Widen Access and Improve Retention in Open and

Distance Learning: The Strategies of Open University Malaysia


Mansor Fadzil1 & Latifah Abdol Latif2


(1. Senior Vice President’s Office,Open University Malaysia, Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;

2. Faculty of Science & Technology,Open University Malaysia, Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)


Abstract:As Malaysia’s premier open and distance learning(ODL) institution, Open University Malaysia (OUM) was established to help realize the Government’s call for the democratisation of education by facilitating and widening access to higher education for people from diverse backgrounds. However, underlying the widening access agenda are two distinct propositions that are not readily compatible with each other: inclusiveness and excellence. To rise to this challenge, OUM has devised and employed strategies to ensure that learners who are given the opportunity to engage in learning have a realistic chance of success. The strategies encompass the various facets of ODL, from entry requirements to providing relevant programmes and curriculum, ensuring flexible, effective and engaging learning, providing appropriate support services, ensuring appropriate assessment and monitoring right through to learners graduation. Some pertinent issues related to access and retention are raised and some new future approaches to ensure an equitable and flexible path to education are included.

Key words: access; retention; open and distance learning; Open University Malaysia

CLC numbersG728

Document codeA

Article ID1007-2179(2011)04-0072-07

The Authors:Professor Dr.Mansor Fadzil, Senior Vice President of Open University Malaysia(mansor@oum.edu.my); Professor Dr.Latifah Abdol Latif, Dean of Faculty of Science & Technology of Open University Malaysia.






曼瑟·法济勒1  拉蒂法·阿卜杜勒·拉蒂夫2


1.马来西亚开放大学 校长办公室,马来西亚;