Sign in with:

Notice of Annual General Meeting 2020

We have pleasure in inviting you to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth, on Thursday, 3rd September 2020 from 11.00 am to 12.00 noon. The AGM will be a Zoom Meeting and the Chair of CEC will send the link and password closer to the date of the AGM.

Please click below for the following:

International students and the impact of COVID-19

Where might international student mobility be two years or so from now? This brief review focuses specifically on international students and seeks to explore beyond the immediate towards what a post-COVID world might look like (there will be one!)

Dr Neil Kemp OBE*


The COVID shock has been immediate and profound, reaching into all aspects of our life, far beyond health, welfare and financial concerns. Similar to that for people, whilst there are generalised effects, the impact on organisations has reflected their individual characteristics. For example, universities everywhere have moved fast, launching many innovative approaches to support both learning and welfare needs of their students. One major initiative has seen the migration of materials for online delivery, allowing students to complete current programmes and, if problems persist, for next semester students to commence.

Creative responses will remain essential, given that many countries remain in crisis as the global health emergency, morphs into an economic one. What is generally agreed is that recession is inevitable, unemployment will increase, and international trade and mobility of peoples will be greatly reduced. By how much and for how long will be determined not just by economics but also by sentiment, the alternatives available and the likelihood of the occasional irrational decision. Various recovery scenarios are put forward for national economies - attenuated V, flattish U, slanting L or a wonky W, but as yet no consensus exists. Even a sharp V-shaped bounce-back will result in lower international student enrolments well beyond 2021. 

Half of the world’s victims of slavery live in the Commonwealth: What can be done about it?

Speech delivered by Dame Sara Thornton, Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, at the Annual Commonwealth Day Westminster Seminar 

Scale of the issue and role of the Commonwealth

Modern slavery and human trafficking is a global challenge affecting every country in the world. According to the Global Slavery Index, there were an estimated 40.3 million people living in modern slavery on any given day in 2016.  The report also identifies a series of interrelated factors which create vulnerability and opportunity for slavery – governance issues, lack of basic needs, conflict, inequality and I will add climate change.

Vulnerability is then exploited by those motivated by greed or economic opportunism.  It is estimated that human trafficking is a business worth $150 billion annually.


Half of the world’s victims of slavery live in the Commonwealth:
What can be done about it?

Date: 9 March 2020 | Time: 10:30 to 12:30 | Venue: Committee Room G, Palace of Westminster

Host: The Rt Hon Baroness Prashar of Runnymede CBE, CEC Parliamentary Patron

While a third of the world’s population are Commonwealth citizens, according to the Global Slavery Index a staggering 55% of those currently enslaved reside in Commonwealth countries. This means that the Commonwealth is in a unique position to help significantly reduce slavery in the world.

As the statistics show, no country is exempt from the risks and incidence of modern slavery. Yet, it thrives in countries where governments fail to protect children, women and men from discrimination, exploitation and abuse, and allow businesses – however unscrupulous – to operate with impunity. All countries are bound by international law to make forced and child labour illegal.

60th Anniversary Conference



60th Anniversary Conference

Date: Friday, 17th January 2020 | Venue: Delegates' Lounge, Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX 

Time: 14:00 followed by Reception at 17:30


For further information, please click the flyer HERE

Gladwyn Lecture 2019

The Annual Gladwyn Lecture 2019

Inclusive Growth in the Commonwealth:
A New Role for Universities

Speaker: Dr Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University, Canada

President Lenton’s premise is that, in the interest of political and social stability, economic growth needs to benefit all segments of society, and that the universities are heavily implicated in all parts of the process: from promoting access to learning, providing the skills and knowledge needed in an economy defined by change, to a deeper engagement with the communities served by the institution.

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Date: Thursday 5th December 2019 | Time: 18:00 – 20:00 | Chair: Dr Alastair Niven LVO, OBE, Trustee

Download the flyer HERE


Read the full lecture HERE

Indefinite Leave to Remain: Why stringent requirements pose a severe threat to the UK education sector

With the UK’s divorce from the EU set to take place on 31st October, Halloween is set to become even scarier this year, especially whilst the event of a no-deal Brexit still looms in the air. Exacerbating the worries surrounding a no-deal crash is the government’s recent announcement that freedom of movement will end on day one of Brexit, leaving many migrant professionals trembling at the thought of legal limbos and chaotic visa applications. The UK education sector is among the most apprehensive, with stringent visa requirements, budget cuts and steep financial boundaries already prohibiting overseas teaching professionals from settling in the UK.

Over 400 delegates attend the 2019 Annual Conferemce

St George’s University, Grenada, welcomes student leaders and academic experts for annual conference of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth

Sonny Leong CBE, Chair of Council for Education in the Commonwealth addressing delegates to the Annual Conference. Read it HERE

St George’s University, Grenada (SGU) will play host this week to the annual conference of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC), welcoming student leaders and international academics under the banner of ‘Students: Our Common Wealth. A Focus on Student Success’.

This year’s conference, taking place from 21-23 May at SGU’s True Blue Campus in Grenada, will mark two historic milestones: the modern Commonwealth celebrates its 70th anniversary, while the CEC itself celebrates 60 years since it was founded. It will also be the first CEC conference to take place in a Caribbean country.

The Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, will deliver a keynote address at the conference, and will be joined by others including Dame Cécile La Grenade, Governor-General of Grenada.

‘Students: Our Common Wealth. A Focus on Student Success’ will showcase presentations and debates on a variety of topics pertaining to student success and achievement. Presentation themes include education challenges across the Caribbean; equity and access; the role of learning technologies to enhance student experience; teacher education; qualitative improvements in education, and importantly, understanding students and their needs, for which a special panel discussion will be held to appreciate this perspective.

Gladwyn Lecture 2018

The Annual Gladwyn Lecture 2018

The Windrush Generation & Lost Educational Opportunities: How can the Commonwealth learn from this?

Speaker: Rt Hon David Lammy MP

The many forms of disadvantage and discrimination faced by the Windrush Generation have been brought to the fore this year, particularly as a result of David Lammy’s powerful campaign. However, over the last 60 years these once-welcomed immigrants and their families have faced real challenges in achieving equity of access to education and at all levels of provision.

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0AA

Date: Thursday 13th December 2018 | Time: 18:00 – 20:00 | Chair: Sonny Leong CBE

Download the flyer HERE

Click HERE to read David's keynote speech

Menstrual Hygiene Management – the Impact on Girls’ Education

Date: 17 October 2018 | Time: 18:30 to 20:00 | Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster, London SW1A 0PW

In many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, the education of girls is limited and even curtailed by cultural and social inhibitions surrounding menstruation. This is a massively important issue but, because of sensitivities about what can be mentioned in polite society, it is very often ignored, blighting the lives of thousands of young women and thwarting the development of whole countries. The CEC has brought together four experts in the field, all of whom have practical experience of alleviating the problem through practical action.

This discussion will be a major opportunity to hear about one of the most vital matters affecting the education of young women, and possible solutions through collaboration. All are welcome.