IOUF: Practical Distance Education for Direct Improvement

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The dramatic challenges faced by the world’s economies are getting a lot of press these days and as an international organization serving learners from every corner of that world, the Intercultural Open University Foundation (IOUF) is watching with interest. Far from being an “ivory tower” institution, the IOUF is entirely focused on providing practical education for people whose lives will be directly improved by having more education.

Our MA and PhD degree programs are built around meeting the needs of mature learners who want to make a difference in the world, and part of our admission criteria relate to that very issue.

How we meet the needs of our learners has been discussed in other blog postings but let’s flip the issue around for a moment. How does the IOUF deal with the other side of the equation? How do we meet the needs of the world community? We feel there are three main responses to that question:

  • 1. We are focused on social change. Not an “overthrow the government” kind of social change, but social change that focuses on opportunities for making the world a better place. We provide degree programs for mature adults who want to continue improving the landscape of their community through better services, understanding or infrastructure. We mentor them to a graduate or post-graduate degree. And we provide a community of supporters to cheer them on in their work following graduation from the IOUF. Simply put, our educational foundation is a vehicle for making a difference in the world.

2. We promote global awareness of the common issues facing humanity. The IOUF encourages qualified people to register in our programs from any country in the world. We embrace all cultures and nationalities and we provide a learning environment that celebrates differences while recognizing our common needs and interests.

3. We are idealists with a practical approach. Staff and faculty at the IOUF are all experienced educators and administrators who share the belief that it is possible to make the world a better place. As a bastion of idealism in a very troubled world, we have not given up on the concepts of peace, justice and human dignity, although we recognize that these ideals are under siege in many places in the world today. Our mission is to shine a light on the possibilities education has for improving our world.

There are definitely challenges ahead for all who are working to improve conditions for the world’s people. But if you feel the Intercultural Open University Foundation offers the kind of educational experience that will help you achieve your academic and life goals gracefully, please get in touch. Alternatively, we’d love to hear what you think about international education today. What kinds of experiences have you had? What needs could IOUF meet for you and those you connect with? Leave a comment below and we’ll be glad to respond.

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