Nepal Open University is established by an act of parliament in 2073 BS (2016) by the government of Nepal. This is the premier Open University in Nepal (Nepal Khula Vishwavidyalaya) with equal legal status to other universities in the country. The academic, as well as the administrative head, is the Vice-chancellor (VC). The Registrar is the chief of the personnel and financial administration of the university.
The purpose of the establishment of the Open University is to expand access to higher education to mass people who are unreached to conventional higher/tertiary education. The university therefore now is striving to make programmes that are inclusive and relevant to the national needs of creating a knowledge society and preparing youth for the world of work in Nepal and equally competent for the global market.
Nepal Open University (NOU) is a public university established by the Government under the Nepal Open University Act, 2073. This is the first Open University of its type in Nepal with equal in legal and academic status to other universities. It is different from conventional universities only in its modes of teaching, learning, and assessing activities with flexibility for students in time, place, and pace.
Education is the harbinger of human development, prosperity, and growth. Humans have attained unfathomable heights in terms of knowledge and the pace of transformation has quickened as never before, particularly after the ICT revolution of the late last century. This has led to the belief that humans have achieved almost everything that has not even been imagined before.
Despite our improved knowledge and ability, contrastingly problems and challenges appear to be increasing geometrically. On the one hand, there has been unprecedented growth of resources, technology, and knowledge and on the other, problems have manifested in terms of persistence of poverty and deprivation, and growing unhappiness, stress, and struggles. Hence, there is a need to improve the ‘educating process to transform human beings into capable, sensitive, and worthy human resources by taking advantage of technology and other resources. Besides, there is almost an exodus of students abroad from Nepal in the pursuit of higher education, among others due to limited access to higher education estimated at 17 percent of the age group.
In the perspective, NOU is dedicated to create requisite human capital in the country. The university is committed to inculcate knowledge, skills and positive attitude in the students befitting the needs of today and tomorrow in order to make them change agents by transforming into knowledgeable, skilled, responsible and mindful human resources who are ever willing to demonstrate, perform, and lead the process to attain ultimate progress, happiness and prosperity. NOU is devoted to generating knowledge and sensitive towards the needs of the students thus ultimately bringing harmony and quality for betterment.
Regional Study Centers and Support Centers are the main service providers to the students in their own communities and workplaces. The Regional Centers will be set up in seven provinces and Support Centers will be mobile and need-based within the jurisdiction of Regional Centers. The Study Centers and Support Centers are connected to the Central IT System so that students can get access to learning resources and get the opportunity to participate in educational activities in all Centers. Students can be connected to the system using their personal devices with internet connectivity.
By utilizing cutting-edge information and communication technology, NOU is going to run the programme in distance online learning mode. The focus of the education programme will be on science and technology, technical and vocational education, and interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses the higher education priority areas stated in higher education policy. Besides, NOU will run general and professional education programmes such as humanities and social sciences, management and public administration, education, law and other relevant areas identified from the research and development unit of the university while expanding the programmes. The courses will prepare graduates competent in self-job creation and employment in the national and international job markets.
In conventional universities' students do come to university for education, whereas NOU tries to reach the students where they are to educate, train and validate their lived experiences through certification based on established quality standards of higher/tertiary education. The programme will be more flexible in reference to the time, place and academic level of the students. There will be a provision for the students to join in the courses to reach the level needed to meet the entry requirement for particular education programmes. However, completion of school education is the basic requirement to enroll in a university.
Vision, Mission, and Objective
Develop Nepal Open University into a leading higher education institution in the country providing higher education and training to mass people through open and distance mode in a competitively affordable fee structure.
Employing innovative and effective modern technology to increase the access to education to all sectors, levels and classes of people in imparting education and training according to the market need to prepare them as qualified and competent human resources with the spirit of co-existence and full of patriotism and consciousness and with the ability to use those qualities and competencies in work of social development inspiring with positive thinking and acting.
As its major objectives, NOU has committed itself to:
- provide opportunities for and access to academic, professional and research-based inclusive higher education in terms of place, time and pace of learning to those who are denied /deprived of accessing conventional higher education institutions for various reasons through the conventional mode of learning;
- produce citizens with knowledge, skills, and competencies in different disciplines/subjects prepared to contribute to sustainable development having the spirit of co-existence using modern information technology in education through student-centred and problem-based research-oriented teaching-learning opportunities in education and training;
- establish e-library, e-resources, museums/archives and laboratories for teaching, learning and research;
- impart quality, relevant and significant education by building an environment of collaboration and cooperation with national and international organizations;
- support the nation in ensuring life-long learning opportunities for all respecting the fundamental rights of people in getting an education for their successful life;
- establish and ensure an environment for authentic learning of knowledge and competencies in collaboration with national and international organizations, industries, and businesses to the graduates through functional and real-life experiences; and,
- develop and apply flexible entry requirements according to the principles of open education to mass people for higher education and training.