Intercultural Open University Foundation
|Intercultural Open University Foundation|
|President||Sandra Hurlong, PhD|
|Location||Arden, DE (USA) and Granada (Spain)|
The Intercultural Open University Foundation (IOUF) is an international non-profit charitable foundation that provides a mentored educational experience for post-graduate and graduate learners involved in social change programs around the world.
All IOUF staff and faculty contribute their time on a volunteer basis and a limited number of scholarships and subsidies for learners from developing countries are available where necessary, thanks to an endowment provided by the founder of the Intercultural Open University Foundation, Jan R. Hakemulder, PhD. Jan Hakemulder was a respected scholar with a global outlook who devoted his career to the development of programs designed to help the world's poor. He and his wife, Fay A.C. DeJonge, PhD, were educational consultants for UNESCO who wrote prolifically about journalism, the media and ethics, alternative education, distance education,i and peace and non-violence studies.
The Intercultural Open University Foundation is registered as a non-profit foundation in the United States and maintains offices in Arden, Delaware and Granada, Spain. Although it originally obtained registration as a foundation (stichting) in the Netherlands, it no longer maintains offices in that country, having transferred its European headquarters to Spain in August, 2011, but still remains registered as a Dutch juridical person.
In October 2011, the IOUF signed an academic cooperation agreement with the Universidad Azteca (UAzteca), a university with full Mexican accreditation that is also listed in the International Handbook of Universities, 2012.
The agreement means IOUF PhD learners will have access to an international double degree program offered jointly by the Universidad Azteca and its partner, the Universidad Central de Nicaragua (UCN). Upon successful completion of the program, participants will be awarded a Doctor of Philosophy, PhD degree from UAzteca and UCN in addition to the IOUF degree.
The IOUF has been assessed and validated by the European Commission's HEXTLEARN Peer Review and Study (particularly in respect to its use of ICT) and it is a member of numerous international educational organizations.
As a charitable foundation, the IOUF is an independent legal entity with a stated mission of serving the public interest through higher education and research. Its status as a not-for-profit organization confers favorable tax status on activities undertaken in pursuit of Foundation goals.
The Intercultural Open University Foundation was established in 1981 by Jan R. Hakemulder, PhD, whose career as an educational advisor with UNESCO in Africa had alerted him to the need to develop long-term solutions to poverty in developing countries around the world. In 1980, he and his wife, anthropologist and distance education expert Fay A.C. DeJonge, PhD, convened a meeting of Dutch, German and English professors at Bosk House, a business and residential complex in Opeinde, Netherlands. After some discussion, the group decided to provide a distributed educational experience for learners that would focus on fostering the social changes that might alleviate global suffering; the Intercultural Open University Foundation was the result.
Distributed, or distance education, was not a new concept. The idea blossomed in the 1960s and gained further popularity with the advent of the internet in the 1990s. What set the IOUF apart from other providers of distance education was the fact that it emphasizes adult education focused on peace studies, social change and environmental issues. As an alternative school, the IOUF emphasizes self-directed, individualized curricula guided by core faculty advisors. As noted on its website, learners, generally complete a PhD in as little as 24 or as many as 48 months, depending on the motivation, focus and speed with which they devote themselves to their studies.
The Foundation was the subject of controversy when John Bear, a writer on educational institutions, questioned its status. The Foundation also came under attack in 2008 when CIMEA, the Italian Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence, claimed it had "dubious professors with dubious credentials that somehow (connected it) to UNESCO." CIMEA subsequently posted a letter from the Foundation's President, Board of Governors and Faculty protesting the reference.
In 2007, Skepsis, a Dutch magazine which aims to debunk pseudoscience, published an article stating that the founders of the Intercultural Open University Foundation held PhD degrees from distance learning institutions. The article also stated that the Foundation awarded degrees in India for about 250 Eurodollars while charging 8000 Eurodollars for students from developed countries as a part of the "Robin Hood" theory developed by the Hakemulders. The author stated that he doubted that the professors of the IOUF could legally bear the legally protected Dutch title doctor (dr.).
In 2010 the quality of education provided by IOUF was thoroughly examined in a European Commission HEXTLEARN Peer Review and Study, which validated the organization and its credentials, particularly in respect to its educational use of information and communications technology.
