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Virtual University of Pakistan organized AAOU 2019
Published On:  Friday, October 18, 2019



Virtual University of Pakistan hosted the 33rd Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU 2019) during 14-16 October, 2019 at PC Hotel, Lahore. More than 100 foreign delegates and over 450 Pakistani scholars participated in the conference and presented their research papers.

Federal Minister for IT & Telecom Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui was the Chief Guest and Federal Secretary for IT and Telecom, Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui was the guest of honor at the Conference Opening Ceremony and the President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi was the chief guest at the closing ceremony of AAOU 2019.

Prof. Masroor Ellahi Baber (Conference Chair), Dean Faculty of Science and Technology, Virtual University of Pakistan delivered Opening Remarks and Mr. Naeem Tariq, Rector, Virtual University delivered the Welcome Address at AAOU 2019 inauguration ceremony. Dr. Melinda DP. Bandalaria, President AAOU also delivered her Keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of AAOU 2019.

Speaking on the occasion federal minister said, it’s a great honor and pleasure for Pakistan to host such a big event. He said that as the world changes rapidly these days, several industries and professions could face challenges and thus needed adaptation according to contemporary trends.

Keynote speakers including Prof. Asha S. Kanwar, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada, Prof. Melinda DP. Bandalaria, Chancellor, University of the Philippines Open University, AAOU President, Philippines, Prof. Dato’ DR Ansary Ahmed, President/CEO, Asia e-University, Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Tian Belawati, Former Rector, Indonesia Open University, Indonesia,Prof. Rory Mcgreal, UNESCO/ICDE Chair in OER, Athabasca University, Canada, Prof. John Arul Phillips, Dean, School of Education & Cognitive Science, Asia e University, Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Zia Ul-Qayyum, Vice Chancellor, Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan, Prof. Dr. Rauf-i-Azam,Vice Chancellor, University of Education, Pakistan, Ms. Sukaina Walji, Online Education Project Manager, The Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching University of Cape Town, South Africa conducted main sessions at AAOU 2019.

Other than above conference speakers, scholars and academicians from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, Philippine, China, Vietnam, India, Burma, Malaysia, Japan, Iran, Turkey and Maldives participated in the event.

Addressing the 3-days international annual conference of Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU 2019) hosted by Virtual University in Lahore President Alvi said that the world has changed due to revolution in the information technology and access to knowledge ought to be easier for everyone and copyright should not be implemented on universities' academic material. He said that Internet was an affordable option to further expand knowledge horizons and stressed the students to extensively benefit from digital technology devices – tablets and laptops – for getting access to diverse reference material.

The President Alvi said that ‘resistance' for modernization, new technology, as well as latest educational system should be discouraged. He highlighted that open distance learning (ODL) is also a modern technique in which students are not bound to a specific place or time. He said that distance learning was getting popular in the world and lauded the role of Virtual University of Pakistan for imparting knowledge through ODL.

At closing ceremony, the President gave away awards to prominent students of the open universities for their performance and presented souvenirs to organizers of the conference.

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