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Together with 4 Open Universities in Asia, UT Committed to Promoting Distance Education in Collaborative Research

Indonesia Universitas Terbuka (UT), together with Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) Thailand, University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) Filipina, Hanoi Open University (HOU) Vietnam, and Open University Malaysia (OUM) Malaysia joining in OU5 Researchers  held its annual meeting 2022 (OU5 Meeting 2022). This year, OU5 Meeting 2022 was convened at Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), Nonthaburi, Thailand.

One of the agenda of this year’s meeting is OU5 Research Meeting. OU5 Researchers, a convention of recearchers of five open universities that are the members of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), periodically hold annual researches in five different topics. This year’s OU5 Researchers Meeting is the first one held face-to-face after it was held on-line in the last two years due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was held for two days on 29 and 30 November 2022, and in addition to the attending researchers, it was also attended by Rectors or higher rank officials of OU5 universities, namely:

1.  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Izanee Bin Awang

President and Vice Chancellor of OUM

2.  Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria

Chancellor of UPOU

3.  Assoc. Prof. Dr. Manit Jumpa

Acting President of STOU

4.  Rahmat Budiman, M.Hum., Ph.D.

Vice-Rector for Institutional Development and Partnership of UT

5.  Dr. Nguyen Minh Phuong

Vice President of HOU

The event discussed the results of the researches in 2022 before 5 Rectors or leaders of OU5 members. In addition, the following research topics in 2023 were also discussed, consisting of:

  1. Innovative Pedagogy in the 4 Industrial Revolution Era
  2. Sustainability Development and Open Universities in ASEAN or The Role of Open Universities in ASEAN in Sustainability Development
  3. Metaverse in promoting effective learning design for practical sessions at Open Universities in ASEAN
  4. Indigenous People in ASEAN
  5. Disaster Risk and Reduction Management in ASEAN

The discussion on the five topics above was followed by the researchers of the OU5 members that are collaborating. The outcomes of the research is to provide the recommendation for the OU5 members in their efforts to promote open and distance leraning in their respective countries, and therefore, all members can grow and improve together.

In addition to the research meetingthe other agenda in the OU5 meeting this year is the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) by all five members of OU5. MoA among the five members of OU5 should have been renewed in 2019, but it was delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic that made it impossible for the members of OU5 to hold the meeting face to face. At such meeting, the signing of MoA is done without any obstacle and it is done by all the leaders of five unversities of the attending OU5 members.

This MoA is an agreement that will strengthen the collaboration and good relationships among the OU5 members. The development of education sector is the primary objective of the signing of the MoA. Under this agreement, all OU5 members are committed to collaborating in open and distance learning reseraches, as well as regularly conducting comparative studies among the operators and service provides of open and distance learning universities (PTTJJ) across the ASEAN region. This agrement serves as the basis for the implementation of the academic staff member exchange programs among the OU5 members in order to expand or deepen their knowledge in science and experience that other OU5 members have acquired.

The OU5 meeting, which is held regularly, is an undertaking and evidence that UT is committed to improving its quality. Both collaborative research and cooperation entered into in the MoA is a wide opportunity for UT to continue to advance and grow. UT’s roles in OU5 is not only for the purpose of progressing the education in the homeland, Indonesia, but also for improving the eduaction quality among and together with the other members of OU5 across ASEAN regions. 

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