01 Nov 2012

The Open University signs Memorandum of Understanding with Universitas Terbuka

The Open University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia’s Universitas Terbuka. The signing took place in the presence of David Cameron during a State Visit by Indonesia’s President Yudhoyono, at Downing Street on 01 November 2012.

The Understanding will allow the two institutions to co-operate on sharing best practice regarding quality assurance for distance education; explore the use of open educational resources and mobile technologies to enhance access to education; and investigate the potential to integrate Open University course materials into Universitas Terbuka’s distance learning programmes.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said: “For more than 40 years The Open University has been a world-leader in distance education, but we’re never too old to stop learning and are always keen to share expertise and experience with other institutions. In Indonesia, with almost a quarter of a billion people spread across literally thousands of islands, distance learning is the ideal way to deliver world-class higher education, and this partnership will help both the OU and Universitas Terbuka work together to continue providing that for all of our students.”

Professor Tian Belawati, Rector of Universitas Terbuka, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for us. Our Universities have a shared vision of empowering more people through open distance education. The success of open educational resources is built on sharing best practices, and this partnership with The Open University will surely enable us to provide quality higher education for more people".

The Memorandum of Understanding takes effect from 01 November 2012.

Editor’s Notes

About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including over 15,000 overseas.

The OU came top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey this year, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2011/12 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.

In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.

Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.

IAbout Universitas Terbuka
Universitas Terbuka (UT) established in 1984 is the first and only university in Indonesia which has implemented a full open and distance learning system. As Indonesia’s 45th state university, UT was founded to be a flexible and affordable university focusing on serving people who do not have the opportunity to attend conventional face-to-face higher education institutions for various reasons, including living in isolated and remote areas, full-time employment and lack of funding.

The central office is located in the capital city of Jakarta supported by 37 regional offices throughout the country. Having a vision to become “a world quality open and distance higher education institution in producing academic program as well as in implementing, developing and disseminating information on open and distance higher education by 2021”, UT offers various study programs which employ integrative learning packages that combine printed and non-printed materials, and develop collaboration and networking with external institutions in order to achieve the following missions:
• To provide access to a world quality higher education service for all level of society through the implementation of various programs using open and distance higher education system.
• To conduct research and develop open and distance education system.
• To utilize and disseminate scientific and institutional research results to respond to national development needs.

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