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International recognition for Vice-Chancellor’s innovation in distance education

The Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa, Prof Mandla Makhanya, was one of only two Africans honoured on 11 September 2019 with the prestigious Honorary Fellowship of the Commonwealth of Learning.

The honour was bestowed during the Ninth Pan-Commonwealth Forum (PCF9) awards ceremony. The event was held at the Murray Rugby Stadium, Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Vice-Chancellor (VC) was among eight prominent leaders honoured for educational innovation in distance education.

According to Prof Mpine Makoe, Commonwealth of Learning Chair at Unisa, who on that evening received the award on behalf of the VC, "the Excellence in Distance Education Award is well-deserved for Unisa because of the institution’s impact on society at large". She said the university is one of the largest in Africa and has contributed immensely in enabling open educational resources through open, distance and electronic learning for the people of Africa and worldwide through the leadership of Prof Makhanya. "I believe he has played a major role in impacting communities as well," she said. The consideration is limited to citizens of Commonwealth countries and the title is conferred for life.

Unisa’s Prof Mpine Makoe, Commonwealth of Learning (COL) Chair at the university, and COL honorary fellows.

The Honorary Fellow of the Commonwealth of Learning Award acknowledges outstanding contributions by individuals from open distance education institutions in areas such as leadership and service, published works, courseware, lectures, presentations, mentorship that improves access to quality education, and promoting learning for sustainable development.

* By Lesego Ravhudzulo, Journalist, Department of Institutional Advancement

Publish date: 2019/09/27