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COL President and CEO Welcome Message

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is proud to partner with Open University Malaysia (OUM) to host the 8th Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF8) during 27 November to 30 November 2016 in Kuala Lumpur. OUM has contributed substantially to promoting open and distance learning (ODL) in Asia and enjoys a reputation for high-quality tertiary education. Held every two or three years, the Pan-Commonwealth Forum is one of the world’s leading international conferences on open, distance and technology-enabled learning.

The conference theme for PCF8 is Open, Online and Flexible Learning: The Key to Sustainable Development. COL’s 2015-2021 Strategic Plan recognises that learning is not enough: learning must lead to sustainable livelihoods, economic opportunities, greater harmony among all members of society, and respect for the environment. Our hope is that PCF8 will generate a lively and rewarding exchange of ideas that will eventually lead to concrete outcomes in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

On behalf of COL, I would like to invite delegates from all countries and regions of the world to attend PCF8. It would be especially gratifying to welcome participants from the technology sector — those who are driving innovation and bringing much excitement to the field of ODL.

You will have the opportunity to listen to and interact with global thought-leaders, policy-makers and practitioners. The world of ODL is growing and changing rapidly. It is moving beyond the ivory towers of academia to the domain of lifelong learning and development. What are the emerging trends that will help us make these transitions effectively? How can we foster north-south and south-south collaborations to achieve development for all?

PCF8 will provide an arena to address these and many more contemporary issues. My colleagues and I look forward to seeing you in Kuala Lumpur!


Professor Asha Kanwar
President & Chief Executive Officer
Commonwealth of Learning