Rector of Universitas Terbuka Opened the 35th AAOU Annual Conference in Jeju, South Korea

Rector of Universitas Terbuka (UT), Prof. Ojat Darojat, M.Bus., Ph.D., who is the President of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), opened the 35th annual conference of AAOU Conference in Jeju, South Korea. Korea National Open University (KNOU) hosted the conference that took the theme on Opening a New Path to Open Universities: Responding to Global Issues.

The theme is expected to motivate all parties, especially AAOU members to work harmoniously and improve the life of the people, as well as improve/promote the economy and environment so they give positive impacts on one another. In this disruptive era like today, any choice that we make today, either big or small, will certainly affect the future. This conference is expected to accommodate and give the opportunity for sharing experience, knowledge and good practices in each country as the efforts to reach the 4th Sustainable Development Goals, which is to ensure the quality of inclusive and fairly distributed education as well as to improve the learning opportunity for life time and for all.

The conference was held at the International Convention Center, Jeju, South Korea from 2 to 4 November 2022. This conference is the first AAOU conference after the pandemic which annulled the conference 2020 and held the conference 2021 organized online by the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), Sri Lanka.

This conference was attended by more than 200 participants from many different countries and presented the key speakers:

  1. Neil Fassina, President of International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and also President of Okanagan College
  2. Torunn Gjelsvik, Secretary General of ICDE
  3. Un Shil Choi, Chairperson of the Korean Community Education Foundation (KCEF)
  4. Prof, Asha Singh Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Office of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
  5. Duk-Hoon Kwak, Vice Chair of i-Scream Media
  6. Melinda Dela Pena Bandalaria, Chancellor and Professor University of the Philippines Open University

In this opportunity, it was launched a book titled Open and Distance Education in Asia: Good Practices from the AAOU Members, initiated by Universitas Terbuka. This book is a contribution of AAOU under the leadership of Prof. Ojat Darojat regarding open and distance education in the world by involving 8 (eight) open universities in Asia, which are Korea National Open University (KNOU), Open University Malaysia (OUM), Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), The Open University of China (OUC), The Open University of Japan (OUJ), The Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL), University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), and Indonesia Universitas Terbuka (UT). It is expected that this book will serve a reference for anyone who would like to know about distance education in Asia, starting from the philosophy of its establishment, management, and technology to the innovations made.

In addition, one of the agenda of this conference is the election of the new President of AAOU and the members of the Executive Committee for Period 2023-2025, which would be announced at the closing of the conference. The Rector of Universitas Terbuka once again gained supports and become one of the candidates to possibly serve another term of the AAOU President in the next period.