Building peace in the minds of men and women

Online, Open and Flexible Higher Education for the Future We Want


© Bryce Richter / UW-Madison

High Level Policy Forum, UNESCO, 9-11 July

“The world is online. Students must be online,” argues one of the respondents to a recent UNESCO questionnaire about the potential of communication and information technologies (ICT) to bring quality, open and flexible higher education to women and men, including those who cannot access traditional higher education.

This subject will be addressed by some 140 policy makers, leading practitioners and stake holders, including academics, students and members of nongovernmental organizations, from all over the world during a policy forum at UNESCO Headquarters from 9 to 11 June (cf provisional programme).

Organized with the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), the event will build on recent declarations about the education targets in the sustainable development goals that will coordinate international development for the next 15 years, as well the Qingdao Declaration on the role of ICT in education.

The event will be opened by Qian Tang, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education and Gard Titlestad, Secretary General of the ICDE. It will be followed at 10 a.m. by a keynote address by Mandla S. Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa who will examine policy challenges facing governments and institutions in this field.

More information, including a background report compiled by ICDE is available online.


Journalists wishing to cover the event should request accreditation from Djibril Kébé: UNESCO Press Service, d.kebe(at)