Open University of Nepal Update – 2012 Annual General Meeting Report

Espousing an unquenchable thirst for education among the people has been one of the greatest inspiring developments in Nepal by the turn of the last century. Despite much progress made in basic education, the World Bank data indicate that the access to higher education in the country is still severely limited with the overall low gross enrolment rate. Especially alarming is the fact that the bottom two-fifth of the country’s population is recorded to share less than two percent gross enrolment rate. The expansion in higher education intake has taken place mainly in the private sector. This trend is likely to further widen the gap of educational access between those who can pay for higher education and those who cannot. Further, the quality of higher education in Nepal is inconsistent across the colleges. The public campuses often have fared worse than their private sector counterparts. This demands for a systemic arrangement for quality control and accreditation, and mechanisms to uplift the quality of publicly managed higher education. One of the approaches to enhancing the universal access, enrolment rate and quality in higher education is the open and distance education system, which can complement the campus-based conventional education. Open education is also necessary to remove the manifold barriers, and thus to help bring higher education particularly to the disadvantaged.

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OUN Logo Proposal

Benjamin Wood, designer of the CFFN logo and graphic materials, as well as designer of the current interim OUN logo, has designed a new logo for OUN to adopt. He says, “the interim logo that is currently in use, like the OUN Initiative itself, was always meant to showcase a concept that would later grow into a full-fledged design. Here is that design.”

While at the OUN office at the ministry of Education in Nepal, Ben has collaborated with the OUN volunteers on many variations to evolve the current design. This document will highlight the strongest design that he believes best conveys the themes and goals of OUN, while offering variations for consideration.

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Update 005: Open University of Nepal Initiative

Dear Supporters of Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative:

Some notable progress have been made since our update of August 1, 2011. The highlights of this period are given here.

  1. August 15, 2011: Jiwan Giri and his organization donated a modern document digitization machine to OUNI. The machine has been already brought to Nepal and operating know-how has been transferred to Nepali technicians. A model to generate funds for OUNI with the services that can be offered to other institutions have been developed.
  2. August 15, 2011: Dr. Lawa Deo Awasthi beceme the new Joint-Secretary of the Ministery of Education and therefore the new member of the OUNI Steering Committee.
  3. August 26, 2011: Athabasca University donated 20 laptops for the pilot academic program of the Open University of Nepal Initiative. The laptops were handed over to NRN-Canada President Dr. Binod KC and NECASE President Moha Nath Acharya by the Director of Distance Education of Athabasca University Dr. Mohamed Ally in Edmonton, Canada in a public program.
  4. September 15, 2011: NRNA delegation including President Dev Man Hirachan, Patron Bhim Udas, Executive Director Rajesh Rana and OUNSC Member-Secretary presented a case for OUNI to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Finister Hon. Narayan Kaji Shrestha.
  5. September 15, 2011: Member Secretary Pramod Dhakal handed over the concept paper of the OUNI to the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, who was also extended with was an invitation to OUN Stekeholder Meeting to be held on October 11, 2011.
  6. October 11, 2011: OUNSC with kind hosting of Ministry of Education and NRNA is organizing a Open University of Nepal Initiative Stakeholder Meeting at Hotel Soaltee Crown Plaza with the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai as the Chief Guest, the president of ICDE Dr. Frits Pannekoek as Keynote Speaker.

Your logo for the Open University

“The logo of Open University Nepal aims to depict its essence — an intricate connection between Nature, Knowledge, and Human in the simplest way possible,” said Dr Pramod Dhakal, Member Secretary of Open University, to the volunteer artists and the students of  “Srijana College of Fine Arts Nepal”. When added to the early designs by CFFN’s Ben Wood, we have gathered over 30 potential logos for OUN. Please advice:

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Update 003: Initiative for Open University of Nepal

Dear Supporters of Initiative for Open University of Nepal (OUN):

In our last update, we had covered progress made in OUN initiative until the beginning of December 2010. Today, we are proud to say that the momentum continued or even gathered further momentum in the meantime. The following are the recent achievements that we would like to inform you about.

