Jakarta (ANTARA) - Open University (Universitas Terbuka/UT) Rector Ojat Darojat opened the 36th Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) conference in Turkey and outlined technological advances, especially in digital technology, that can help increase students' learning success.

"Technological advances require policy makers and practitioners, including lecturers and education staff, to adapt to integrating technology into the education curriculum," he said, according to a statement received from UT in Jakarta on Friday.

Darojat, who is serving as the president of AAOU for 2023–2025, expressed the hope that the participants of the conference would share inputs, knowledge, and innovations for actively improving distance learning in Asia.

Darojat was elected as AAOU president for 2020–2022 by acclamation at an executive committee meeting in Lahore, Pakistan.

In 2022, he was re-elected to the post for the 2023–2025 period at an executive committee meeting in Jeju, South Korea, which coincided with the 35th AAOU Conference.

The host for this year's AAOU Conference is Anadolu University. Meanwhile, the organizing location will take place at Istanbul University from September 28 to 30, 2023.

A total of 129 participants from 15 countries are attending the annual conference. They have not only come from AAOU universities, but also from several other countries, including Europe, and belong to several backgrounds.

Anadolu University Rector Fuat Erdal emphasized a number of important issues related to the digitalization of education and the important role of distance higher education in opening access to higher education in various regions, including Asia and Turkey.

The conference features a number of leading distance education figures as key speakers, such as Asha Singh Kanwar (India), Insung Jun (Japan), Zia Ul-Qayyum (Pakistan), Torunn Gjelsvik (ICDE-Norway), Josep Duart (Spain), Maha Bali (Egypt), and Ahmet Nuri Yurdusev (Turkey).

A number of lecturers and distance education practitioners will also present the results of their research and thoughts on different topics in a number of parallel rooms during the conference.

As in previous years, the conference will select a number of presenters for the "Best Paper," "Best Practice" and "Young Innovator" awards categories.

In addition, the committee will present "Meritorious Awards" to recognize individuals who show a high commitment to the advancement of distance education in Asia.

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Translator: Sugiharto Purnama, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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