The Rector of Universitas Terbuka (UT), Prof. Ojat Darojat, was re-elected as the President of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), which members of the association include open and distance universities across Asia, for the office term of 2023-2025. The election process was held at the General Body Meeting (GBM), which was attended by 14 institutions starting from 11.00 AM to 12.10 PM South Korea local time. Indonesia Universitas Terbuka collected 13 votes as Open University of China (OUC) gained one vote. One contestant nominated, which was Open University of Japan (Japan), withdrew.
Prior to the election proceeeding, the majority of the GBM members expressed their appreciations to the Rector of UT as, during his tenure as the President of AAOU, many new initiatives have been carried out. Moreover, the financial statements presented are transparent and fully accountable for. In his remarks, Prof. Ojat expressed his thanks for the trust vested in him as well as stated that UT would seriously perform the duties as mandated in his capacity as the President and be committed to performing the jobs in such a way that the Secretary General and Secretariat of AAOU would carry out the operations of the organization at his best.
“In the next three years, AAOU must be able to become the key player in the development of open and distance education in the world. I would like to introduce, spread around, and carry the name of AAOU in various opportunities,” said Prof. Ojat. Apart from that, Prof. Ojat stated that the Secretariat of AAOU would conduct a number of new programs, in addition to running the on-going programs.
At the meeting chaired by the Secretary General of AAOU, who is also UT’s Vice Rector for Institutional Development and Partnership Affairs, Dr. Rahmat Budiman, the election of the Executive Committee Members that represent four regions, comprising East Asia, Southeast Asia, South and Central Asia, and West Asia. The results of the election of the Executive Committee Members are Korea National Open University (KNOU), School of Open Learning, Hong Kong Metropolitan, Open University of Japan (OUJ) which represent East Asia Region. The institutions elected as the representatives of Southeast Asia region are Open University Malaysia (OUM), University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), and Wawasan Open University (WOU). In the mean time, the institutions representing South and Central Asia region and West region is Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) Pakistan.
The Secretary General of AAOU mentioned that this is the first time the re-election of one institition for two consecutive terms. “This is historical for AAOU and UT. Previously, the President of AAOU has always been replaced after serving one term. The conclusive number of votes for UT showed that UT is trusted by open higher education institutions throughout Asia. Three years ago, UT was elected unanimously. Now, we gained 13 votes from 14 institutions which have the right to vote. This is extraordinary,” Rahmat added. (RB)