OU5 Meeting in Hanoi
In a bid to revolutionise open, flexible, and distance learning (OFDL) in the ASEAN region, the OU5 network, comprising 5 open universities, has been making significant strides. The recent meeting hosted by Hanoi Open University (HOU) in Vietnam, from 31 Oct to 3 Nov, marked a pivotal moment in their collaborative efforts.
The meeting, held in conjunction with HOU’s 30th anniversary celebration, brought together Presidents, Coordinators, and Researchers from OUM, HOU, and 3 other open universities from neighbouring countries: Universitas Terbuka Indonesia (UT), Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), and University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). The gathering was not just a ceremonial affair; it was a platform for substantial discussions and progress.
The highlight of the meeting was the presentation of the 2023 research projects, which delved into crucial areas such as innovative pedagogy in the 4IR era, the role of open universities in ASEAN in sustainability development, metaverse in promoting effective learning design for practical sessions at open universities in ASEAN, indigenous people in ASEAN, risk management for flood-prone communities in ASEAN, and the university of the future.
These projects, either completed or nearing completion, have already yielded valuable insights, with two groups having published comparative studies and others working towards joint publications.
One standout project, led by OUM, focused on flood risk management in ASEAN. The team’s meticulous execution identified key characteristics and proposed effective risk management strategies. The discussions that ensued raised pertinent questions about institutionalising project outcomes and further actionable steps.
Looking ahead, the OU5 network is gearing up for the 2024 research projects, which aim to address inclusive education, artificial intelligence in digital education, sustainable industrialisation, counselling services for mental health, preservation of ASEAN culture, and fostering innovations. The teams at each university are already in the process of developing proposals for submission within the year.
The Presidents of the member universities have also set their sights on the future, identifying titles for the 2025 research projects, ensuring ample time for comprehensive proposal development.
The collaborative efforts of the OU5 network are not just about academic research; they represent a collective commitment to shaping the future of education in the ASEAN region. As they continue to push boundaries and explore new frontiers, the impact of their endeavours is poised to resonate far beyond the confines of their individual institutions, ushering in a brighter educational landscape for generations to come.
The meeting also included the signing of the Addendum of the ASEAN Studies MoA and discussions on Quality Benchmarking Exercise, AAOU Quality Framework, and ICDE Global Advocacy Campaign Asia Group 2.