Global ODL leaders converge in Malaysia

Asia e University (AeU) and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) co-hosted a two-day International High Level Roundtable Conference for Open Distance Learning (ODL) institutions.

A total of 31 dignitaries, industry global leaders, policy-makers and academic practitioners from 20 countries participated in the conference. Besides North America, Europe and the Oceanic countries, the majority came from Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa countries.

Among the distinguished delegates from the COL is its president and CEO, Prof Asha Singh Kanwar and education specialist, higher learning, Prof Romeela Mohee.

The conference included a leadership workshop and information sharing to explore strategies and solutions to challenges and networking. Participants shared their advancements and impacts on open distance and lifelong learning.

In his opening speech, Asia e Learning Sdn Bhd director and Board of Governors, Tan Sri Dr Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim said: “AeU is now embarking on becoming a digital university, leveraging on artificial intelligence, big data analytics and mobile platforms. AeU plans to offer a completely new learning experience using the latest education technologies to launch its first completely mobile global MBA together with Oxademy Business School of UK.”

Meanwhile in her keynote address, Asha talked about “Leadership and innovation for the future of open distance learning” and “ODL as disruptive innovation”. She elaborated that people and institution culture are critical to drive innovation, and the way forward is to invest in the three Ps – Philosophy, People and Processes.

In his closing speech, AeU president and CEO Prof Datuk Dr Ansary Ahmed concluded: “There’s little difference now between ODL universities and conventional universities with various modes of programme deliveries. ODL institutions, being the early disruptors to conventional learning are now being disrupted. It is imminent that to stay competitive, one must continuously innovate and tap into the latest technologies to reduce cost of education.”