Dr Li Kam-cheong, Dean of the School of Open Learning (SOL), received the Meritorious Service Award 2023 from the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) in recognition of his outstanding services and contributions to open and distance education.
Every year, the AAOU presents a Meritorious Service Award to an individual for their outstanding services and contributions to open and distance education. Over the years, Dr Li has played a key role in numerous international projects and initiatives to advance open education in the region. Locally, one of his notable achievements was establishing the Institute for Research in Open and Innovative Education (IROPINE) at HKMU. He has also been organising and chairing the annual International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE) to promote open education and encourage research in relevant fields since 2014. In 2021, as the SOL was established at HKMU, he took up the role of Inaugural Dean. Under his leadership, the School has strengthened the provision of undergraduate and postgraduate distance-learning programmes and developed a range of student support initiatives.
Meanwhile, Dr Li has also contributed to the development of the AAOU in various capacities, including serving as Editor and then Editor-in-Chief. As Secretary-General of the AAOU from 2014 to 2016, he strove to enhance its communication with members and initiated various webinar series for the professional development of practitioners.
Dr Li is also a distinguished scholar in open education in his own right. With decades of experience in teaching, training and programme development, he frequently shares his professional insights at conferences and seminars organised by the AAOU and individual open-learning institutions. He has published hundreds of journal articles and book chapters, and has been invited to serve on the editorial boards of numerous renowned journals.
The AAOU is the most important international organisation for open education in Asia. It strives to widen the educational opportunities available to all people in Asia and improve the quality of the institutions regarding their educational management, teaching and research. The SOL is a full member of the AAOU.
In their citation for the award, AAOU states:
“Dr. Li has been a dedicated advocate for open education for over three decades. His contributions to the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) and open education have been nothing short of remarkable. He has been a devoted supporter of AAOU for many years, and has played a key role in numerous projects and initiatives aimed at advancing open education in the region. As an esteemed scholar and educator, he has also shared his expertise and insights with his colleagues in the AAOU community, helping to foster a culture of collaboration and innovation.”