Commonwealth Universities: What Contribution to Development?

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Date
2005-04-04
Authors
Daniel, John
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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Commonwealth Universities: What Contribution to Development? Presented at the: Association of Commonwealth Universities, Kerala, India, 4 April 2005 by: Sir John Daniel, President & CEO, Commonwealth of Learning // What is the Commonwealth of Learning? Briefly, we are one of three intergovernmental agencies of the Commonwealth, the other two being the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth Foundation, both based at Marlborough House in London. // The Commonwealth of Learning was established by Commonwealth Heads of Government when they met in Vancouver in 1987. Canada and British Columbia won the subsequent competition to host the organisation, which means we are the only Commonwealth intergovernmental body - and one of the few Commonwealth bodies of any kind - that is not headquartered in the UK. From this standpoint I strongly endorse John's remarks about the need to make the ACU multi-centric // I stress that COL is not a teaching institution but a technical assistance agency. I stress that because in the run-up to COL's creation some wanted it to be a University of the Commonwealth, beaming courses by satellite to people around the Commonwealth. However, the Planning Committee, which I had the privilege of chairing whilst I was president of Laurentian University, decided that it was more important, if you will allow me the metaphor, to teach countries to fish rather than giving them fish. // Our purpose, therefore, is to help countries use technology, particularly the demonstrably successful technology of distance learning, to improve the scope, scale and impact of their education and training systems or, more generally to make the opportunity to learn more widely available to the people of the Commonwealth. One of our primary mechanisms for doing this is cooperation within the Commonwealth, particularly south-south cooperation.

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Millennium Development Goals (MDG),Higher Education
Country
India
Region
Asia,Pan-Commonwealth
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