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ICDE is a truly global association with a proud history for promoting inclusive, affordable, access to quality education.

Founded in 1938, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) is partly funded by a grant from the Government of Norway and has been generously hosted in Oslo since 1988. ICDE also has a longstanding partnership with UNESCO that dates back to the 1960’s.

Today, ICDE is a well governed, effective and slim managed global association with activities in all regions of the world, binding together for joint efforts with north-south, east and west.

In addition to the Norwegian government funding, ICDE income is supplemented by membership subscriptions and income from conferences and project grants, as well as in kind contributions.

ICDE is a registered not-for-profit organization in Norway, operating under Norwegian law.



To be the global facilitator for inclusive, flexible, quality learning and teaching in the digital age.

Our Members

ICDE draws its membership from institutions, educational authorities, commercial actors, and individuals. ICDE derives its position from the unique knowledge and experience of its members throughout the world in the development and use of new methodologies and emerging technologies.

International Collaboration

ICDE has consultative partner status with UNESCO and shares UNESCO’s key value – the universal right to education for all. ICDE also values its relationship with over 18 international and regional organisations who together collaborate on bringing quality education to all.


ICDE Governance

ICDE is governed by its members who are represented or elected as representatives to three different decision-making bodies. The Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and the Election Committee.

Permanent Secretariat

ICDE's Permanent Secretariat is in Oslo, Norway, and has been hosted by this country on a permanent basis since 1988. ICDE is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research and by membership fees.


Strategic Plan 2017 - 2020

The ICDE Strategic Plan for the period 2017-2020 draws on an analysis of key trends, and is further informed by consultations with members and key stakeholders.

Activity Plan 2018 - 2019

The ICDE Activity Plan is based on the Strategic Plan and covers the period 2018-2019. It highlights key activities and initiatives undertaken by the Secretariat.

ICDE Constitution

The Constitution was approved by members in December 2006, and amended in March 2011 and June 2013 after voting among ICDE members.

‘The critical success factor is partnerships and collaboration. COL, as an active partner, will continue to accompany ICDE on its journey as it enters its ninth decade.’
— ICDE 80th Anniversary: Message from Prof. Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of Commonwealth of Learning



ICDE is celebrating its 80th anniversary. Find out about the individuals and organisations that have helped create the ICDE of today.