Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative

 

Updates:

* NRNs meet PM for support in open varsity bid


OUN delegation meets the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Baburam Bhattarai at his office at Singh Durbar, Kathmandu.

KATHMANDU: A delegation of Non-Resident Nepalese (NRN), led by Dr Pramod Dhakal, member secretary, Open University of Nepal (OUN) Initiative, today met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to draw attention towards the opportunities and challenges faced by open universities in Nepal. Dr Dhakal said that despite efforts to establish Open University in Nepal to cope with global competence, they were unsuccessful. "Government delay in approving the Higher Education bill is the greatest challenge in establishing Open University in Nepal," he said adding, "We have urged the PM to take init ....
Published: The Himalayan Times (2011-10-10)

* Nepali diaspora for open university

KATHMANDU: Non-Resident Nepalis (NRNs) have said that they want to bring back home the skills, knowledge and innovation they have learnt in the foreign land by establishing an open university. In a day-long workshop, which will be part of the three-day annual conclave beginning on October 11, the NRNs will hold interaction with stakeholders and the Nepali academicians about establishment of an open university. Nearly 800 delegates from 60 countries will participate in the interaction. We want to bring the skill, knowledge and innovation of the Nepali diaspora back home for application-orien...
"We want to bring the skill, knowledge and innovation of the Nepali diaspora back home for application-oriented education that can reduce the rate of migrant youth", Drona Prakash Rasali, a member of the Open University of Nepal Initiative (OUNI) committee said. Published: The Himalayan Times (2011-10-09)

A OUN Initiative opens its contact office at the Nepal Education Ministry

Kathmandu, February 13, 2011- The Open University of Nepal initiative has open its contact office today at the Education Ministry building of the Government of Nepal. The office has been declared open in accordance with the decision made by OUN Initiative Steering Committee meeting held in December 23. The office key was handed over by the Joint Secretary of the Ministry Mr. Mahashram Sharma to the NRNA President Devman Hirachan, who, in turn, handed over the key to OUN Steering Committee Member-Secretary Dr. Pramod Dhakal.

A OUN fundraising event in Winnipeg

A fundraising dinner event for supporting the Open University of Nepal initiative is being organized in Winnipeg, on Friday, March 3, 2011by Nepali Cultural Society of Manitoba with the support by NRN Association and NRN-Canada. The venue of the event is Killarney Ballroom at the University of Manitoba Campus, Winnipeg. Dr. Rory McGreal, UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning Chair and Association Vice-President of Athabasca University, Alberta will be the keynote speaker at the event. For further details of the event, please click here Invitation to the Event.

Background

Open University of Nepal initiative brings together people from around the world to break the barriers to quality education in Nepal, especially for the rural, remote, and marginalized populations. Many countries have successfully used Open University platforms as the medium to break barriers and meet their higher education needs. Nepal can also achieve this by following the proven track records of distance education tools, technologies, and practices, and mobilizing qualified people living in cities and foreign countries. The Nepali Diaspora with a world class education coupled with intimate knowledge of the Nepali hinterlands can become a catalyst in Nepal's educational frontier. It is time to build a local economy by bringing knowledge and education to people on site rather than uprooting them from rural communities and crowding into cities. An open and distance learning system could bring quality higher education to people - both rural and urban - while ensuring mass-access and low-cost. The added benefit is that services could be available to people beyond Nepal’s borders.

Source: cffn.ca

Context

The vision for the university was born from the contemplation on some genuine problems that are plaguing Nepal today.

  1. The demand for higher education is so great that the combined capacity of all institutions has fallen far short.
  2. Rural, remote, and marginalized people, especially women are bound to the villages due to family obligations and financial limitations.
  3. There is an enormous task of upgrading teachers and government employees that are serving the rural and remote areas.
  4. Due to poverty, many young people are dropping out of high schools and universities to take temporary employment in Arabia, Malaysia, and other countries around the world. Their educational advancement comes to a full-stop the day they step into the aeroplane.
  5. There is a lack of computer-based learning materials even in the most fortunate of schools that have computer laboratories.
  6. Those who have acquired knowledge and skills to transform the education in Nepal live in big cities and foreign countries while the needs remain unaddressed in towns and villages.

In Nepal, more than 80% of people live in rural areas, where insurmountable barriers exist in accessing education. UNESCO data indicate a mere 9% tertiary education attendance of age adjusted groups for the whole of Nepal; the rural figures would be much lower. Further, nationally the figure for women is reported to be a dismal 3%. These levels are unacceptably low for supporting robust economic growth. In the view of the World Bank, for countries to achieve sustainable economic development, the Age Participation Rates in higher education should be around 40 to 50%. This demonstrates the enormity of work remaining to be done in university-level education in Nepal.