Spreading our wings internationally

Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have exclaimed, “Until you spread your wings, you’ll have no idea how far you can fly.”

At Open University Malaysia (OUM), we have always strived to find out just how high we can soar, and how far we can go to make open and distance learning (ODL) the pathway of choice for all learners, both locally and internationally.

At home, we strive to become a household name across Malaysia. With 35 learning centres nationwide, virtually anyone in the country can opt to study at OUM.

Abroad, we have partnered with 13 reputable educational institutions in 10 countries to offer our programmes to an international audience, including the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

Cumulatively, these collaborative efforts have produced more than 7,300 graduates, many of whom completed programmes in business administration, information technology, and nursing science.

Recently, we have also turned our attention to international learner admission. Starting this year, anyone from anywhere in the world can opt to enrol into any of 24 postgraduate programmes across business and management, applied sciences, and education and social sciences. All are accredited and approved programmes that are also offered locally in Malaysia.

So far, learners from Zimbabwe, Yemen, Syria, France, the United Kingdom, and a number of other countries have already signed up.

Importantly, we understand that making programmes available to international learners means they can be fully immersed as members of our learning community, no matter where they may be.

Realising that they live and work in locations and time zones different to those in Malaysia means we must find ways to reduce their feelings of isolation and keep them engaged throughout their studies.

This is the reason we have designated the OUM Graduate Centre (OUMGC) as the one-stop centre for international learners. One of OUMGC’s foremost efforts is to create a learning community via a popular instant messaging service, which acts as a platform for them to discover new connections and networks, as well as share their knowledge and experiences with other postgraduate learners.

In addition, OUMGC holds regular virtual events and webinars to engage the public, and help them grasp the ins and outs of being an open and distance learner. This is an effort that has become even more relevant since the rollout of fully online learning due to the pandemic, and also takes into consideration the needs of audiences outside Malaysia.

Moving forward, OUMGC will continue exploring ways to provide the best study experience to international learners, thus not only ensuring that their qualifications are recognised, but that the quality of teaching and learning they experience will match that of their local peers.

Meanwhile, we will continue to take part in global virtual exhibitions to improve awareness of what we have to offer. So far, we have participated in regional online education fairs in the Middle East, North Africa, as well as Southeast Asia and East Asia.

This internationalisation initiative is fully supported by Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS), a Company Limited by Guarantee under the purview of the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia. Securing the endorsement from EMGS is important to us, because this is one way we can assure anyone interested in studying at OUM that the entire study experience, from admission to graduation, will be smooth and worry free.

Those interested in finding out more about international enrolment at OUM can visit www.oum.edu.my/international-admission/.

For all queries on international collaborations (including international agents and exhibitions), please contact May Yeong at huimay@oum.edu.my.