Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University. Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University (HBMeU) has today (Monday, September 24, 2012) officially launched at a press conference, the 2012 edition of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Standing Conference of Presidents (SCOP), a prestigious annual gathering of education institutions engaged in open, distance and flexible learning that will be held for the first time in the Arab world.
The SCOP meeting 2012, which will be held under the theme Open and Distance Education (ODE): Barriers, Opportunities & Strategies Forward, will run from November 12 to 15.
This year’s edition of the SCOP meeting will tackle various challenges and barriers associated with the implementation of ODE from both an international and regional perspective. It will also explore opportunities ODE provides in helping countries overcome socio-economical challenges and will provide insights into successful strategies for advocacy of ODE. The meeting places particular focus on the latest trends and developments in ODE, including Open Educational Resources, quality and regulatory framework, among others.
The keynote speakers and presenters at the SCOP meeting 2012 will include, Dr. Laurence F. Johnson, Chief Executive Office of the New Media Consortium; Dr. Badr Aboul-Ela, Director of the Commission for Academic Accreditation, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, U.A.E Vice-President of the Arab Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education(ANQAAHE); Dr. Meg Benke, Officer in Charge, Office of the President, Empire State College, State University of New York, USA; Prof. Emeritus Anuwar Ali, President/Vice Chancellor, Open University Malaysia (OUM); Dr. Venkataraman Balaji, Director, Technology & Knowledge Management, Commonwealth of Learning.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMeU said: “The SCOP meeting presents an excellent opportunity to conduct high-level discussions about the opportunities and challenges presented by open and distance education in the Middle East. Our ultimate goal is to further expand our knowledge and understanding of open and distance education to make it a truly invaluable tool in achieving sustainable socioeconomic growth and development in the Middle East and around the world. Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University has been one of the world’s leading proponents of e-learning and we are therefore eager to share our own ideas and experiences to establish new benchmarks for quality and excellence in the field of open and distance education.”
Professor Tian Belawati, President of ICDE and Rector of the Indonesian Open University, said, “Bringing the annual ICDE SCOP meeting to the Middle East is an important move that reinforces our commitment to promote open and distance learning as a new platform for academic excellence all over the world. We are certainly pleased with the preparations that Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University has made to ensure the success of the upcoming meeting. HBMeU has been a pioneering figure in e-learning in the Middle East and we are therefore looking forward to learn from their vast experience in promoting open and distance education from a completely new perspective.”
ICDE is a network of 100 educational institutions worldwide working to promote open and distance learning, and provide opportunities for exchange of educational best practices between countries and regions. SCOP is an annual event organised by ICDE for high-level, confidential exchange of information, quality enhancement strategies and policy directions.
The Main sponsors of SCOP meeting 2012 are Emirates Identity Authority, AWQAF and Minors Affairs Foundation, Dubai Customs and Dubai eGovernment. Other sponsors include Dubai Heath Authority, Bafco, Al Reyami Signs Industries LLC and Etisalat.