The Sino-British Fellowship Trust Project is sponsored by the Sino-British Fellowship Trust (SBFT) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and is jointly implemented by the CSC and the OUC (formerly known as CCRTVU).The Sino-British Fellowship Trust and the CSC jointly sponsor visiting scholars from the OUC system (with priority given to western and remote areas of China) to conduct study and research in the area of open and distance education for a duration of three or four months at the universities in UK.
The project aims to broaden the international vision of the visiting scholars and cultivate new ways of thinking through on-site surveys, interviews with experts, and other academic activities. It also aims to enhance their analytical and research skills, and improve their ability to use English in real-life situations. Upon their return, these scholars are able to combine British distance educational concepts and advanced experience with distance education practice in China and thus exert an important role in their respective workplaces, making positive contributions to the reform and innovation of distance education in the open-university system.
Since its launch in 1999, there have been 19 sessions of the project and 94 visiting scholars from the OUC system have been sent to study and conduct research at the OUUK, the University of London, and the University of Leicester. The most outstanding feature was that they were able to integrate the advanced concepts and practical experience of British distance education with that of Chinese distance education, and continued to explore and innovate in their own teaching, management and scientific research, contributing to the development of China's distance education.
Chairwoman Anne Elizabeth Ely, Vice Chairman Peter Ely, and Trustee Ling Thompson of the Sino-British Fellowship Trust (SBFT) visited China to attend the ceremony to re-sign the "Sino-British Fellowship Trust Project" agreement. They also attended three seminars held in the eastern, northwestern, and southwestern areas, featuring scholars who formerly participated in the project. After a comprehensive review of the academic activities of the scholars since their return to China, they gave an assessment of the success of the project thus far.
The re-signing ceremony was held at the Wukesong Building of the OUC Press on the morning of 30 May 2011. OUC President Yang Zhijian, Vice Secretary Zhang Shaogang, and China Scholarship Council (CSC) Vice Secretary-General Yang Xinyu attended the ceremony. The rights and obligations of both parties during the next five years were specified in the renewed agreement.