A delegation from the largest open and distance university in the world, The Open University of China (OUC), recently visited Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University (HBMeU), a leader in the field of e-Learning and quality management in the Arab World, to discuss means of collaboration between the two universities on various levels. The Chinese delegation included the Vice President of the university, Professor Yan Bing, Director of Party Committee Office, Professor Wang Yini, Director of Human Resources Department, Professor Guo Hongyang, Deputy Director of Academic Affairs Department, Li Song, and Associate Researcher at the Department of International Cooperation and Exchange, Huang Danqing.
The Open University of China, established in 1979, carries out distance educational activities using an integration of three networks, including a satellite TV network, computer network, and people's network. With over 5 million students and 80,000 faculty members, OUC is the largest open and distance education system in the world.
Dr. Mansoor al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University, led the discussion accompanied by Dr. Narimane Hadj Hamou, Assistant Chancellor for Learning and Academic Development and several administrative and academic faculty members.
The topics discussed revolved around exploring opportunities for collaboration between the two universities in the areas of research and development, establishing a virtual research center, offering specialized training courses for the faculty of OUC, co-operation with HBMeU’s publishing house, and academic exchange mechanism.
HBMeU and OUC share similar primary objectives, one of which is to provide opportunities of higher education for professionals in different industries and enterprises and other members of the society; to conduct non-degree education through on-the-job training and training for practical skills; and providing educational services for people from all walks of life to update their own knowledge and to learn new skills.
As part of the visit, the OUC team toured the HBMeU premises, including the auditorium, virtual video studios, class rooms, computer labs, and library, and met with several academic faculty members. The OUC team praised the efforts of HBMeU management, particularly highlighting its commitment to ensure education for all members of the society.
Towards the end of the visit, Dr. Mansoor Al Awar thanked Professor Yan Bing for approaching HBMeU to collaborate and exchange knowledge between the two universities in the areas of mutual interest. From his side Professor Bing extended an invitation to Dr. Al Awar and his team to visit OUC and meet with the rest of the management team in China.
HBMeU is the first e-learning institute in the Arab World that was established with the vision to develop a new learning process through the implementation of learning practices characterised by flexibility, quality and diversity to strengthen self-leadership among learners and prepare them socially and academically for a future career through integration in the job market. HBMeU’s philosophy is based on vital methods that have been developed through extensive research and development by specialists from all over the world. These methods include offering high quality programs, supporting the pursuit of lifelong learning, promoting the freedom of information, reinforcing the culture of excellence and innovation and providing education for everyone in line with the highest standards of comprehensiveness and credibility. The university seeks to constantly identify knowledge needs, support research and development programs and create an outstanding environment for e-learning.