Universitas Terbuka is Awarded the Certificate of Quality from ICDE
The open and distance education system implemented by Universitas Terbuka (UT), has been acknowledge to meet the international standard of good practice for open and distance education by receiving the ICDE Quality Certificate. The Certificate was awarded by Dr. Belinda Tynan, one of the Executive Committees, on behalf of ICDE, on September 5, 2016, during the celebration of Universitas Terbuka's 32 years anniversary that took place at the Universitas Terbuka Convention Center (UTCC). UT Rector, Prof. Tian Belawati received the certificate in the ceremony, witnessed by invited guests, representatives of the government, the Board of Supervisors, the former rector and former officials, business partners, and the entire staff of UT.
Prof. Belinda Tynan in her speech praised Universitas Terbuka for being a nationally highly respected institution, especially in the field of teacher training and well regarded by peers internationally. She cited some commendations made in the quality review report such as, positive student feedback on the University’s support for learning and the quality of services provided for them; for its planning processes, especially for its efforts to maintain the relevance of its mission; for an inclusive approach to planning; for tracking technology developments and exploring innovative methods for delivering its products.
Since 2005, the quality learning at UT has been reviewed periodically by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE). The certificate of quality indicates that UT has implemented quality practices of open and distance learning (ODL). In February 2016, ICDE was invited by UT to conduct another quality review to ensure that the implementation of open and distance education at UT is on par with the international ODL standards.
The quality review process begins with a self-evaluation by UT followed by site visitation both at the Head Office and selected Regional Offices that took place from February 9 to 13, 2016. The Quality Review was led by a team of 3 reviewers appointed by ICDE: Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan, Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson and Sir. John Daniel. On June 1 the ICDE Executive Committee approved that UT is awarded the Quality Certificate for the third time.
Toward the end of her speech, Prof. Belinda Tynan congratulated UT on its record of serving the nation for just over thirty years. Government plays a big and critical role in developing the University’s strategic direction and the University is expected to respond to the nation’s higher education strategy.
In a nation made up of 250 million people, spread across an archipelago of 17,000 islands, with complex language and cultural diversities and varying degrees of social, economic and human development, UT’s aspiration to make ‘Higher Education Open to All' is both daunting and demanding of human, physical, physical and technological resources. The University, in wanting to fulfill this ambitious aspiration without compromising its quality, will have to take advantage of many of the new and emerging technologies, including extensive use of online learning, as well as considering alternative learning pathways that will facilitate access for those without the current minimum academic qualifications required to participate in the University’s programmes.
This review is yet another testimony to UT’s ability to reflect and act positively to ensure that they continue to strive towards a global reputation and that they can meet the demands and aspirations of a country and their students.