Online learning has become a popular alternative to traditional in-person or on-campus learning. It has been proven to be a practical and sustainable mode of education in the past years. The online learning platform provides many benefits to students and promotes a better work-life balance. One of the leading online universities that offer students quality, flexible, and affordable online higher education is Utel University.
Utel is accredited by various international accreditation agencies and is authorized by the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) to confer official degrees to its students. For the past decade since its inception, Utel University has also partnered with other education industries and NGOs to boost the university’s program relevance and competitiveness, including the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), the Ibero-American Association of Distance Higher Education (AIESAD), UNESCO, the Mexican Association of Continuous and Distance Education (AMECYD), and the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Quality in Distance Higher Education (CALED).
It is also a member of many organizations on higher education, and just last December 2022, Utel has also become one of the associate members of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). As it becomes a member of AAOU, Utel has once again established the quality of education it offers to students around the globe. But what is AAOU and its role in the online learning system?
What is AAOU?
The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) is a non-profit organization of higher learning institutions primarily concerned with open and distance education. It aims to offer and provide more educational opportunities available to all people in Asia and improve the quality of institutions’ education in terms of management, research, and teaching. According to its website, AAOU “promotes education using distance teaching systems and professional and ethical standards; develops potentialities of open and distance education; cooperates with official bodies and others directly or indirectly interested in education at a distance; and facilitates cooperation with other similar regional and international bodies.”
As of writing, AAOU has a total of 58 member institutions – 44 Full Members and 14 Associate Members. They also encourage other relevant institutions to apply for their membership. Below are the descriptions of its two types of memberships:
This membership is for dedicated open and distance learning institutions within the Asian continent whose primary mode of instructional delivery is through the distance mode. Some of AAOU’s full members are Bircham International University in Spain, the Cyber University of Korea, Gauhati University in India, Al-Madinah International University in Malaysia, and the Open University of China.
This membership is for those who actively promote or deliver education by distance through departments, faculties, centers, or schools of external or off-campus studies and programs. Some of AAOU’s associate members are the Arab University in Kuwait, the Asia Pacific School of Business in Singapore, Manipur International University in India, St. Paul University Philippines, and Utel University in Mexico.
To become a member of AAOU, an institution and its study programs must be recognized by the government of the country to which the institution belongs.
As AAOU plays a significant role in shaping and influencing the direction of open distance and e-learning, it encourages its member institutions to contribute towards this direction and get into collaborative undertakings that can have a more significant impact. Apart from its Collaborative Research Program, it also conducts events such as annual conferences, webinars, and web conferences to provide a venue for keeping everyone up to date on new developments and issues and sharing new ideas on open distance learning.
Through the establishment of the AAOU, it is expected to serve as a link for close cooperation among open universities in the Asian region and other existing regional and international organizations. As it continues to progress, it aims to encourage more open universities to become its members to widen the opportunities for all the people of the Asian region to acquire degrees through online education.
Aside from AAOU, Utel University is also accredited by the Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges & Universities (ASIC) of the United Kingdom and by the Federación de Instituciones Mexicanas Particulares de Educación Superior (FIMPES). You can learn more about Utel University’s online programs, accreditations, and recognitions here.