SEAMEO MOOCs Network Policy Dialogue 2021: The Futures of Higher Education and Open Learning in Southeast Asia

Monday, 14 February 2022 | Aye Chan Mon

29 November 2021 – SEAMEO Secretariat has successfully staged the SEAMEO MOOCs Network Policy Dialogue 2021 with the theme: The Futures of Higher education and Open Learning in Southeast Asia.




The policy dialogue gathered regional experts on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Open Education Resources (OERs) in Southeast Asia from three sectors: the SEAMEO MOOCs Network of higher education/learning institutions, SEAMEO Regional Centres, and regional/international organisations.

The policy dialogue was opened by Dr Ethel Agnes Pascua Valenzuela, SEAMEO Secretariat Director and laid down the context and the objectives of this learning event. The keynote presenters followed: Dr Wang Libing from UNESCO Bangkok in Thailand and Dr Roger Chao from the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia. The keynote presentations highlighted the need to continue to develop the research and development of OERs and MOOCs in the region. Though these are free learning resources, there is a need to ensure sustained funding either through budget appropriations or public-private-partnerships. The issue of mutual recognition of gained learning credits from OERs and MOOCs across ASEAN countries was also tackled, including related ASEAN plans on higher education and mobility.

Five panelists were invited to share best practices in their learning institutions especially during the pandemic, how the OERs and MOOCs were maximized, and identify policy recommendations to foster further development and advancement of such learning resources. These include Dr Melinda dela Pena Bandalaria from UP Open University in Laguna, Philippines, Dr Kamolrat Intaratat from Sukhothai Thammarat Open University in Thailand, Dr Hang Le from Duy Tan University in Vietnam, Dr Paulina Pannen from Universitas Terbuka in Indonesia, and Dr Nu Nu Yi from Yangon University of Distance Learning in Myanmar.

Invited speakers and experts from SEAMEO Centres also presented the OERs and MOOCs which were completed way before the pandemic and highlighted the important roles these learning resources play in the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries. These include Ms Ethel Joan Atienza from SEAMEO INNOTECH in the Philippines, Asst Prof Dr Romyen Kosaikonont, SEAMEO RIHED Centre Director in Thailand, Dr Ho Thanh My Phuong, SEAMEO RETRAC Centre Director in Vietnam, and Ms. Cahya K. Ratih, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC Ad Interim Deputy Director for Programme in Indonesia.

The policy dialogue highlighted the actions taken by the SEAMEO MOOCs Network, SEAMEO Centres, and other regional / international organisations in ensuring sustained production of high-quality, responsive, and relevant MOOCs and OERs in the region, especially on the higher education and open learning.

This policy dialogue is one of the many interventions that SEAMEO and its partners have undertaken in response to the call of the SEAMEO Council of Ministers to ensure that no one is left behind especially during these difficult times. It is hoped that the OERs and MOOCs that were shared by the speakers will further spur the discussion and serve as an impetus to develop more learning interventions for the 11 SEAMEO Member Countries and beyond.