Professor Asha Kanwar
President and Chief Executive Officer of the Common-wealth of Learning (COL)
Prof. Asha Kanwar became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) on 1 June 2012. She has served COL for nine years, first as an Education Specialist – Higher Education and Policy and then as its Vice President for six years. Before joining COL, Prof. Kanwar was a consultant in open and distance learning at UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) in Dakar, Senegal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of Indira Gandhi National Open University. She has over 30 years of experience in teaching, research and administration.
Professor Betty Merchant
Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Collage of Education and Human Development, The University of Texas at San Antonio USA
Ph.D., Stanford University, Administration and Policy Analysis, 1991 Research Interests: Diversity and educational reform; variable consequences of specific educational policies and practices for students traditionally marginalized by mainstream educational settings; collaborative approaches to school leadership and educational decision-making. Professor Merchant conducts ongoing consultation on educational leadership and training world-wide, including a number of Chinese universities such as Eastern China Normal University in Shanghai and Peking University in Beijing. Her keynote speech would focus on educational leadership core qualities, characteristics and competencies across various cultural contexts and their applications to open and distance education.
Professor Gilly Salmon
Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of Western Australia
Professor Gilly Salmon has been a learning innovator for more than 20 years and is one of the world’s leading thinkers in digital and blended learning. She researches and publishes widely on the themes of innovation and change in Higher Education and the exploitation of new technologies of all kinds in the service of learning. She is internationally renowned for her significant contributions to education futures, including research, innovation, program design, teaching methods and the use of new technologies. Professor Salmon, as of October 2014, has taken up the role as the Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education Innovation, at the University of Western Australia. She was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor of Learning Transformations at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia Prior to her Swinburne appointment, Professor Salmon was Executive Director and Professor (Learning Futures) at the Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland, Australia. She was previously Professor of E-learning and Learning Technologies, and Head of the Beyond Distance Research Alliance and the Media Zoo, at the University of Leicester in the UK, and prior to that with the UK Open University Business School.
Professor Diana Laurillard
University College London Knowledge Lab and Institute of Education UK
Diana Laurillard is Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies, leading externally-funded research projects on developing a learning design support environment for teachers, and on developing software interventions for learners with low numeracy and dyscalculia. She was previously Head of the e-Learning Strategy Unit at the Department for Education and Skills, and served as Pro-Vice-Chancellor for learning technologies and teaching at The Open University. Her book Rethinking university teaching: A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies is one of the most widely cited in the field.
Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Prof Li Chen is a PhD supervisor. She is vice president of Beijing Normal University and the executive director of Beijing Institute for The Learning City at Beijing Normal University. She is the president of Society of International Chinese in Educational Technology (SICET) . She is the leader of master program and PhD program of Distance Education in Beijing Normal University. She is in charge of the course The Foundation of Distance Education for undergraduate student in Educational Technology. Her research is mainly focusing on Interaction principle in Distance learning, and policy research in Lifelong learning and Distance Learning. She is deep engaged in policy consulting in Distance Education and lifelong learning. She has authored and published more than 10 books and 100 papers.
University Secretary, The Open University, UK.
The University Secretary is responsible for the effective governance of the University and for ensuring that the Professional Services are effectively and efficiently managed to meet University objectives. This entails membership of the Vice-Chancellor's Executive, acting as secretary of Council and Senate, overseeing the work of the OU in the devolved nations of the UK, and the management of units responsible for: strategic and resource planning, student and associate lecturer support services, academic policy and quality assurance processes, and central administrative services including Finance, Estates, Human Resources, and Information Technology. Prior to his appointment as University Secretary in 2015, Keith held the post of Director, Students at The Open University and prior to joining the OU in 2013 he held senior positions leading student and academic services at the universities of Oxford and Exeter.
President, The Open University of China
Yang Zhijian is currently President of the Open University of China, President of China Association of Educational Technology (CAET) and Vice President of China Association of Legal Education. He is now on the ICDE Executive Board. He received his doctorate degree in education from Peking University. Since being appointed as President of China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) in July, 2010, Yang Zhijian has been proactively and vigorously promoting the strategic transformation of China Radio and TV Universities, following closely the recent development in distance education and modern information technology worldwide as well as taking China's own circumstances into consideration. In June 2012, the establishment of the Open University of China (OUC) was officially approved by the Chinese government and Dr. Yang Zhijian was appointed as President of OUC. Previously, he had been engaged in general administration of higher education in the Ministry of Education (MOE) of China since 1983. He served as Deputy Director of Liberal Arts Division, Director of Finance, Political Studies and Law Division, Deputy Director-General of Department of Higher Education of MOE. He contributed to drafting some of the important laws, regulations and documents, including Higher Education Law of the People's Republic of China, Outline of China's National Plan for Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020), Reform Plan of Teaching Content and Curriculum in Higher Education for 21st Century, Teaching Reform Project of Higher Education in the New Century, Project of Teaching Quality and Teaching Reform in Undergraduate Education, Action Plan for Invigorating Colleges and Universities in the Middle and West Regions of China. Moreover, he proactively facilitated the implementation of the relevant projects and tasks.