Organisations working in the Commonwealth space in the area of education include:

– Commonwealth of Learning

– Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

– Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA)

– Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME)

– Commonwealth Consortium for Education (CCfE)

– Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM)

– Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF)

– Commonwealth Education Trust/Commonwealth Institute

– Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC)

– Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

– Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC)

– Commonwealth Universities Study Abroad Consortium (CUSAC)

– Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Commonwealth of Learning

1055 West Hastings Street, Suite 1200, Vancouver, British Columbia V6E 2E9, Canada

Tel: +1 604 775 8200 | Fax: +1 604 775 8210 | Email: |


Chair: Burchell Whiteman OJ (Jamaica); President and Chief Executive Officer: Sir John Daniel (Canada/UK)


The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation established by the Commonwealth Heads of Government in 1988 to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. Find out more read the full profile

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HF, UK

Tel: +44 20 7380 6700 | Fax: +44 20 7387 2655 | Email:

The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is the world’s first and oldest international university network, established in 1913.


A UK-registered charity, the ACU has over 500 member institutions in developed and developing countries across the Commonwealth. Drawing on the collective experience and expertise of its membership, the ACU seeks to address issues in international higher education through a range of projects, networks and events.


The ACU administers scholarships, provides academic research and leadership on issues in the sector, and promotes inter-university co-operation and the sharing of good practice – helping universities serve their communities, now and into the future.


Foundation: 1913

Officers: Chair of Council: Professor E Nigel Harris, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Jamaica; Secretary-General: Professor John Wood CBE FREng


  • Partnerships and networking – including an annual Conference of Executive Heads, and a range of six professional networks.
  • Management, leadership and advisory services – including the ACU Strategic Management Programme, and the ACE Policy Index.
  • Research and analysis – including reports and surveys, and consulting services.
  • taff and student mobility – including administering Commonwealth Scholarships, Chevening Scholarships, and Marshall Scholarships (all funded by the UK government).
  • The ACU celebrates its centenary in 2013, under the theme ‘Future forward: design, develop, deliver’.

Publications: Bulletin (4 issues a year), ACU Insights (10 issues a year), Capacity (2 issues a year), Genius (2 issues a year), Impact (2 issues a year), Interact (3 issues a year), LINK (3 issues a year), Research Global (3 issues a year); and reports and papers on key issues in international higher education.

Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA)

c/o Kenya Polytechnic University College, Haile Selasse Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya; PO Box 52428-00200, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: +254 20 2249 974 | Email: |

The Association was formed on the recommendation of the seventh Commonwealth Education Conference held in Accra, Ghana, in March 1977. It was envisaged that CAPA would play a role similar to that of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, but with a focus on Africa. CAPA groups together about 150 institutions in 17 African countries. Its main objective is the promotion of technical and vocational education and training, technology transfer and skills development in Africa. It does this through policy advocacy and dialogue with governments, development partners and educational institutions, as well as networking and information sharing among member institutions.

Foundation: 1978

Officers: Secretary-General: Dr Olubunmi Owoso
The mission of CAPA is to provide a dynamic forum for:

  • gathering, testing and sharing innovative ideas in technical and vocational education and training (TVET)
  • promotion of capacity-building initiatives, and
  • policy analysis and advocacy in favour of skills development for wealth creation.



The motto for CAPA is ‘Championing excellence in skills development’.

Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME)

c/o Scholarships Department, University of Westminster, 101 New Cavendish Street, London W1W 6XH, UK

UK Secretary, Chris McLaren

Email: |

CASTME works to advance the social relevance of the teaching of science, technology and mathematics through networking of educators in these subjects in the Commonwealth and promote this through delivering the relevant Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Foundation: 1974

Officers: Chair: Colin Matheson, University of Westminster (email:; Administrator: Chris McLaren

Activities: The association promotes networking between science, technology and mathematics educators to promote good practice in the teaching of science, technology and mathematics, and in the development of curricula and learning materials and activities for learners with an emphasis on the MDGs. CASTME publishes a journal focusing on socially relevant aspects of the subjects and the links between them. An electronic newsletter was established in the Commonwealth Year of Science and Technology (2010) to update members and interested educators. To promote innovations, CASTME runs an annual award scheme in which teachers and teacher educators are invited to submit completed innovative projects. Professionals from some 35 Commonwealth countries have received such awards. At the present time, CASTME has branches in Europe, Mauritius, Asia and Africa. CASTME has also developed a number of capacity-building scholarships with the University of Westminster (UK), for suitably qualified applicants to take Masters programmes and return to their home countries to develop CASTME’s aims, in particular the MDGs. It established a number of new initiatives in 2010 for the Commonwealth Year of Science and Technology.

Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM)

c/o Emeritus Professor Frank Crowther AM, President Street address: Unit 9 Level 1, 308 High Street, Penrith NSW 2750, Australia Postal address: PO Box 1891, Penrith BC NSW 2751, Australia

Tel: +612 4732 1211 | Fax: +612 4732 1711 | Email:  |

The CCEAM is a Commonwealth organisation dedicated to fostering co-operative and collaborative exchanges internationally among education leadership, administration and management professionals. The CCEAM is affiliated to the Commonwealth Consortium for Education (CCfE).

Foundation: 1970

Executive officers: President: Professor Frank Crowther (Australia); Immediate Past President: Anusha Naidu (South Africa); Elected Vice President: Dr Andreas Tsiakkiros (Cyprus); Elected Executive Member: Dr Barbara Vann (United Kingdom); Elected Executive Member ACEL: Jenny Lewis (Australia)

Affiliate countries: Australia, Barbados, Cameroon, Canada, Cyprus, Fiji Islands, India, Kenya, Malta, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, South Africa, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom Activities: CCEAM publishes three editions per annum of its academic journal, International Studies in Educational Administration (ISEA).

CCEAM also publishes two editions of its newsletter, Managing Education Matters, per year. Biennial conferences are organised by national affiliated organisations. Fellowships are awarded on nomination of national associations.

The CCEAM participates in research projects and is available for consultancy services.

The CCEAM aims to:

  • foster links and exchanges in education administration, management and leadership
  • encourage the development of national associations
  • organise and support regional and international conferences
  • promote international understanding and collaboration, and
  • encourage the study, practice and preparation of education leaders.


Commonwealth Consortium for Education (CCfE)

Commonwealth House, 7 Lion Yard, Tremadoc Road, London SW4 7NQ, UK

Tel: +44 1306 501788 | Fax: +44 1306 501788 | Email: |

The objectives of the Consortium are to promote the development of education throughout the Commonwealth by mobilising the contribution of education-based NGOs, and to constitute a forum to promote co-operation among member organisations. Membership is open to any pan-Commonwealth organisation in the fields of education, youth and culture, with associate membership available to other international or national Commonwealth organisations sharing the Consortium’s objectives. In 2012 there were 14 full members and five associate members.

Foundation: 2001

Officers: Chair: Professor Colin Power (CASTME); Alternate Chair: Mark Robinson (CHEC); Honorary Secretary: Beth Kreling (Link Community Development); Treasurer: John Wood (ACU); Assistant Secretary: Casmir Chanda


  • [BULLET POINT] A major conference every three years to coincide with the Conferences of Commonwealth Education Ministers

– in 2003 (15CCEM in Edinburgh) on ‘the recruitment, retention and mobility of teachers’

– in 2006 (16CCEM in Cape Town) on ‘promoting school and college partnerships in the Commonwealth’

– in 2009 (17CCEM in Kuala Lumpur) on ‘learning to live together: education for social cohesion’

– in 2012 (18CCEM in Mauritius) a seven-session programme on ‘connecting Commonwealth education and cultures’, as part of the Stakeholders Forum for civil society


  • Other workshops

– Valletta 2005: ‘Networking Commonwealth people for implementing the MDGs in education’, at the Commonwealth People’s Forum at CHOGM

– Kampala 2007: ‘Education for transformation: joined-up policies for Commonwealth education development’, at CHOGM

– Port of Spain 2009: ‘Education for peace-building’, at CHOGM



  • Projects

– Summer 2010: with Link Community Development and Zimbabwe Ministry of Education. Two workshops, ‘Education in Zimbabwe: working together for a better future’

– Spring 2011: with Link Community Development and Royal Commonwealth Society – ‘Using Commonwealth school partnerships to promote Commonwealth citizenship and awareness’

– Spring 2012: in partnership with Link Community Development and others: Workshop in East Africa on ‘Achievable education for all’.

