27 to 30 November 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Eighth Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF8) on Open Learning is co-hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the Open University Malaysia (OUM), and brings together the best minds in open and distance learning (ODL) to discuss issues of common interest, exchange ideas and explore best practices.

This year’s theme is Open, Online and Flexible Learning: The Key to Sustainable Development and is accompanied by four sub-themes:

  • Quality and Equity in Learning (The EightQuality Assurance Frameworks, Accreditation, Certification, Benchmarking, Ranking)
  • Access and Inclusion (e-Learning, Massive Open Online Courses(MOOCs) Public-Private Partnership, Equitable Educational Opportunities, Policies)
  • Efficiency and Effectiveness (Business Models, Comparative Studies)
  • Technology and Innovation (Teaching and Learning, Mobile Learning, Collaborative Learning, MOOCs, Open Educational Resources (OER)

Visit the conference website


History of the Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning

Established in 1988, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) was inspired by the vision that the peoples of the Commonwealth must and can have access to knowledge, regardless of where they live and whether they are rich or poor.  Member governments have given COL a mandate to encourage the development and sharing of open and distance learning knowledge, materials, expertise, technologies and other resources. Working with, and providing services to hundreds of institutions throughout the 52-member Commonwealth, COL is helping to increase the capacities of developing nations to meet the demands for improving access to quality education and training.

COL's Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF) is held triennially. It is co-hosted with different partners in different regions of the Commonwealth. The programme is designed to explore applications of open and distance learning in widening educational access, bridging the digital divide and advancing the social and economic development of communities and nations at large. The Forum's focus is on topics relating to developing countries and participation of practitioners from these countries.

COL's Excellence in Distance Education Awards (EDEA) are also presented at the Forum.

Past Forums

PCF1: Brunei Darussalam (1999), in partnership with the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Education and Universiti Brunei Darussalam.

PCF2: South Africa (2002), in partnership with The National Association of Distance Education and Open Learning in South Africa (NADEOSA) and the Department of Education, South Africa.

PCF3: New Zealand (2004), in partnership with the Distance Education Association of New Zealand (DEANZ) and the Government of New Zealand.

PCF4: Jamaica (2006), in partnership with a Caribbean Consortium comprising: CARADOL, JADOL, TTDLA, CEODL and UWIDEC

PCF5: United Kingdom (2008), in partnership with the University of London.

PCF6: India (2010), in partnership with India's Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).

PCF7: Nigeria (2013), in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).