WOU and Open University Malaysia (OUM) are eager to collaborate in setting up a national open distance learning (ODL) association for the benefit of ODL practitioners in the country.
This positive development came about from a meeting between newly-appointed OUM President/Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Mansor Fadzil and WOU top management at the main campus today. He had earlier paid a courtesy call on Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye.
Others present at the meeting were Director of OUM’s Penang Learning Centre, Nooraini Youp, and WOU’s Deputy Vice Chancellors (Academic) Prof Madhulika Kaushik and Prof Mohandas Menon, Chief Administrative Officer Yeong Sik Kheong and QA & External Relations Director Dr Andy Liew Teik Kooi.
The purpose of OUM’s visit was to explore how the two institutions could work together and strengthen their collaboration. “We find common ground, make our collaboration better, learn from each other’s experiences, it is up to us to formulate, moving as we go,” said Prof Mansor.
Prof Mansor and Prof Ho concurred on forming a national ODL body so that they can approach the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) collectively, and show to the public and government their cooperation.
“The idea is to set up first a national body that represents ODL. Then we can work under that umbrella. Through the Association, a lot we can do,” Prof Mansor remarked, while Prof Ho suggested they develop and nurture this initiative through further emails among themselves as well as with Asia e University (AeU).
Among the proposed activities from the discussions were joint seminars and national conferences, regular dialogues, sharing ideas on IT infrastructure and technology, training of tutors and academics, mutual visits, annual symposium, and joint degrees/courses to overall promote ODL.
Responding to a query, Prof Mansor offered some pointers from OUM’s experiences with overseas ventures. “Choose wisely on whom you want as partner. It is important to work with a good partner, one who is ethical and professional. Otherwise royalty payments are late, exam results are late, student selection are confusing. You can identify a good partner through networking and dialogue.”
He said that OUM’s partners usually handle everything, including promotional activities and marketing. OUM just provides the course materials and assessment questions; however regular monitoring visits are conducted to ensure compliance to the standards set by OUM.