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"The mission of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is to help the developing countries use various technologies to enhance the scale, scope, impact and quality of learning at all levels. COL's primary focus is the Commonwealth, but because it is the only international intergovernmental agency focused exclusively on learning...
"The mission of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is to help the developing countries use various technologies to enhance the scale, scope, impact and quality of learning at all levels. COL's primary focus is the Commonwealth, but because it is the only international intergovernmental agency focused exclusively on learning technologies it has become a global resource for multimedia education and open/distance learning.
COL maintains constructive links with associations that bring other groups of countries together around learning technologies, such as the Francophone RES@TICE, the Asian Association of Open Universities, and CREAD, the Inter-American Distance Education Consortium. It was at a CREAD conference in Ecuador in 2008 that I first met Luis Miguel Romero, the rector of our host institution, the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja. As he guided us around the campus I realised that here was an outstanding academic leader - a conviction reinforced by reading his essay A Prospective Vision for Universities.
The oxymoron 'radical incrementalism', which is emerging as a guiding principle for international development in unpredictable times, is an excellent description of the approach that inspires his transformative university leadership. That leadership has been practised in a remote corner of Ecuador but has relevance throughout the developing world. Rector Romero made his first visit to Africa only recently and was struck by the great similarities between the challenges facing universities there and the psychological and systemic obstacles that he has overcome in Loja. COL is publishing his essay in English so that it can inspire university leaders in other developing countries to escape from the stasis of the mental frameworks in which they are trapped and galvanise their institutions into effective action."