ICDE Prize of Excellence - winners for 2015

The African Virtual University, Nigerian higher education leader Olugbemiro Jegede and Russian academic Irina Smirnova (Head of the department for international projects at Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics) were awarded the ICDE Prize of Excellence for outstanding achievements in online, open and flexible education.

The prize giving ceremony was led by ICDE Secretary General Gard Titlestad, and held during the closing ceremony of the 26th ICDE World Conference in South Africa. The prizes were awarded by ICDE President Tian Belawati.

Institutional Prize for Excellence

African Virtual University

The African Virtual University (AVU) was acknowledged for achieving remarkable success in delivering e-learning programmes to 57 countries. Despite limited resources, and working with network partner universities, it has educated students across cultural and linguistic barriers.

Dr Bakary Diallo, Rector of the AVU, received the award on the institution’s behalf and said he was honoured by the recognition.

“The ICDE is a worldwide renowned institution, which we have been working very closely with since 2011. This prestigious award sheds light on the work done by the AVU,” Diallo said.

“I deeply believe that innovation in education is instrumental to the development of human capital. We must therefore exploit it to make a lasting impact on learners and their communities.”

Lifelong Contribution to the Field

Professor Olugbemiro Jegede

The founding vice-chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria and former secretary general of the Association of African Universities is now secretary to the Kogi state government, the Oguruefa of Ogoriland, in Nigeria
Jegede congratulated those who had walked the open distance learning journey with him and thanked the ICDE for acknowledging his contribution on his home soil.

“This award has reinforced my conviction that the open and distance learning that I first came into contact with in 1981 has become mainstream in my lifetime and is not just on the periphery,” said Jegede.

Individual Prize for Excellence

Dr Irina Smirnova

Head of the department for international projects at Moscow State University of Economics, Statistics and Informatics, Dr Irina Smirnova was honoured in absentia for her academic leadership at regional, national and global level.

She has been involved in a wide array of international projects focusing on the role of ICT in advancing open and distance learning.