The idea of establishing a non-profit Open University in the Arab world was initiated by HRH Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz, President of the Arab Gulf Development Programe (AGFUND). In 1996 HRH Prince Talal officially announced the concept of establishing the Arab Open University as a non-conventional academic institution and as a foundation which contributes to steering development in scientific, social and cultural spheres. This initiative developed to a full pledged Arab Open University in 2002 in a strategic partnership with the Open University in the United Kingdom.
A pioneering Arab Open University dedicated to building the science and knowledge society.
Develop and disseminate knowledge, and build expertise according to international quality standards without time or geographical barriers for the sake of contributing and preparing manpower for development needs, and to build science and knowledge society in the Arab countries.
The AOU has more than 28,460 students in eight countries and has celebrated graduation of more than 20,690 students, more than 50% of which are females.