strategic foundations a set of Islamic values that frame all its research activities. They include: Reliability, integrity, respect, shared responsibility, transparency, originality, honesty, quality and excellence. Therefore, it was important for the vision to be clear and derive its sources and operational plans without breaking the fixed Islamic values, even if this takes a lot of effort and a longer period of time than hoped.

In the first stages of support, the Deanship gave attention to all the segments of the knowledge society in the university (professor, associate professor/lecturer, teaching assistant, postgraduate student, undergraduate student). External research support programs included (Ma’arefa “Knowledge” Program, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation “SABIC” Grant Program, (KACST Grant Program), while internal support programs include (Ra’ed “Pioneer”, Baheth “Researcher”, and Wa’eda “Promising”). They aim to involve all segments of this community to increase the chance of obtaining support and raise the level of the knowledge society in a balance that suits the Deanship’s strategic objectives. The Deanship also focused on completing the individual support system (Publisher/Student Program for Graduate Studies, “Ambassadors Program” for graduate studies and bachelor students, and “Author and Translator program” to encourage scientific research with e-regulations and systems that ensure high-quality research proposals submitted to the Deanship in terms of presentation, arbitration and decision-making).

Building research skills and establishing the achievement file of a researcher helps moving to the more difficult support phases, such as the Research Group program, and research center grants. They also contribute to the establishment of innovation centers or requesting the establishment of a specialized research chair, all of which pays off in many forms. The most important form is the intellectual property and patents resulting from these researches. Their impacts are tangible in reality as knowledge products result in general and industrial products in particular.

The knowledge transformation of research capacity is clearly manifested in the knowledge economy, which means investing the research capacity in productive outlets such as consulting firms, technology and business incubators and business accelerators. This can positively influence the establishment of start-ups that contribute to social development and meet the national needs of the knowledge economy.

The Deanship's vision was based on five main aspects whose research objectives intersect with the vision of the Deanship. From them, the Deanship derived the most important components of its knowledge sources on a national level:

* Afaq plan in higher education.

* The National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA)

* The National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (NPST).

* The development vision of Makkah region.

* National 2030 Vision.

The Deanship of Scientific Research has a gone a long way in terms of achieving these visions, as it has benefited from Afaq plan in terms of determining the target levels. It is working to collect statistical data research wise in order to localize the Future of technology and innovation at UQU.  The Deanship has also focused on the most important pillars of evaluating the best practices in the scientific research of the NCAAA at an institutional level, providing support for research grants in a way that fits the general budget while ensuring constant evaluation of research activities and services takes place. The Deanship works to overcome the problem of knowing the rate of publication and citation, especially in the research written in Arabic. As for the NPST, UQU was one of the first universities to develop operational plans to measure research performance indicators that guarantee the quality of procedures and outcomes of research projects.

The Deanship was also keen on remaining in line with the trends of Makkah in terms of the vision of development, in order to make Makkah an international inspirational example a foundation stone in the 2030 vision to increase the contribution of enterprises in the scientific output and generally reduce unemployment rates in research investment in order to reach the knowledge economy.