Gajaraj Dhanarajan

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Gajaraj "Raj" Dhanarajan is Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Wawasan Open University in Malaysia. Prior to this, he served for nine years as President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning, a Vancouver-based Commonwealth agency with a mandate to promote open learning in 54 member nations.

Professor Emeritus Dhanarajan helped establish the Open Learning Institute (OLI) of Hong Kong (now the Open University of Hong Kong or OUHK) and distance education systems in several countries in Africa and the Asia Pacific. He served as Secretary General of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), member of the Executive Board of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE), and educational advisor to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. He currently chairs the Programme Advisory Committee of the Global Open Food and Agricultural University, an initiative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and the Academic Planning Board of Manipal University in Banglore, India.

Dr. Dhanarajan holds Master of Science (MSc) degrees from the University of Madras, India and the Imperial College of the University of London, and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biology from the University of Aston in Birmingham, UK. For his contribution to the development of open and distance learning, he has received honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland University College, US (1992); the Open University, UK (1995); Kota Open University, India (1996); the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland (1996); Charles Sturt University, Australia (1998); Athabasca University, Canada (1999); Allama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan (1999); the OUHK (1999); and the Open University of Sri Lanka (2000). In 1994, the Penang state government in Malaysia conferred on Dr. Dhanarajan the Order of Chivalry (which conveys the title of Dato'). Two years later, the College of Preceptors, London awarded him an Honorary Fellowship. In 1997, the AAOU presented him with its first Meritorious Service Award to the Cause of Distance Education in Asia.

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