10,000 learners of COL-Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative to be celebrated at virtual convocation


23 April 2021, Burnaby, Canada – Over 36,500 learners from seven Asian countries have benefitted from the COL-Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative, improving their skills for employability in the face of economic disruptions caused by COVID-19. On 26/27 April 2021, the two partners will host a virtual convocation for 10,000 learners from the region who earned certificates through the COL-Coursera programme.


COL President and CEO Professor Asha Kanwar and Mr Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, will be joined by H.E. Tipu Munshi, MP, Honourable Commerce Minister, Bangladesh, Honourable Dr Ibrahim Hassan, Minister of Higher Education, Maldives, and the Honourable Professor G L Peiris, Minister of Education, Sri Lanka.

Professor Kanwar noted: “COL has partnered with Coursera to make a difference to the lives of almost 150,000 Commonwealth citizens whose immediate need is to acquire new skills to regain employment. This event is a sign of the times when, due to COVID-19, we had to ensure that if the students can’t go to the university, the university comes to the students.”

“We’re honoured to partner with COL and honourable Ministers to help tens of thousands of learners across Asia gain the skills they need to be competitive in today’s workforce,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “This programme is changing lives, helping learners unlock their potential through learning and build a recovery path for their communities.”

Collectively, learners from Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Singapore and Sri Lanka have earned close to 52,000 certificates.

Runi Chakma (Bangladesh) is a first-generation learner from an indigenous community, who obtained two completion certificates through the COL-Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. Runi identified “writing professional emails in English” and “communicating in the workplace” as some of the newly developed competencies that increased her chances of getting a job.

For more information, contact:

Natalia Angheli-Zaicenco, COL Stakeholder Relations Manager

nzaicenco{at} col{dot}.org

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