From East to West Asia is a huge continent home to some four billion people, a vast majority of whom are young seeking education in its Schools numbering millions and a further 50 or 60 thousand institutions of higher learning. The number of Asian Children attending school is about 550 million and those in higher education exceed 75 million; in addition to these some 10 million are also enrolled in some 70 universities of open learning. Their search and hunger for knowledge is unprecedented anywhere else in the world. This site hopes to bring an Asian perspective to the ever growing interest in sharing knowledge and enhancing collaboration amongst Asian educators and policy makers to the benefits as well as challenges around Open education Resources [OER]. OER Asia recognizes the diversity that is Asia but at the same time we are amazed at the desire of its people to overcome difficulties of diversity in collaborating and co operating in the development of education resources for a common purpose and good.
The Wawasan Open University [ www.wou.edu.my ] is the youngest among Asia’s 70 open universities engaged in open distance education. As a new university it wishes to take advantage by leapfrogging three or four generations of distance teaching practice by using all of the technological assets available to it, in this early part of the 21st century. The University is sponsored by a not-for-profit charity and is probably the first of its kind in Malaysia, a country populated by hundreds of for-profit private Higher Education Institutions.
The Institute of Research and Innovation [IRI] of the university is committed to exploring innovations in teaching and learning especially in the new technology enabled and enriched environment. The IRI was launched in mid 2010 and is presently mobilizing funds to support it’s mission as well as develop a network of Asian researchers studying OER and OCW development on the continent.