Bridging close ties with OUK

A three-member delegation from Open University of Kaohsiung (OUK), Taiwan visited Wawasan Open University main campus today to learn about the University’s operations and to discuss areas of collaboration.

The OUK team was led by its President Dr Chang Huey-Por and comprised Assistant Professor (Political Science) & Director of Educational Media Dr Tsai Tzung-Je and Chief Personnel Officer Ms Chiang Min-Hua. The OUK, set up in 1997, caters to working adults and has an enrolment of 2,500-3,000 students each semester. It boasts of six academic departments and a General Education Centre.

Prof Madhulika Kaushik (in red attire) greets the OUK delegation upon arrival at the Homestead.

Prof Madhulika Kaushik (in red attire) greets the OUK delegation upon arrival at the Homestead.

On hand to greet the delegation were Vice Chancellor Prof Dato’ Dr Ho Sinn Chye, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic-ODL) Prof Madhulika Kaushik, QA & External Relations Director Dr Andy Liew, Educational Technology & Publishing Director Grace Lau, and Marcom & Regional Operations Director KH Chong.

Prof Ho said he was looking forward to the signing of an MoU between WOU and OUK in the near future to facilitate collaboration. Prof Madhulika then presented a briefing on “WOU’s ODL Learning Environment”, including the multi-entry and multi-exit learning opportunities available and the University’s emphasis on quality.

Prof Madhulika explains about the University's ODL model.

Prof Madhulika explains about the University's ODL model.

Dr Chang was impressed with WOU’s comprehensive course materials that enable effective self-study by the students. He noted that Taiwan has only two open universities, the National Open University and the OUK which is supported by the city government of Kaohsiung. He said their visit to WOU – and earlier to Open University Malaysia – was to learn how open universities in other countries operate.

“I’m happy to see that WOU offers Master’s and PhD programmes as open universities in Taiwan are not allowed to do so. We only offer undergraduate programmes. Now the law has slightly changed and we may start a few Master’s programmes in the future. I hope to collaborate with WOU as we want to learn how to conduct postgraduate programmes,” he added.

The delegation drop in on a lecture in progress for the full-time students.

The delegation drop in on a lecture in progress for the full-time students.

Dr Chang hopes to maintain close contact and eventually sign the MoU with WOU. “Collaboration in staff development could be the first step, as we can help train each other’s staff. We can also have student exchanges and establish a sister university relationship,” he remarked.