  • Submissions and representations to Commonwealth bodies and governments on issues concerning Commonwealth education.
  • Participation in Commonwealth working groups and consultative meetings.



  •  Implementing the Edinburgh Commonwealth Action Plan for Education – major report undertaken for the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2005.
  • Working together in Education: A Commonwealth Update – containing 13 briefing notes on different aspects of Commonwealth education co-operation, 2009.
  • Commonwealth Education Directory 2012 listing Commonwealth organisations and programmes in education
  • A quarterly Commonwealth Education Calendar of forward meetings and events.
  • Annual Report on activities in 2012, due out in the summer of 2013.
  • Educational Co-operation: Jewel in the Commonwealth Crown 2012 brings together different aspects of Commonwealth educational co-operation.



Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund (CCLEF)

29 Tennyson Street, Swindon SN1 5DT, UK

Tel: +44 1793 616 693 ; +44 7760 201452 (mobile) | Fax: +44 0870 123 1813 | Email: |

The Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund – established in 1967 (Registered Charity No. 1048908) – is a secondary/high school sponsorship scheme for girls of academic potential who lack financial support. They are monitored throughout their sponsorship and the success stories are considerable with these girls. More than 3,000 girls have been supported, becoming teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, accountants and agricultural officers. Educated girls, with a highly developed sense of responsibility, provide a better future for themselves, their communities and families.

Officers: Board of Trustees: Jenny Groves (Chairman), Judith Fisher (Hon Treasurer), Ann Chivers, Leolynn Jones, Sheila Kennard, Parveen Yusuf, Anne Munt-Davies, Judith Hardy, Penny O’Reagan, Robert Hurley; Fundraiser: Ladi Dariya; Administrative Secretary: Casmir Chanda



Commonwealth Education Trust/Commonwealth Institute

6th Floor, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE, UK

Tel: +44 20 7024 9822 | Fax: +44 20 7024 9833 | Email: |

Centre for Commonwealth Education, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, 184 Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 8PQ, UK

Tel: +44 1223 507133/4 | Email: |

Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK):

The CET invests in primary and secondary education and the training and professional development of teachers, thereby enhancing the opportunities for children in the Commonwealth to develop the skills necessary to contribute to the economic and social development of sustainable communities.

ers: Chair: Judith Hanratty CVO OBE; Vice-Chair: The Lord Fellowes GCB GCVO QSO; Chief Executive: Judy Curry

Activities: CET works in partnership with educationalists to use financial and business skills to structure sustainable, scalable and transferable projects based on applied research.

CET focuses on areas where it can make a significant impact, such as children’s literature, basic skills and leadership. CET does not seek influence through lobbying but looks to provide practical solutions to issues of concern to Commonwealth governments.

CET develops initiatives to assist primary and secondary school teachers enhance the quality of their teaching and create high-quality cost-effective teaching resources.

In partnership with the University of Cambridge, CET has established the Centre for Commonwealth Education within the Faculty of Education to promote high quality teaching and research in the Commonwealth, to provide an intellectual base for visiting scholars and Commonwealth graduate students and to undertake applied research.

Through its subsidiary company 1886 Investments Ltd, CET invests in small innovative companies that develop and market high quality and cost-effective educational resources (

Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC)

c/o Association of Commonwealth Universities, Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HF, UK

Tel: +44 20 7380 6700 | Fax: +44 20 7387 2655 | Email: |

The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) is responsible for managing Britain’s contribution to the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP). The CSC supports around 700 awards annually. Awards are funded by the Department for International Development (for developing Commonwealth countries), and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Scottish Government (for developed Commonwealth countries), in conjunction with UK universities. The CSC’s secretariat is provided by the Association of Commonwealth Universities; financial administration services for award holders are provided by the British Council.

Foundation: 1959

Activities: The CSC makes available seven types of award:

  • Scholarships for PhD research
  • Scholarships for master’s study
  • Shared Scholarships for developing country students who would not otherwise be able to undertake master’s level study in the UK, jointly supported by UK universities
  • Academic Fellowships aimed at mid-career staff in developing country universities
  • Split-site Scholarships to support PhD candidates to spend up to a year in the UK as part of their doctoral studies
  • Professional Fellowships for mid-career professionals in developing countries
  • Distance Learning Scholarships enabling developing country students to study UK master’s degree courses while living in their home countries.

