College of Education

Unisa to establish UNESCO Chair on ODL

CEDU's Prof Moeketsi Letseka says this initiative will go a long way to support sustainable development goals through distance learning.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has given Unisa the go ahead to establish the University Twinning (UNITWIN)/UNESCO Chair of Open Distance Learning (ODL) research and capacity development at Unisa. The Chair on ODL seeks to promote an integrated and coordinated system of research, staff research training, production and dissemination of knowledge on ODL at the university.

The initiative to establish the chair was spearheaded by the College of Education’s Prof Moeketsi Letseka. “Unisa is the largest and the only dedicated ODL institution on the African continent. UNESCO plays a major role in advancing the realisation of sustainable development goals through support of education. Therefore, this initiative will go a long way to support sustainable development goals through distance learning,” said Letseka.

According to Prof Letseka, the objectives of the chair are:

  • To produce ODL research that is responsive to Unisa’s vision of “the African University shaping futures in the service of humanity”.
  • To build capacity geared at improving the quality and coverage of higher education through ODL.
  • To position the UNITWIN/UNESCO/UNISA chair as the Southern African regional hub for an integrated system of research, training, information sharing and documentation in ODL.
  • To align the chair with international role-players in ODL in order to facilitate exchange and collaboration in the delivery of quality distance education and service to humanity.

The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair on ODL is expected to position Unisa as a major role-player in the regional, continental, and global sphere. “We already have written commitments of collaboration with ODL practitioner institutions, inter-governmental and global building in ODL, and joint coordination of ODL research seminars, colloquia, conferences, joint publication and co-editing of ODL books and monographs,” concluded Letseka.

*By Achieve Ubisi

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