Second Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF2)

Following the tradition established in 1999 in Brunei Darussalam, by continuing to offer the opportunity for Commonwealth citizens to share a range of experiences and interests relating to learning at all levels, the Second Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF2) was held in Durban, South Africa from 29 July to 2 August 2002. In partnership with the South African Ministry of Education and The National Association of Distance Education Organisations in South Africa (NADEOSA). PCF2 attracted 650 delegates from 55 countries.

A summary of PCF2 appears in the December 2002 edition of COL’s newsletter, Connections.


Open Learning: Transforming Education for Development


  1. Open Learning, the world of work and economic development
  2. Education for all: ODL and the global agenda on poverty
  3. Overcoming barriers to access and success
  4. Networking and cultural activities
  5. Overcoming the digital divide: innovative applications of technology in ODL
  6. Open Learning, the community and social development
  7. ODL – its leadership, management and administration



Asa Briggs Lecture

Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS

Keynote Speakers

Prof Kader Asmal, National Minister of Education (South Africa)

Sir John Daniel, Assistant Secretary General, UNESCO

Mr Gopal Rajagopolan, Managing Director: ShoolNet India Limited

Prof Munzali Jibril, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission

Prof Taboho Moja, Professor of Higher Education, New York University

Prof Brenda Gourley, Vice-Chancellor, Open University, United Kingdom

Honorary Fellows

  • Dr Dominique A.M.X. Abrioux
  • Professor Clifford D. Blake
  • The Right Honourable Lord (Asa) Briggs of Lewes
  • Ms Shona E. Butterfield
  • Sir John S. Daniel
  • Dr Glen M. Farrell
  • Ms Jennifer A. Glennie
  • Dr Dennis H. Irvine
  • Dr S. Langi Kavaliku
  • Professor Geoffrey R.V. Mmari
  • Dr Roslyn L. Morpeth
  • Dr Hilary D. Perraton
  • The Right Honourable Lord (Walter L.M.) Perry of Walton
  • Professor Ram G. Takwale
  • Alhaji Hafiz S. Wali

Winners of the Excellence in Distance Education Awards (2001-2002)

Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement

  • Athabasca University, Canada
  • BBC World Service, United Kingdom
  • Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University, India

Award of Excellence for Open and Distance Education Materials

  • ABET Practitioner Training Programme (Certificate and Diploma) – Institute for Adult Basic Education and Training, University of South Africa.
  • The Mekong e-Sim Programme – jointly developed by the University of Technology, Sydney, University of Adelaide, University of Sydney and University of New England, Australia

Award Recognising Distance Learning Experience

  • Ms. Frances J. Mensah, Director, Namibian College of Open Learning, Namibia