The CSC also nominates UK citizens for scholarships to study in other Commonwealth countries under the CSFP.

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

c/o Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom, Association of Commonwealth Universities, Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HF, UK

Tel: +44 20 7380 6700 | Fax: +44 20 7387 2655 |

The Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) is an international programme under which Commonwealth governments offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other Commonwealth countries. The Plan was established at the first Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in 1959 and it is reviewed by ministers at their triennial meetings – the only scholarship scheme in the world to receive such high-level recognition. Since then, over 29,000 individuals have held awards, hosted by more than 20 countries. The CSFP is one of the primary mechanisms of pan-Commonwealth exchange.

Foundation: 1959

Activities: There is no central body that manages the CSFP. Instead, participation is based on a series of bilateral arrangements between home and host countries. The participation of each country is organised by a national nominating agency, which is responsible for advertising awards applicable to their own country and making nominations to host countries. In the UK, which is the biggest contributor to the Plan, this process is managed by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC).

Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC)

Commonwealth House, 7 Lion Yard, Tremadoc Road, London SW4 7NQ, UK

Tel: +44 1277 212357 | Fax: +44 1277 212357 | Email: |

The Council is a UK Parliament-based non-governmental organisation in London, which provides a forum for activating interest in and support for education in the Commonwealth. It seeks to mobilise opinion and action in the UK and elsewhere on behalf of Commonwealth education co-operation. Membership is open to individuals and organisations. All Commonwealth high commissioners accredited to London are honorary members.

Foundation: 1959

Officers: Executive Chair: Alan Evans; Deputy Executive Chair: Rosemary Preston; Secretary: Ved Goel; Honorary Treasurer: Sonny Leong; Advocacy and Activities: Kabir Shaikh

The Council also has three parliamentary chairs (Gavin Williamson MP, Simon Hughes MP, David Lammy MP) and four patrons (Lord Judd, Lord Luce, Lord McNally and Lord Boswell).

Activities: An annual Gladwyn lecture by an eminent expert on an educational topic of relevance to the Commonwealth. Three or four other meetings on educational issues are held each year. The Council lobbies both the British Government and the Commonwealth regarding the importance of education for the children and people of the Commonwealth. It publishes two to three editions of Commonwealth Education News per year. These and other documents are made available through the Council’s website, which is regularly updated.


Commonwealth Universities Study Abroad Consortium (CUSAC)

Association of Commonwealth Universities, Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HF, UK

Tel: +44 20 7380 6700 | Fax: +44 20 7387 2655 | Email:

The Consortium aims to bring together like-minded universities to find ways of increasing mobility across Commonwealth countries at minimal cost in a spirit of reciprocity and mutual exchange. There are currently about 65 members from 21 Commonwealth countries and five regions.

Foundation: 1993

Officers: The Executive Committee has representatives elected from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Europe. The ACU provides the secretariat for CUSAC. Contacts at the ACU are Deborah Bennett, Executive Secretary CUSAC; and Kathleen Williams, Administrator CUSAC.

Activities: Student and staff exchange. Through the bilateral linkages of its members, CUSAC extends the benefits of studying abroad to a wider group of students across the Commonwealth. As an umbrella organisation, it enables its members to share and access information through networking and benchmarking events as well as electronically. It also administers a bursary programme aimed at assisting student exchanges between member universities.


Institute of Commonwealth Studies

School of Advanced Study, University of London, 2nd Floor, South Block, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, UK

Tel: +44 20 7862 8825 | Fax: +44 20 7862 8813 | Email: |

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is the only postgraduate academic institution in the UK devoted to the study of the history and politics of the Commonwealth and of Commonwealth countries.

Foundation: 1949

Officers: Director: Professor Philip Murphy; Administrative Manager: Paul Sullivan

Activities: The Institute provides a forum for teachers, researchers and graduate students with Commonwealth research interests, providing seminars, conferences and symposiums (see website for details), library facilities and academic advice. It registers students for doctoral research, and for the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. It also provides a base for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and for a variety of externally funded research projects, and it hosts every year a number of visiting research fellows from other universities and institutions.