About Us

Intercultural Open University Foundation is a charitable organization and  an accredited dual degree granting distributed educational institution that was founded in 1981. With our international partners Universidad Azteca and the Universidad Central de Nicaragua, we are committed towards empowering the society with by helping learners and organizations which are trying to make a difference in the world. We are registered as a charitable educational foundation in the Netherlands and in the United States of America. The Foundation maintains offices in both Spain and the USA.

Our Values

Social
Relevance

IOU Foundation requires that the programs of its learners reflect their awareness of the social implications of their studies and of their obligation to share knowledge with integrity in uplifting the communities in which they serve.

Scholar-practitioner Model

IOU Foundation advocates an educational process whereby scholarship and theory are connected and applied to real-world action and practice.

Collaborative and Experiential Learning

IOU Foundation considers the process of learning is as important as the content of learning & stresses self-direction, collaborative learning with peers and faculty, and the importance of experiential learning.

Our story

We are a unique institution of higher learning providing a personalized, mentored educational experience for graduate students as well as functioning as a charitable educational Foundation for social change. In August 2008, the Intercultural Open University Foundation was reorganized in order to better reflect our original philosophy of education.

The idea for our Foundation began at a 1980 colloquium with Dutch, German, Asian, Indian, Latin America and English professors at Bosk House. At this meeting, Jan R. Hakemulder, PhD proposed that an open university foundation be established to provide an innovative and charitable, learner-centered educational environment devoted to social change and research in a global perspective. From this meeting, Intercultural Open University Foundation was established.

The Intercultural Open University Foundation is one of a small number of alternative educational institutions which began In the 1960s when the learner-centered, self-directed orientation of education movement emerged in the US and UK. Roy P. Fairfield, a Harvard University Professor of Education, was among the founders of this movement. His book, Person Centered Graduate Education(1977) chronicles his pioneering efforts at the Union Graduate School to create a self-directed graduate program and explores the paths and pitfalls of alternative modes of education. Much of the non-traditional educational philosophy in the 1960s incorporated the ideas of humanistic psychology, such as those of Carl Rogers’ Client-Centered Therapy, Arnold Mindell’s Process- Oriented Psychology and Clark Moustakis’ Transpersonal Psychology.

Our ideology

Intercultural Open University Foundation subscribes to two fundamental educational ideologies: (1) learner-centered, self-directed learning, and (2) socially relevant graduate programs for adults. Our learner-centered approach derives from the progressive thinkers in adult education in the US, Mexico and Europe. We encourage an intellectual setting in which disciplinary boundaries are easily crossed and collaborative learning is emphasized. Our learners are encouraged to develop programs focusing on social relevance and the ways in which the world’s peoples, with their multiple and conflicting interests, are to live together peacefully and justly.

Mission

The mission of IOU Foundation (derived from the progressive thinkers in adult education in the USA, Mexico and Europe, and theorists on person centered graduate education) is grounded in the belief that education, research, and capacity building is a key element in resolving pressing global problems. In an intellectual setting where disciplinary boundaries are easily crossed and collaborative learning is emphasized, learners are encouraged to develop programs focusing on social relevance and the ways in which the world’s peoples, with their multiple and conflicting interests, are to live together peacefully and justly.

Our Vision

IOU Foundation aspires to provide innovative, socially relevant educational programs of the highest quality to diverse adult populations and to actively seek to identify and reach those underserved by higher education.  IOU Foundation issues accredited dual PhD degrees, certificates, diplomas, fellowships, and also other academic awards and qualifications, as well as scholarships, awards, and other awards of academic accomplishments. In addition IOUF supports numerous social change projects in the USA, South America, Japan, Mexico, Asia and Europe.

The IOU Foundation operates as a charitable international educational foundation, and it maintains a registration as a charitable non-profit foundation in the United States. The Foundation is also registered as a non-profit charitable foundation in the Netherlands. IOU Foundation is an international partner with the Universidad Azteca and the Universidad Central de Nicaragua in offering accredited dual PhD degree programs. The Foundation is led by five administrative staff members and a faculty of fifteen members who serve as mentors to adult graduate learners seeking advanced degrees. IOU Foundation is staffed completely with volunteers with a sliding scale of modest tuition to cover operational costs and maintains offices in Spain and the United States.

IOU Foundation faculty volunteer their services as mentors to graduate learners because they are committed to the IOU Foundation pedagogy. Each faculty member has over 25 years experience in distributed education and in learner centered adult education and have accredited doctorates in their respective fields of study.

IOU Foundation is not a conventional educational institution. In collaboration with a faculty mentor, each learner creates an individualized curriculum of proficiency areas relevant to his or her chosen specializations. Again, with faculty mentors, each learner identifies a research area and how he or she will develop the skills needed to carry out the research.

IOU Foundation encourages the “scholar-practioner” model which is based on best practices in the field supported by the scholarly literature. Learners inquire about and reflect upon their own work and its social relevance. They are mentored by faculty to investigate important practical problems, to disseminate their research results to varied audiences, and to work with practitioners to implement and test research findings in their fields. IOU Foundation supports clearly defined learner and institutional quality assurance methods. Learners perform important and socially relevant work as they undertake their studies and develop their professions.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS

Dr. Sandra Hurlong

President

Dr. John Toothman

Dr. Muneo Yoshikawa

Dr. Sohan. L. Gandhi

Anton Pieters

Accreditation

Intercultural Open University Foundation is an international partner with the Universidad Azteca (UAzteca) and the Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN) that awards accredited dual PhD degrees. The UAzteca and UCN validates the IOUF doctorate programs in line with the academic requirements of the inter-university doctoral programs. The Universidad Azteca is recognized and accredited by the Federal Secretary of Public Education (SEP) of the United States of Mexico. Universidad Azteca dual doctorate programs have the Recognition of the Official Validity of Studies (RVOE) from the Federal Ministry of Education of the United States of Mexico. UAzteca is listed with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) and the International Association of Universities (IAU). The Universidad Central de Nicaragua is accredited by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Nicaragua. UCN is listed with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), International Association of Universities (IAU) an International Handbook of Accredited Universities published by the United Nations.

REGISTRATION

IN THE NETHERLANDS

Registered as a Foundation (not-for-profit, non-government) 1982 and 1988, (Notary Mulder, Drachten; KvK number 41003178). The IOU Foundation is a international educational foundation for social change. Educational Foundations are public legal entities and enjoy financial and adminstrative autonomy.

IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Registered as a Foundation (Not-for-profit organization) 2009, www.corp.delaware.gov/ (file number 4750897)

In April 2011, the Government of the United States of America declared IOU Foundation a foundation for public charity (DLN 17053271336040).

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