Open University, SAF collaboration for SA studies

The Island of Sri Lanka - 3rd June 2003

The South Asia Foundation (SAF) is a voluntary, secular, non profit, and non-political and non-governmental youth movement which seeks to promote greater solidarity, understanding, cooperation, peace and progress through education and sustainable development among the people of South Asia. The aims, objectives and activities of The South Asia Foundation, are fully in conformity with the spirit, purpose and principles of the Charter of SAARC whose member countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Founded by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Madanjeet Singh, SAF is based in Switzerland and its seven chapters are registered in SAARC countries as national entities guided by eminent SAF Chairpersons and their respective Advisory Boards.

Within the South Asia Foundation, an ambitious educational project, called the South Asia Foundation Learning Initiative or SAFLI in short, was established in September 2002, linking a number of Open Universities in SAARC countries. In conformity with the decisions regarding SAFLI the Open Universities and other institutions of distance education in the SAARC countries, intend to promote regional co-operation and lifelong, secular learning that emphasises humanism and celebrates the rich heritage of South Asian Unity in diversity at all levels and sections of society.

Recognizing the importance and immediate relevance of a study programme to highlight environmental degradation coupled with other developments in a changing world, especially in South Asia, SAFLI partners are collectively developing a Postgraduate Diploma in Environment and Sustainable Development as the first programme in the series of South Asian Studies.

The target group will be policy makers, environmental managers, ecologists, biologists, environmental educators, planners, decision-makers and resource managers and also those who wish to increase their effectiveness, capability and creativity in dealing with challenging situations. The cost of designing and developing multiple media course materials is borne by the South Asia Foundation. 


SAF collaboration for SA studies 

An integrated combination of ICT and distance learning methodologies will be used to impart instruction.

Agreement regarding the design and implementation of SAFLI decisions was signed by Professor Uma Coomaraswamy, Vice-Chancellor of the Open University of Sri Lanka and Mr. Lakshman Kadirgamar, Chairman, South Asia Foundation, Sri Lankan Chapter on 2nd June 2003.