  1. The Cabinet Meeting of Government of Nepal held on January 28, 2011 in Kathmandu approved the Umbrella University Act 2067. Following this development, the bill will be tabled in the Parliament of Nepal for approval. The parliamentary approval will make this bill an Act, which shall make a legal provision for establishing an Open University in Nepal. The OUN Team thanks all ministers, ministry officials, NRN officials, Ambassadors and others who helped raise the urgency of the matter. Now that this bill is heading to the parliament, we are in need of all suggestions for improvements that can be incorporated during its parliamentary deliberations.
  2. The Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal has allocated office space for the office of the Secretariat for OUN initiative. It is expected that this office will be furnished and be in operation by February 10, 2010. Dr. Pramod Dhakal, Member-Secretary of the Steering Committee will be heading this office in Kathmandu. Consequently, the address of correspondence for OUN matter has now changed to: Open University of Nepal Initiative Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Keshal Mahal, Kathmandu, Nepal.
  3. On January 31, 2011, Athabasca University, a principal collaborator in the OUN initiative and our mentor on development of open and distance institution, has been awarded UNESCO/COL Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER). As the OER Chair, Dr. Rory McGreal, who is also Associate Vice-President of AU, will be responsible for promoting the use of OERs at the institutional, national and international levels, particularly in the developing world. Dr. Arbind Mainali and Mr. Mohanath Acharya, members Nepalese Canadian Society of Edmonton (NeCaSE), represented Nepali Diaspora in the UNESCO/COL Chair announcement ceremony organized in Edmonton in presence of the Ministry of Advanced Education, Government of Alberta.

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Updates on Open University of Nepal – 002

Logo GON NRNA CFFN AU for Open University of NepalDear Supporters of Initiative for Open University of Nepal (OUN):

It has been some months since we had released the first release of official updates on the OUN initiative. An effort originally initiated by a small group of Nepalese Diaspora has been adopted with great strides by NRNs all over the world and the NRNA movement as a whole. Steady gains have been made since then at an unprecedented scale of enthusiasm of Nepalis and Nepali Diaspora. Today, we are at a juncture where tremendous material, intellectual, and many other forms of support in Nepal and abroad have been necessary to consolidate the gains made thus far and to make further progress. Here is the summary of current updates on the initiative for OUN. Continue reading

Directives on Funds and Fundraising

Dear Friends:

Thanks to all efforts and goodwill of so many people including those in Nepal’s Ministry of Education, NRNA, CFFN, Athabasca University, and other friends of and from Nepal, the Initiative for Open University of Nepal (OUN) has gained a strong ground in recent months. The signing of the “Resolution on Initiative for Open University of Nepal 2010” on October 7, 2010 in Kathmandu by President of NRNA Mr. Dev Man Hirachan and Ministry of Education Representative on Initiative for OUN, Mr. Janardan Nepal, in witness of Minister of Education Hon. Sarvendra Nath Shukla, and President of International Council for Open and Distance Education Dr. Frits Pannekoek was a landmark event for OUN. The formation and endorsement of Steering Committee led by the Ministry of Education and also the formation of Nepali National Advisory Committee to guide the Steering Committee was also a major step forward. Continue reading

Post Houston Workshop articles on Open University of Nepal

1) Article Related to Houston Conference Proceedings
2) Press Release from Houston Workshop

This first document gives a synopsis of the major decisions made by 4th NRN Regional Conference, USA, in relation to Open University of Nepal and other SKI initiatives. The second document gives a brief summary of the workshop on Open and Distance Education in Nepal held on May 28, 2010.

Information on Workshop on Open and Distance Education in Nepal, May 28, 2010, Houston

The Workshop onOpen and Distance Education in Nepal held during NRN Fourth Regional Conference,May 28-30, 2010, Houston, Texas, USA was a success. The information on the workshop are archived here:

Invitation | Information for Participants | Workshop Schedule | People Bio | Photos from the Program | Resolution of Workshop | NRNA Houston Decleration ( NRNA |NepalAustralianNews | NepaliPost ) | Press Release and coverage ( Official | JanaPukar | Nepalnews | eKantipur | NepalArab.com | NepalDalitInfo ) | Pre-event News Coverage ( ICDE | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 )