USP’s Dr Rajni Chand appointed Regional Focal Point on Quality for the ICDE
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Dr Rajni Chand
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Director for Flexible Learning, Dr Rajni Chand has been appointed the new Regional Focal Point on Quality for the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
The ICDE is a global community made up of leaders and professionals in the field of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning (OFDL) at all levels.
The ICDE network consists of seven Focal Points on Quality (FPQs), who have a leading and coordinating role for quality enhancement of open, flexible and distance education within their institutions and in their respective regions.
Dr Chand has worked extensively in the USP region and internationally with in-depth knowledge on Open and Distance Learning (ODL) for small and developing South Pacific regional countries and has presented her research findings at various international ODL conferences.
As the Focal Point on Quality from Oceania, Dr Chand will actively promote inclusive, affordable and access to quality education within the Pacific Region.
Dr Chand believes that her appointment would further highlight USP’s expertise in distance and flexible learning to the world. “I see this appointment as important for USP, a regional University with well-known contribution and expertise in distance and flexible learning,” she said.
“USP is a member of ICDE Network and it is fitting that USP is recognised as the Oceania network and as the focal point for the region for Open, Distance and Flexible Learning (ODFL).”
Dr Chand added this appointment would also highlight and create more awareness of the excellent work that USP’s Centre for Flexible Learning does for ODFL and showcase how it has innovatively made higher education accessible to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Not many regions face these challenges or have diversity as large as ours. It is an excellent avenue to share the various approaches and at the same time campaign for ODFL,” she said.
“The current situation has helped us realise the value of ODFL. We are currently practicing most of what ODFL stands for!”
“Suggested methods by ICDE include ‘live storytelling’, changes in policy frameworks and advocacy campaigns. My role would be to look at tailoring and adapting these to fit our regional needs,” Dr Chand added.
USP’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Professor Jito Vanualailai, congratulated Dr Chand saying her appointment is a significant milestone for USP.
“The appointment is a boost to the University’s reputation, especially when one considers the impact of ICDE globally,” Professor Vanualailai said.
“The University has been at the forefront in providing access to quality education for the people of the Pacific through distance and flexible learning and Dr Chand’s appointment will ensure that USP is able to get the best of resources, collaborate and share best practices with ICDE member organisations and online educators from around the world.”
Learn more about the ICDE Quality Network: www.icde.org
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