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Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF7)

COL’s Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF7) was held in Abuja, Nigeria from 2 – 6 December 2013, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). Over 600 policy makers and practitioners from 49 countries, including 42 Commonwealth Member States, attended this event that enabled participation, knowledge sharing, learning and networking.

PCF7 daily newsletters are available. In addition, a summary of PCF7 appears in the March 2014 edition of COL’s newsletter, Connections.


Open Learning for Development: Towards Empowerment and Transformation


  1. Girls’ and Women’s Education
  2. Skills Development
  3. Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER)
  4. Innovation and Technology
  5. Institutional Development



Asa Briggs Lecture

Professor Alan Tait, Editor-in-chief of COL’s new Journal of Learning for Development and Professor of Distance Education and Development, Open University, UK.

Keynote Speakers

Ms Jenny Glennie, Founding Director of the South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE);

Dr Rory McGreal, UNESCO/COL Chair in OER, Director of the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute

The Honourable Ms Margaret Mensah-Williams

Professor Tim Unwin, Secretary General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

Professor Julius Amioba Okojie, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Nigeria

Her Excellency Ambassador Mrs Mariam Yalwaji Katagum, COL Board member, Permanent Delegate to UNESCO for Nigeria

Honorary Fellows

  • Danny Faure
  • Olugbemiro Jegede
  • Carol Kidu
  • Olabisi Kuboni
  • Wong Tat Meng
  • Caroline Seelig
  • Daniel Tau
  • James Taylor

Winners of the Excellence in Distance Education Awards (2011-2013)

Award of Excellence for Institutional Achievement

  • Krishna Kant Handiqui State Open University (KKHSOU), India
  • Wawasan Open University (WOU), Malaysia

Award of Excellence for Open and Distance Education Materials

Category A: materials in print, audio or video, or a combination of these

  • Collaboration and Mentoring in Educational Environments, which forms part of the Master of Education in Distance Education of the Centre of Distance Education – Athabasca University, Canada
  • Get Ahead Skills, which forms part of the Certificate in Career and Self Development, and successful learners are also awarded National Certificate in Employment Skills – The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand (TOPNZ), New Zealand
  • Language through an African Lens, which forms part of the Bachelor of Arts programme offered by the College of Human Sciences – University of South Africa (UNISA), South Africa

Category B: interactive, electronically delivered materials.

  • ICT in Education course which forms part of the Masters in Education programme of the School of Education, Languages and Communication – Wawasan Open University (WOU), Malaysia

Award Recognising Distance Learning Experience

Category B: eLearning Experience in Difficult Circumstances

  • Ms. Dania Al Yamani, Senior Refugee Status Determination case worker in the UNHCR office in Damascus, Syria

Forum partners

  • Microsoft Africa
  • The Association of Commonwealth Universities
  • Commonwealth Foundation
  • Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)
  • The Open University
  • University of London