Asha Singh Kanwar, an Indian-origin professor has been conferred honorary doctorate by UK’s Open University for her exceptional contributions to global education, social justice and human development.
The degree was presented by Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University (OU), last week. Reading from the citation, Professor Belinda Tynan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, said that the Open University “recognise(s) her exceptional contribution to global education, social justice and human development”.
Professor Kanwar, in her acceptance speech, said that she had always upheld the OU as a symbol of quality. “To receive recognition from the OU today is then something truly special,” she said.
Ms Kanwar is considered one of the world’s leading advocates for learning for development and has been the president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) since 2012. Before joining the COL, she was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal.
She received her undergraduate, master’s and MPhil degrees from Panjab University and was awarded a scholarship for a DPhil programme at the University of Sussex, which she completed in 1986.
She was also a Fulbright Fellow for post-doctoral research at Iowa State University, where she was later invited to teach, and was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Leiden, the University of Toronto and the Open University of Hong Kong.