Skip to main content


Reading Time: < 1 min

Malaysia has a population of almost 34 million people (World Bank, 2022). Open and distance learning (ODL) is popular in Malaysia, with half of working adults involved. Malaysia has hosted several important COL meetings and events, including the Eighth Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning in November 2016.

COL’s work in Malaysia is primarily in the areas of higher education and technology-enabled learning and benefits from programmes under the aegis of the Commonwealth Educational Media Centre for Asia (CEMCA). Learners from Malaysia are also benefitting from COL’s free, open online courses and other available resources.


  • Upskilling of loaders and pickers working in Malaysian logistics companies was conducted to improve their earnings/productivity.
  • ‘Sustainable Farming Techniques’ workshop conducted for bamboo cultivators in Malaysia.
  • National inclusive OER policy has been adopted by the Ministry of Higher Education.
  • COL’s benchmarking toolkit for TEL was implemented in six universities in Malaysia to assess existing capacities and develop roadmaps for further action in the next three years.


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector. COL partnerships assist in improving and extending teaching and learning services to people in the developing Commonwealth.

COL’s partners in Malaysia include:

  • Ministry of Higher Education
  • Asia e University (AeU)
  • HELP University (HU)
  • Open University Malaysia (OUM)
  • Quest International University (QIU)
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • Wawasan Open University (WOU)

Key Contacts

Focal Point

Associate Professor Dr Azidah Abu Ziden
Director, Academic Excellence Division
Department of Higher Education
Ministry of Higher Education

Notable Mention

Prof Dr Zoraini Wati Abas, Honorary COL Adviser

Prof Dato’ Dr Ansary Ahmed, former Honorary COL Advisor

YBhg Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Anuwar Ali, COL Honorary Fellow

Tan Sri Dato’ Emeritus Prof Gajaraj Dhanarajan, COL Honorary Fellow and former COL President & CEO

Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail, former member of COL Board of Governors

Prof Dato’ Wong Tat Meng, COL Honorary Fellow

More Information