The annual event of distance learning universities in Asia was held again. This time, Hanoi, Vietnam is trusted as the host of the 32nd Conference of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) starting from the 24th to 26th of October 2018 at Hotel Melia, Hanoi, Vietnam. AAOU, a non-profit organization, was established in 1987 with its members comprising academicians, administration personnel and universities students who are involved in distance learning education in various universities through membership, either full member or associate member. This conference, called "Open Education in Human Resource Development in Asia's Period of Integration", is selected as the theme based on the swiftness of the technology advancement which has impacted education, especially distance learning. Four sub themes have been brought up in the conference, which are Human Resource Development in Open Universities, Open Education in Technical, Vocational and Skills Development, and New Technology in Open Education.
The pre-conference activities which was held from the 22nd to 23rd of October 2018 initiated a series of other activities which included among others discussion meeting on the results of joint research and collaboration on OU5 Research and Taskforce Accreditation in which 5 Asian universities were involved in. This research discussed the accreditation process for distance learning universities in Asia.
At the opening, the delegations were welcomed with percussion musical instruments and "Lotus Dance” dance which are the symbol of the city Hanoi (24/10/2018). The President of Hanoi Open University (HOU), Dr. Truong Tien Tung, welcomed the event with full of enthusiasms. Later, the program continued with the speech made by the President of AAOU, Prof. Melinda Bandalaria who is also the Chancellor of University of The Philippines Open University. Before the parallel session, three speakers gave their presentations and they were Prof. Tian Belawati, Ph. D (Indonesia Open University), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Mai Huong (Chairman of the Board of Regents of Hanoi Open University) and Dr. Li Kan Cheong (Director of Research Center of Open University of Hong Kong). As many as 140 persons presented their working papers on their studies and researches. The representatives of University of Payame Noor, Iran, presented their expectation to work together with Indonesia Open University in IT development and Arabic language learning.
This conference was concluded with the presentation by two visiting speakers, Prof. Asha Kanwar (Commonwealth of Learning) who brought up the theme ” Human Resources Development and Lifelong Learning for Open Universities”, as well as Prof. Rory McGreal (UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chairholder in Open Educational Resources), who discussed the Open Education in Technical, Vocational, and Skills Development. All delegates had the opportunity to visit to Ethnology Museum as the closing event of the whole series of this Asia’s distance learning education conference this year. CảmƠn, hẹngặpbạn ở Pakistan! (Thank you, see you again in Pakistan!)