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ICDE Prizes of Excellence 2023 awarded at the 29th ICDE World Conference in Costa Rica

During the 29th ICDE World Conference in Costa Rica, the ICDE Prizes of Excellence for 2023 were awarded to individuals and institutions for outstanding contributions and achievements in Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (OFDL). 

Nominations are made by ICDE individual and institutional members, and the evaluation of the nominations are carried out by an independent international jury. The jury consists of 3 members appointed by the ICDE Board, all being active contributors in the field of Open, Flexible and Distance Education. The selections are based on merit alone and according to the nomination procedures and prize categories.

The jury members for the 2023 Prizes of Excellence are:

  • Mark Brown, Dublin City University, Ireland (Chair)
  • Sanjaya Mishra, Commonwealth of Learning, Canada
  • Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Thailand

The ICDE Prizes of Excellence for 2023 were awarded to the following institutions and individuals:

Institutional Prize: The Virtual University of Pakistan

The ICDE Prize of Excellence Institutional Prize is awarded to an institution, an association or a network of institutions for very significant achievements or contributions to the international community of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (OFDL) during the past five years.

The Virtual University of Pakistan was established in 2002, offering ICT-based distance education under the motto ‘Quality Education at Your Doorstep,’. Utilizing internet and satellite broadcasts, the university strives to build a better future with the ambitious aims to eradicate unemployment, equip the workforce with essential skills, and enable individuals to supplement their income by developing multiple revenue streams. 

The Virtual University of Pakistan is awarded the ICDE Institutional Prize of Excellence for its dedication to pushing boundaries and fostering excellence in OFDL. It is an inspiration to the whole ICDE community.

Read the full laudation text here

Individual Prize: Dr. Kam-Cheong Li

The ICDE Prize of Excellence Individual Prize rewards dedication and impact within open and distance education, as well as within the international community. It recognises individuals who have shown great leadership and excellence at national, regional or global levels in the last five years.

Dr. Kam-Cheong Li, known to many as KC, has been a dedicated advocate and valued contributor to the OFDL field for over three decades. His career spans a broad variety of roles including Tutor, Course Coordinator, Course Developer/Writer, Degree Programme Leader, and Tutor Trainer. He has also developed and managed a wide range of qualification programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels for distance learning.

Dr. Kam-Cheong Li has played a key role in numerous projects and initiatives aimed at advancing open education regionally and globally  through his own institution, the Hong Kong Metropolitan University, the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), and through ICDE, always fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation. 

Read the full laudation text here. 

Lifelong Contribution to the Field: Dr. Lorenzo García Aretio and Professor Don Olcott Jr., FRSA

The ICDE Prize for Lifelong Contribution to the field awards significant achievements and contributions both to the OFDL field and to the wider international community. This year the ICDE Prizes of Excellence Jury decided to award two individuals this special prize.

Dr. Lorenzo García Aretio is Professor of Education Theory and Distance Education at the Faculty of Education of UNED, Spain, and Professor Emeritus since 2015. He recently held the special role as Director of the UNESCO Chair of Distance Education (CUED) until February 2021.

Dr. Aretio has supported many educational institutions in this region and contributed to developing quality distance education, receiving five Honorary Doctorates from universities in five different Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Ecuador.

Dr. Aretio represents the true spirit of not only the field of OFDL, but also of the key values that lie at the heart of ICDE – knowledge sharing and support to development of OFDL across borders. 

Dr. Don Olcott Jr’s international contributions to OFDL spans over 40 years and  have included major leadership, faculty, and administrative posts in Australia, the U.S., Germany, Romania, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK. 

During the past forty years, Dr. Olcott Jr has held faculty and key leadership appointments and contributed to global work experience in OFDL through a range of countries.  

His global vision truly is education for all. An important vision for us to aspire to and as relevant today as it was back in 2006 when he published his book, ‘Dancing on the Glass Ceiling:  Women, Leadership and Technology’, one of the first major publications to examine the roles of women in OFDL leadership roles.

Read the laudation text for both Dr. Lorenzo García Aretio and Dr. Don Olcott Jr. here. 

Congratulations to all winners! 

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