Partnership for staff development between the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) Open College and the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) of India: The experience of a participating scholar in this partnership

Erapae, Tuai
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Papua New Guinea is one of the developing countries in the South Pacific that is yet to have a government funded and established Open and Distance Learning (ODL) tertiary institution. Although the need to establish a National Open University was captured in the country’s fifty year national development plan called the PAPUA NEW GUINEA VISION 2050 (Guinea, 2009) launched in 2009, no significant progress has been made so far. The Open College of the University of the Papua New Guinea (UPNG) was established in 2004 by the university within its structure to provide administrative and student support services to its Undergraduate and Certificate programs offered through ODL mode and in doing so UPNG became a dual mode university in the country. Since then, Open College has established study centers in all the twenty one provinces in the country. Provincial Governments have embraced Open College by providing state land and annual budgetary financial support for their respective provincial study centers. UPNG Open College continues to be the leading institution not only in delivering UPNG programs through ODL mode but also in promoting and advocating for more ODL tertiary institutions in the country. So in response to the country’s PAPUA NEW GUINEA VISION 2050 Plan to create national Open University, Open College decided to build the capacity of its current administrative staff in distance education or ODL field. It signed a collaborative partnership agreement with the INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OPEN UNIVERSITY (IGNOU) in India and enrolled its first batch of eight of its staff in the Masters in Distance Education (MADE) program in 2011, through ODL mode. IGNOU was chosen because of its extensive and similar institutional partnerships with tertiary institutions in many countries in the Middle East, Africa and others (IGNOU) This paper is a narration of the personal experiences of one of the pioneer participants of this historic institutional capacity building initiative between Open College and IGNOU. // Paper ID: 130

Open and Distance Learning (ODL),Partnerships,Professional Development,Institutional Development
Papua New Guinea,India