IOUF Founder and President Jan Hakemulder, PhD, died in August, 2008, and from his estate an endowment was established to continue his work. That same year, the IOUF Board of Governors appointed distance education expert Sandra Hurlong, PhD, as President and requested that she coordinate an assessment of the Foundation's operations, methodologies and pedagogy; the end result confirmed the organization's original direction and determined that the Foundation should shift its focus to doctoral and post-doctoral programs exclusively.
The Intercultural Open University Foundation is a member of:
- the Alternative Education Resource Organization (AERO)
- the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN)
- the European Foundation for Quality in eLearning (EFQUEL)
- Higher Education Exploring ICT Use for Lifelong Learning (HEXTLEARN)
- the International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP)
- the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE),
- the United States Distance Learning Association
Other Affiliations Include:
- Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Group
- International Oriental College, Netherlands: IOUF supports International Oriental College through educational partnerships
- Universidad Azteca
- Universidad Central de Nicaragua
- University of Rajasthan, India: IOUF established the Padit Madhusudan Ojha Chair at the University of Rajasthan to facilitate study and research on the Vedas
Intercultural Open University Foundation offers programs in cultural studies, economics, healthcare science (including Oriental medicine), philosophy, religious studies, social change (post-doctoral program only) and social studies.
- Leena Parmar, PhD in Sociology, University of Rajasthan. Indian sociologist noted for her long-standing connections to the Indian army and her knowledge of its complex operations in India’s sensitive border regions
- Marvin Surkin, PhD in Political Science, New York University. Political scientist whose studies on race and ethnic studies informed his work as co-author of “Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution”
- Muneo Jay Yoshikawa, PhD in Intercultural Communication, University of Hawaii. Creator of the Double-swing model of inter-cultural communication
- Sohan L. Gandhi, PhD in Sociology, Intercultural Open University Foundation. Editor of the ANUVIBHA Reporter and Honorary President of the ANUVRAT Global Organization (ANUBIS), a transnational Center for Peace and Nonviolent Action associated with the UN-DPI.
- Gulab Kothari, PhD, IOU Foundation, 2002. Editor and Managing Director of Rajasthan Patrika; Author of three volume series - " Manas - The Human Mind"
- Serguei Krivov, PhD, IOU Foundation, 1999. Assistant Research Professor, University of Vermont; developed the multiagent ecological simulator LEM, based on his logic based conceptual framework for the modeling of complex systems.
- Bremley W.B.Lyngdoh, PhD, IOU Foundation, 2008. Member of the Waldzell Institute, Founder and CEO of Worldview Impact; Co-Founder of the Global Youth Action Network
-  Social Change News
-  Partial Publication List
-  Partial publication list
-  File#4750897
- Registration details with KVK N.B. Link is not available overnight, some extra information may require a fee.
- Universidad Azteca website
- Announcement of agreement between Universidad Azteca and the Intercultural Open University Foundation
- Official recognition of Studies’ Validity for Universidad Azteca from the Mexican Ministry of Public Education
- Official Mexican government list of national universities
- International Association of Universities
-  HEXTLEARN Peer Review Report
-  IOUF Mission Statement
-  Rickman, Wendy and Wiedmaier, Cheryl, University of Arkansas, ©2011 IGI Global -- DOI 10.4018/978-1-60960-111-9.ch001]
- "Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning" by Mariah P. Bear, Published by Ten Speed Press, 2003 ISBN 1-58008-431-1, ISBN 978-1-58008-431-4]
- "Degree Mills: non-accredited and irregular higher education institutions" by Luca Lantero, CIMEA – Italian Enic/Naric centre
-  Letter to CIMEA
- Rob Nanninga De Universiteit van Opeinde Skepter, Year 20, no.1, 2007
-  HEXTLEARN Peer Review Report on IOUF
-  Membership listed under "International" heading
- EDEN Membership listing
-  HEXTLEARN Website
-  See #17 for reference to Fay Hakemulder, Intercultural Open University Foundation's representative on IAEWP
-  Summary of 2004 IAEWP conference on cultural morality at which IOUF Founder Jan Hakemulder presented a paper
- See section on OBHE
-  see Page 3
- Washington Benevolent Societies See citation No. 5
- League of Revolutionary Black Workers
-  Seminar on "Mother in the Vedas" presented by Dr. Gulab Kothari