OUM Hosts OU5 MeetingWebmaster
For 2 days, Presidents, researchers and coordinators of 5 Asian open universities converged at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur to discuss current and upcoming research initiatives. They were attending the OU5 meeting organised by OUM’s Centre for Research and Innovation (CRI) at Perdana Hotel KLCC from 10 to 11 May.
OU5 is a group of five open universities (OU) in ASEAN countries which had developed a network to collaborate on institutional development and ASEAN studies research.
The five universities are OUM, Universitas Terbuka (UT) from Indonesia, University of Philippines Open University (UPOU), Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) from Thailand, and Hanoi Open University (HOU) from Vietnam.
At the meeting, the Presidents of four of the five universities took part in person while the President of HOU participated online.
OUM President/Vice-Chancellor, Prof Dr Ahmad Izanee Awang, remarked that through the OU5 group, the universities could help to promote each other’s strengths and face challenges together towards promoting inclusive digital education. He also noted emerging issues in relation to ChatGPT, sustainability, employability, and mental health.
According to UPOU Chancellor, Prof Melinda Bandalaria, OU5 provides a platform to harness the research capability of university staff, adding that it’s also a chance to see each other again, away from laptop screens.
The meeting included a Presidents’ Session, a coordinators’ meeting to discuss the university of the future, and five parallel sessions on current research under OU5. These researches cover the following areas:
- Innovative pedagogy in the 4IR era
- The role of open universities in ASEAN in sustainability development
- The role of the metaverse in promoting effective learning design
- Indigenous people in the ASEAN region
- Disaster risk and reduction management
After intense discussions, each of the five universities chose to focus on the following researches for the coming year:
- UT – Inclusive Education: Providing Quality Education for All
- UPOU – Artificial Intelligence in Digital Education (including ChatGPT: Opportunities and Challenges)
- HOU – Promoting Sustainable Industrialisation in the ASEAN region (smart manufacturing, employability & decent work, and green growth as the selected agenda)
- OUM – Counselling Services at Open Universities to Promote Good Mental Health in the ASEAN region
- STOU – Preserving ASEAN Culture in the Digital Age
In the final session, CRI Director, Assoc Prof Dr Thirumeni Subramaniam, informed that the coordinators would work on the publication of a journal article and an ebook on the university of the future. Next, the five research groups took turns presenting on what they had accomplished thus far for their respective researches and their plans for sharing their findings. The final presentation was by Prof Izanee, who summarised the results of the discussions in the various sessions.
The next OU5 meeting will take place in Hanoi, Vietnam, in the later part of this year.