In March 2017, IOU launched the BA in Arabic Language and Linguistics program. Also, this year, IOU joined the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) as a member institution.
2017 also signifies the completion of the first decade of IOU in April.
IOU joined the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) and added the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and B.Sc. in Information Technology programs.
The University received accreditation for its B.Sc. in Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance program from the International Council of Islamic Finance Educators (ICIFE), and opened four country chapters of ICIFE in India, Somaliland, The Gambia and Sierra Leone.
The IOU participated in a variety of conferences including the International Conference on Research in Education (ICORE 2016) and the Malawi Education Conference 2016 to name a few.
The university also participated in the Moodle Moot New Delhi 2016 conference and reached an important milestone by conducting over 46,000 live classes over the internet from 2010 till now.
The IOU launched the Youth Dual Credit Program (YDCP) and The Open Education Program. The IOU also became a member of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Tuition-free, online programs including Master of Arts in Islamic Studies, Diploma and Certificate programs in Information Technology and Business Administration were also launched in 2015. IOU joined international higher education institutions and quality assurance bodies in 2015, including the Association of African Universities (AAU) in addition to many others.
Students and staff were granted access to online journal databases like JSTOR and Oxford University Press free of cost. The IOU held its first Online Mental Health Conference ‘Solace 2015’.
The IOU was given a license to operate as an online university in The Gambia from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in The Gambia.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the College of Sharee’ah and Islamic Studies at Kuwait University. The IOU also introduced new departments: Department of Education, Department of Islamic Economics, Department of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, and Department of Psychology and a new department of Arabic Language and Linguistics was launched. The IOU also introduced a BA in Islamic Studies in Russian, an Ijazah program and a prison initiative. IOU’s Android App was also launched in 2014.
IOU received accreditation and a university license from Somalia’s Ministry of Higher Education. IOU also launched a pilot Intensive English language course for madrasah graduates in The Gambia. Additionally, the IOU’s magazine Insights and the Global Qur’an Memorization Center were successfully launched. Community service was also made a mandatory requirement for IOU graduates.
The University Administration and Faculty expanded during this period. The standard version of the University’s Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was unable to meet the growing demands of the students and staff. Therefore, the customization of the LMS took a completely new meaning in IOU during this time which has continued till today.
Apart from the global administration, during this period another significant development was the establishment of local offices and student committees in different parts of the world.
In 2010, the IOU introduced the world’s first tuition-free, online Bachelor of Arts in Islamic Studies (BAIS). IOU’s groundbreaking initiative utilized advanced open source online learning technology to make low-cost, university level education accessible worldwide to anyone with access to a computer connected to the Internet.
A range of new courses were added in the free diploma campus from 2008 to 2009. A dedicated IOU facilitator team was established during this period as well.
This is the period in which the seeds were planted for the Degree Campus to fulfill the greater goals of the University. This was a crucial period for the development of IOU as the feasibility and potential of the systems were tested, since online studies were quite new at that time. The large reception from people all over the world encouraged the concept further, which led to the second phase of the development of the University in the next year.
The Islamic Online University (IOU) was launched with a handful of free diploma courses, which are now available at the General Diploma in Islamic Studies section.