Controlled free choice method: A proposal for a new undergraduate major selection policy at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals

Adel S. Al-Dosary*, Syed Masiur Rahman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The prevalent undergraduate major selection at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) mostly depends on the student's choice regardless of academic abilities and qualifications. Owing to the adoption of this Free Choice Method (FCM), the number of students will continue to grow and external pressures at the national level may force the university to expand the admission intake every year, making it very difficult to expand and cut back programs as before. The accumulated effects threaten inefficiencies such as underutilization of some departments and majors. To address the immediate and subsequent negative impacts of FCM, this research proposes a Controlled Free Choice Method (CFCM) to ensure proper utilization of existing resources, reflect national needs in determining departmental capacities and stimulate student performance. The CFCM is based on student performance and preferences plus a cutoff GPA obtained in the orientation level in specific courses or all courses for each department. Under this procedure, departmental capacity will be determined prior to intake, thus maintaining the proactive nature of this approach. Finally, the CFCM is evaluated with respect to the limited scale responses of individual departments and colleges.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalHigher Education Policy
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Controlled free choice method
  • Curriculum management
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Student choice
  • Undergraduate education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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