UP Open University sweeps International Prizes of Excellence in Norway

Norway UP University Prizes of Excellence
The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) in Los Baños, current Chancellor Dr. Melinda Dela Pena Bandalaria, and former Chancellor Dr. Grace Javier Alfonso have swept all three Prizes of Excellence from the International Council for Open and Distance Education. Photos from UP Open University.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) has swept all three Prizes of Excellence awarded by the Norway-based International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) this year.

UPOU was awarded the ICDE Institutional Prize of Excellence while Chancellor Dr. Melinda Dela Pena Bandalaria received the Individual Prize of Excellence and former Chancellor Prof. Emeritus Grace Javier Alfonso was recognized for Lifelong Contribution to the field of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.

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UP Open University

The fifth constituent unit of the UP System, the country’s premier university, and leading provider of distance education in the Philippines was co-recipient with Hungary’s European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN) for the Institutional Prize given “for very significant achievements or contributions to the international community of open, flexible and distance education during the past five years.

The award “relates particularly to leadership and innovation through mainstream developments, which contribute to the continuing enhancement of open, flexible and distance education, across cultural and linguistic barriers.”

UPOU Chancellor Bandalaria

UPOU Chancellor Bandalaria was the recipient of the Individual Prize given to
“to individuals who have shown great leadership and excellence in the work of an educational association of open, flexible and distance education at national, regional, or global level over the past 5-10 years, and moved the international agenda of collaboration forward in a decisive manner.”

The UPOU lists Dr. Bandalaria’s posts as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), appointed as ICDE’s Ambassador for Open Educational Resources (OER), and selected as a member of the ICDE OER Advisory Committee (OERAC). She earned her Ph.D. in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and completed her Graduate Certificate in Distance Education at the Indiana University in Bloomington, USA.

UPOU Former Chancellor Alfonso

UPOU former Chancellor Prof. Emeritus Grace Javier Alfonso was co-recipient with Prof. Andy Lane of the United Kingdom’s The Open University for the Prize for Lifelong Contribution to the Field given for lifelong achievements that represent significant contributions to the international community of open, flexible and distance education.

Dr. Alfonso has long been involved in open and distance e-learning. She took her first administrative duty at UPOU as the Dean of the School for Distance Education in Diliman. In 1999, she became the Director of the UPOU Audio-Visual Teaching and Learning Laboratory (AVTELL). She also served as the Director of the UPOU Multimedia Center in 2004. In 2007, she started the first of her three terms as the third Chancellor of UPOU.

The ICDE Prizes of Excellence for 2021 were announced on October 29 during the closing session of the Virtual Global Conference Week hosted in Oslo, Norway, known to be a country with one of the world’s best public education systems.

The ICDE is the leading, global membership organization that works towards bringing accessible, quality education to all through online, open and distance learning. It was founded in 1938, partly funded by the Government of Norway, hosted in Oslo since 1988, and has a longstanding partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The association has a global community of leaders and professionals in the field of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning (OFDL) with a proud history of promoting inclusive, affordable, access to quality education.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, the University of the Philippines Open University exemplified the power of distance education and gave free access to its online Bridge English and Bridge Mathematics courses for senior high school (SHS) students, college freshmen, and anyone who wants to enroll.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) for being recognized as one of the top institutions to win this year’s prestigious Institutional Prize of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE)!

Good News Pilipinas is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2021 by giving away prizes! Subscribe to this website and  Good News Pilipinas! TV YouTube channel and enter the raffle by telling us what you like about our stories in an email to editor@goodnewspilipinas.com

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.