Report from Kathmandu on Initiative for Open University of Nepal

Kathmandu, October 7, 2010: Ministry of Education (MoE)  and Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) signed on a resolution to launch a collaborative venture, Initiative for Open University of Nepal, amidst a high level interation program held in Kathmandu today.

Please find the current pamphlet on Initiative for Open University of Nepal here.

Dr. Frits Pannekoek, President of International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and Athabasca University (AU) was the keynote speaker of the program, who shared many valuable experiances gained by open university movement and those by AU.

Special attendees of the program were Minister of Education Sarvendra Nath Shukla, President of NRNA Dev Man Hirachan, Vice-Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology Dr. Surendra Raj Kaphle, Vice-Chancellor of Tribhuvan University Dr. Madhav Raj Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of  Kathmandu University Dr. Suresh Raj Sharma, Secretary of the Minister of Education Deependra Bikram Thapa, Joint Secretary of Planning Janardan Nepal, and Joint Secretary of Higher Education Mahashram Sharma.

In the agreement, Open University of Nepal (OUN) was envisaged as a public university dedicated to breaking geographic and socio-economic barriers that are hindering access to higher education for the people, especially in remote, rural and marginalized population. As legislative instruments are being developed in Nepal, the initiative was launched to build technical capacity in preparation for the establishement of OUN.

The assembly thanked Nepalese scholars, policymakers and ministry officials who have long advocated an open university in Nepal. Also thanked were NRN scholars and NRNs who, through the Canada Foundation for Nepal (CFFN), NeCASE, NRN-Canada, NRN-USA, NRN-SKI and NRNA, galvanized support and developed the environment of collaboration with Athabasca University (AU) and International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). Contributions of Houston and Ottawa conferences and their outcomes, works of NRNA Open University of Nepal Strategic Committee (OUNSC), and enduring personal contributions made by Dr. Pramod Dhakal, were also recognized.

It was agreed to advance the work of the Initiative for Open University of Nepal in partnership and collaboration between MoE, NRNA, CFFN and AU. And a Steering Committee was formed in the chairmanship of Ministry of Education, with a mandate to create all necessary condition to establish a publicly owned Open University of Nepal. A National Advisory Board was also formed.

The Steering Committee of the Initiative for the Open University of Nepal comprises of the following members:

  • Chair: Secretary of the Ministry of Education (Mr. Deependra Bikram Thapa)
  • Vice Chair: President of NRNA (Mr. Dev Man Hirachan)
  • Member Secretary: Dr. Pramod Dhakal, (Coordinator of NRNA Open University of Nepal Strategic Committee, Member of NRNA-ICC, Executive Director of CFFN,)
  • Members:
    • Joint Secretary of Planning, Ministry of Education (Mr. Janardan Nepal)
    • Joint Secretary of Higher Education, Ministry of Education (Mr. Mahashram Sharma)
    • Executive Director of NRNA Secretariat (Mr. Hom Raj Acharya)
    • President of Athabasca University (Dr. Frits Pannekoek)
    • High Level Representative of AU (Dr. Mohamed Ally)
    • Honourable Dr. David Kilgour (Former Minister and longest serving MP of Canada and nominee of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize)
    • Hon. Prof. Stephen Lewis (Order of Canada, Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryarson University, former Ambassador to UN, former UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa)
    • Representative of CFFN (Dr. Kalidas Subedi)
    • Representative of CFFN (Dr. Ishara Mahat)
    • Dr. Bidya Nath Koirala (TU, Nepal)
    • Dr. Mahabir Pun (Nepal)
    • Dr. Ambika Adhikari (USA)
    • Dr. Drona Rasali (Canada)
    • Dr. Raju Adhikari (Asia Pacific)
    • Dr. Krishna Chandra Prasad (Europe)
    • Dr. Kalyani Rai (USA)
    • Dr. Bidya Ranjeet (USA)
  • Members of the National Advisory Board of the Initiative for the Open University of Nepal are as follows:
    • Dr. Tirtha Khaniya (Member of National Planning Commission, Nepal)
    • Vice-President of University Grant Commission
    • Ambassador to UN (HE Gyan Chandra Acharya)
    • Ambassador to USA (HE Dr. Shankar P Sharma)
    • Ambassador to Canada (HE Dr. Bhoj Raj Ghimire)
    • Ambassador to Australia (HE Yogendra Dhakal)
    • Ambassador to Germany (HE Suresh P Pradhan)
    • Ambassador to United Kingdom (HE Dr. Suresh C Chalise)
    • Representative of Ministry of Finance
    • Representative of Ministry of Law
    • Vice President of High Level Commission for Information Technology (Mr. Manohar Bhattarai)
    • Vice Chancellor of Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (Dr. Surendra Raj Kaphle)
    • Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University (Dr. Madhav Prasad Sharma)
    • Vice Chancellor of Kathmandu University (Dr. Suresh Raj Sharma)
    • Vice Chancellor of Pokhara University (Dr. Keshar Jung Baral)
    • Chief Patron of NRNA (Dr. Upendra Mahato)
    • Dr. Mana Wagle (Education Expert, Nepal)
    • Dr. Bishwa Nath Prasad Agrawal (Nepal)
    • Dr. Hridaya Bajracharya (Nepal)
    • Dr. Madan Pariyar (Nepal)
    • Dr. Sujan Acharya (Nepal)
    • MP Gagan Thapa (proponent OUN Bill)
    • MP Rabindra Adhikari (proponent OUN Bill)
    • MP Keshab Nepal (proponent OUN Bill)

The resolution stated that the OUN will be based on the principles that: universal access to education should be available to all, regardless of citizens’ position in the socio-economic strata and geo-ethno locus; education programs and services should meet national and international standards; collaboration, resource sharing, efficiency, choices and innovation in education should be encouraged for sustainable growth of the institution.

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  1. Pingback: Summary to Date: Initiative for Open University of Nepal Resources | Canada Foundation for Nepal

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