The Republic of Vanuatu’s land area is made up of a group of islands in the south-west Pacific, lying south of Solomon Islands and east of the state of Queensland in Australia.



School-age Population by Education Level1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20161









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20041









Percentage of female teachers in 1




Secondary (2015)





1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020


Literacy rate (2012)1




Adult (15+) literacy rate


Adult (15+) literacy rate



Economic Activity (2010)1




Adult (15+) economic activity


Adult (15+) economic activity



Political Decision Making (2014)1


Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament



Life expectancy (2012)1









1. COL gender country profile April 2015 


1.6 79.9
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



1.6 44
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



22.4 25.7
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1



1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020



COL’s work in Vanuatu is primarily in the area of open/innovative schooling, technical and vocational skills development (TVSD), and tertiary education through the Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth. Over the past three years, COL’s work has included promoting open educational resources (OER) policy development and course design, as well as identifying innovations to support teaching and learning in both formal and non-formal education settings.

Knowledge Management and Technology

  • COL provided twenty Aptus devices to support the roll-out of the Vanuatu Ministry of Education’s tablet project. According to Mr George Maeltoka, senior official at the ministry and a COL Focal Point, Aptus will help the tablet project overcome the barrier of limited Internet connectivity. Even where Internet access is feasible, education administrators prefer Aptus because learners cannot be distracted by online diversions.

Learn more about Aptus.

Open/Innovative Schooling

  • COL is partnering with Vanuatu’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) to train teachers in the development of eLearning content and OER in several school subjects and to expand access to quality schooling in the country.
  • COL’s support in Vanuatu will have a special focus on out-of-school youths; however, it is anticipated that the project will also impact mainstream schools by improving throughput and reducing dropout rates.
  • The COL Senior Advisor for Open Schooling visited Vanuatu in 2016 to start negotiations about how COL’s Open/Innovative Schooling (OIS) initiative can be more involved in Vanuatu. Negotiations began on:
    • expanding the OIS initiative in Vanuatu;
    • staff training in eLearning and the development of OER learning content, especially in the area of technical and vocational training; policy development support for open schooling;
    • staff training at all levels in the management of open schools; and
    • a pilot programme in the use of Aptus.
  • There is an agreement between COL and MoET for the training of 30 teachers/course writers from the ministry by NotesMaster to develop nine school subjects as eLearning OER over a period of 12 months. A face-to-face workshop initiating the 12-month process took place in 2017 in Vanuatu.
  • The ministry nominated two staff for the E-Learning Certificate offered by New Zealand’s Open Polytechnic. These learners are sponsored by COL.
  • The Commonwealth Open Schooling Association (COMOSA) Pacific Chapter Chair, Glendan Ilaisa, has attended the first virtual coordinators meeting of the reorganised COMOSA.
  • Ministries of education in Belize, Mozambique, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and Zambia have signed agreements with COL to work together to improve the quality of teaching and learning in mainstream and open schools through eLearning and to broaden access to schooling for out-of-school youths. COL brought representatives from these five countries together, including two representatives of Vanuatu’s MoET, to Singapore in 2017 to share experiences in the implementation of COL’s OIS model in mainstream and open schools.
  • COL in 2017 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Vanuatu’s MoET to support curriculum writers with Internet connectivity. In 2018, COL signed another MoA with the ministry to provide a stipend for the writers. With COL’s support, MoET is in the process of finalising an ODL policy.

Learn more about the Open/Innovative Schooling initiative.

Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development

  • COL and the University of the South Pacific work collaboratively in supporting the Pacific Centre for Flexible and Open Learning for Development (PACFOLD), a regional centre for capacity building in open and distance learning (ODL) in the Pacific. The centre’s priorities include: advocacy and capacity building for flexible and open learning for sustainable development; the development of regional and national policies on open, distance and flexible learning; and research on flexible and open learning.
  • In 2017, the online community PACFOLD Learn was launched and PACFOLD offered its online course on Flexible Skills Development, with participants from across the region.
  • COL and USP launched a new MOOC titled “Understanding the Blue Economy” in 2017, which was developed through VUSSC. The course will be of particular interest to small island states and was made available to learners globally.
  • Another recent MOOC, Climate Change and Pacific Islands, offered by USP in partnership with COL and UNESCO, attracted more than 1,500 learners. Approximately 70 per cent of the participants were from countries in the Pacific.

Learn more about the Pacific Centre for Open and Flexible Learning for Development.

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

  • COL is helping MoET to adapt an existing COL OER course in small engine maintenance for the Vanuatu context and is assisting with the process of registering the course as an accredited programme in the newly reformed, competency-based education and training system, the Vanuatu National Qualifications Framework. A COL consultant travelled to Sanma Province to facilitate further materials development in print and guided a local video crew in producing video content for the course.

Learn more about the Technical and Vocational Skills Development initiative.

Technology-Enabled Learning

  • In 2017, 22 teachers from Vanuatu participated in COL’s TEL MOOC course.

Learn more about the Technology-Enabled Learning initiative.

Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth

  • Vanuatu is a member of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC). COL is working with Vanuatu to align their National Qualifications Framework with VUSSC’s Transnational Qualifications Framework.

Learn more about the VUSSC initiative.


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's partners in Vanuatu include: 

  • Ministry of Education and Training
  • University of the South Pacific