The Symbiosis Open Education Society (SoES) has entered into a tie-up with the Malaysian Wawasan Open University (WOU) for academic collaboration in a range of areas, including development and sharing of course material and services for lifelong learning; research activities and joint academic programmes. The WOU, which was established in 2006, is a fledgling public-private partnership (PPP) initiative in the field of open and distance learning (ODL), commissioned by the Malaysian government to meet the growing demand for higher and professional education in a flexible mode. The WOU runs as a private provider of distance learning.
Swati Mujumdar, director of Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL), which is the flagship entity of the SoES, told reporters here on Thursday that the tie-up primarily aimed at enabling the WOU leverage Symbiosis' expertise in the use of technology for better delivery of ODL. The SCDL, set up in 2001, ranks among the country's leading private sector providers of ODL, which has grown from an enrolment base of 8,000 students to more than two lakh from across India as well as 40 foreign countries. Symbiosis' founder head S B Mujumdar and WOU founder vice-chancellor Gajaraj Dhanarajan, who is a former president of the Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) an intergovernmental agency mandated with promoting ODL signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on behalf of the two institutions.