UP Open University

Commonwealth of Learning President Asha Kanwar to address AAOU2016

Asha Kanwar

Professor Asha Kanwar, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), will deliver the keynote address at the opening plenary at the 30th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) to be held on 26-29 October 2016 in Manila, Philippines.


Professor Kanwar is one of the world’s leading advocates of learning and development. For her leadership in open and distance learning (ODL) she received the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Prize of Excellence in 2009 and the AAOU Meritorious Service Award in 2014.


Professor Kanwar's engagement with distance education began when she joined Indira Gandhi National Open University where she served as Professor, Director of the School of Humanities and Pro-Vice Chancellor. Later, as a consultant in ODL at UNESCO's Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal she was instrumental in placing ODL at the centre of ministerial deliberations and the agenda for the development of education in Africa. She joined COL in 2003 as Education Specialist, Higher Education, with the major responsibility of working with Commonwealth governments and organisations in policy and systems development, within the context of ODL. She became President of COL in 2012, after a six-year term as Vice-President. COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.


At AAOU2016 in Manila, Professor Kanwar will speak on the conference theme “Open Education in Asia: Changing Perspectives.” About 300 ODL and e-learning scholars and practitioners are expected to participate in the four-day event, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria.