Professor Asha Singh Kanwar

Commonwealth of Learning : Human Resource Development and Lifelong Learning for Open Universities

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar

Commonwealth of Learning : Human Resource Development and Lifelong Learning for Open Universities

Biography

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar

Professor Asha Singh Kanwar, one of the world’s leading advocates of learning for development, became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) in June 2012. Before joining COL, Professor Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa.

Her engagement with distance education began when she joined Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as Director of the School of Humanities and Pro-Vice Chancellor. This assignment was the stepping stone to a career with over 35 years of experience in teaching, research and administration. She has written, edited and co-edited a dozen books, published over 50 papers and articles and has also delivered several keynotes at prestigious international conferences.

A recipient of several awards and fellowships, Professor Kanwar received her undergraduate, Master’s and MPhil degrees from the Panjab University in India and a DPhil from the University of Sussex. She was a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University, where she was later invited to teach. She received the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) Prize of Excellence and the Meritorious Service Award for outstanding contributions in open and distance education from the Asian Association of Open Universities. Professor Kanwar has also been conferred six honorary doctorates from universities in Asia, Africa and Europe.