Contributing to future making and the development of nations requires the provision of qualitative higher education for all, regardless of gender, color or financial capability. Since its inception in 2002, the Arab Open University has succeeded, with a global partnership and the efforts of its loyal cadres of academic and administrative staff, to provide a unique type of education in nine Arab countries. This type of education managed to blend older educational gains with modern developments.
Then Corona came, it made AOU’s educational work style the basis among higher education institutions in our Arab environment. This is the essence that ensured the right to continue education in all circumstances and through all pandemic situations, thus reinforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ Article 26 which stresses that: “Everyone has the right to education.”
After 20 years of its establishment, our AOU continues to contribute to shaping future leaders inside and outside the Arab countries. By providing high-quality education for all without race or gender discrimination, bypassing the obstacles of time and place, and enabling those whose economic, social, temporal and spatial circumstances which prevented them from continuing their education, to contribute to shaping the future of their countries.
May God have mercy on the founder of the Arab Open University the father, Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, about whom the writer Ziad Al-Drees says in one of his tweets: “When Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, put in place a unique and advanced initiative to establish the Arab Open University decades ago with the distance education system, did he imagine that the Corona pandemic would come and make institutions of traditional education run behind those that pioneered e-learning… Pioneering is daring.”
Moreover, Professor Atallah wrote in Al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper: “Three decades ago, Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz established the Arab Open University, and I thought at that time that the Arabs would not accept the idea very much..., but the University continued and flourished, and after Corona, it became virtually the basis rather than a subsidiary institution".
This fifth strategic plan of the Arab Open University builds on what AOU had started since the launch of its first plan (2004-2008), it complements the efforts made while implementing the fourth strategic plan (2017-2021), and it leads and directs energies made to shape future makers.
I address my sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who contributed to the preparation of this plan, and I pray to God to grant it success and accomplishment.
President of the Arab Open University
Prof. Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Zakari