Commonwealth of Learning (COL)


4710 Kingsway Suite 2500 Burnaby
BC V5H 4M2 Canada

Telephone: (1) 604 775 8200



Year established: 1988

Number of staff: 40

Annual expenditure: CDN$10 million in 2014

Officers (2015):

Board of Governors:

Chair: Dr Linda Sissons, CNZM (New Zealand)
President and CEO: Prof. Asha Kanwar
Vice President: Vis Naidoo

Aims and objectives:

The Commonwealth of Learning was created by Commonwealth Heads of Government and is hosted by the government of Canada and headquartered
in British Columbia. COL is the world’s only intergovernmental organisation with a mandate to promote and develop open and distance learning (ODL). COL uses its expertise to encourage the use of ODL and technology-based approaches to support the achievement of the sustainable development goals.

Main activities:

Ongoing programme initiatives:

• Education: open and innovative schooling, teacher education, higher education, Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth

• Skills: technical and vocational skills development, lifelong learning for farmers, technology-enabled learning

• Cross-cutting: gender

Recent publications:

For a list of publications, see