Open Universities Need to Collaborate and Learn from One Another: Wawasan Open University Signs MoU with Universitas Terbuka Indonesia

WOU has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universitas Terbuka Indonesia [UT (Indonesia Open University)] to solidify their partnership in advancing open distance learning (ODL) in Southeast Asia.

The MoU was formally signed at a ceremony coinciding with the visit of UT’s high-level delegation to WOU’s main campus in Penang, Malaysia. The UT delegation, led by Rector, Prof Dr Ojat Darojat, comprised a distinguished group of top management and esteemed faculty members. Upon their arrival, they were warmly greeted by key faculty heads from WOU. As part of the agreement, both institutions will engage in programmes to facilitate student and faculty exchange, besides exploring joint initiatives in research and development projects, academic and training programmes, and publication exchange. Additionally, it also establishes a framework for cooperation in potential consultancy and other technical services that will mutually benefit both parties.

Prof Ojat revealed that the delegation’s itinerary also included a meeting with UT students and alumni presently residing in Penang, which numbered around 300. He provided an insight on the innovative “Kampus Merdeka” (Independent Campus) programme initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology that encourages students to pursue learning opportunities beyond their own universities.

“For example, it is possible for students in a bachelor’s degree programme to take 90 credits in their own university, and fulfil another 50 credits through courses from other universities locally or internationally,” he explained. “We hope to provide similar opportunities for our students who are interested in pursuing their studies at WOU, so they can experience and assess their transition to other distance learning universities.”

Prof Ojat is optimistic that the partnership will elevate UT and WOU to greater heights through the sharing of best practices and development of various areas of cooperation.

WOU Chief Executive and Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Lily Chan hosted the UT delegation and stressed the importance for open universities in Asia to work together. She said, “ODL institutions throughout Asia cater to over 10 million students who otherwise would not have access to higher education. We need to collaborate and learn from one another.”