The Commonwealth of Learning has contributed to the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Fiji, pledging to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals through education and briefing delegates on their Virtual University of Small States for the Commonwealth (VUSSC)
The Commonwealth of Learning has contributed to the 20th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in Fiji, pledging to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals through education and briefing delegates on their Virtual University of Small States for the Commonwealth (VUSSC).
COL President and Chief Executive Officer Professor Asha Kanwar signed a pledge to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through education alongside Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland and the Chief Executive and Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) Dr Joanna Newman.
The Commonwealth Education Partnership for Sustainable Development aims to ensure equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong opportunities for all through collaboration between the three organisations.
Through the partnership, they will develop joint programmes and support policy development across the 53 member countries.
The three representatives of each organisation welcomed the partnership as a collaboration of the organisations’ strengths, with Scotland stating that increased collaboration would deliver concrete outcomes for member states in education.
During the Education Ministers meeting, Professor Kanwar also presented COL’s progress report and highlighted activities undertaken during the first three years of the Strategic Plan 2015-2021.
She updated ministers on COL’s two programme sectors, education and skills, and how open and distance learning and technology-based approaches to education were promoting lifelong learning, which leads to social inclusion, economic growth and environmental conservation.
The COL President then referred to the document `COL in the Commonwealth: 2015-2018 Country Reports’, which offers a summary of COL activities in each Commonwealth nation.
Finally, President Kanwar briefed ministers on the Virtual University of Small States for the Commonwealth (VUSSC), noting that the network had contributed to open educational resources gaining momentum in small states.
VUSSC is a network of small countries that are committed to the joint development of free content education resources and of post-secondary and skills-related courses.
The materials produced by institutions in collaboration with the COL network are available under open licenses for use and adaptation in specific country contexts.
The VUSCC network has reached over 2,200 learners in 31 countries through courses such as Sustainable Agriculture, Blue Economy, and Environmental Management, which address the issues around environmental conservation in small states.
Kanwar commended the network’s facilitation of the creation of a transnational qualifications framework for course and credit sharing, which will help institutions in small states to achieve international recognition.
Read More: Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland invited teachers, universities, Commonwealth youth and civil society organisations to develop pragmatic policy solutions to ensure a sustainable and resilient education system, at the commencement of the Integrated Partners’ Forum in Fiji