INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON DISTANCE EDUCATION is a non-profit organisation established in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1997 to promote and develop distance education programmes. Since 2003 the Commission holds consultative status, special category, with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of United Nations. Its Honorary President and Founder has been Prof. Dr. Ilya Prigogine, Nobel Prize for Chemistry, until his recent death.
We are a global membership organization for open, distance and online education. Membership is open to institutions offering post-secondary and/or adult education, research institutions, educational authorities and individuals. These are some of our key areas:
- Leadership for change - how can institutions adapt to an increasingly open and online world?
- Supporting teaching and faculty in open and distance learning techniques
- Quality review service for institutions
- Scholarly articles on research and innovation in open, distance and flexible education
- Partnership and networking
Among the main objectives of the organization are the promotion of distance education programmes in emerging countries and the creation of a scholarship fund for students with demonstrable low levels of income in underdeveloped countries. Each member institution of CODE and all institutions that join the quality assessment scheme are required to offer two scholarships annually for each course audited. These scholarships are to be offered to students in emerging and undeveloped countries.
CODE is established in five regional centres across the five continents. It is represented in all the offices of United Nations through delegates who inform the Economic and Social Council of the concerns of the sector and keep track of programmes designed to enhance education levels and to reduce the technological deficit of the least favoured countries.