In June 2015, China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) Press published and distributed the first book in the Case Studies on World Open Universities series, A Study on Korea National Open University. Case Studies on World Open Universities is a national key book publication planning project of the Open University of China (OUC) as part of its 12th Five Year Plan.
Case Studies on World Open Universities (hereinafter referred to as "Case Studies") is China’s first major book series specialising in systematically researching and introducing the history, current situation, and future development of open universities around the world. In order to accurately identify key issues facing open universities and guarantee the international perspective and research quality of the Case Studies, Yang Zhijian, then president of the OUC, acted as the editor in chief for the book series, with a number of other leaders from the OUC participating in the work and serving as editors. Gard Titlestad, secretary general of the International Council for Distance Education (ICDE), was also invited to be a consultant for the Case Studies. A number of scholars, including Zhang Shuanggu, executive vice president of the China Society for Educational Development Strategy; Zhang Shaogang, executive vice president of the China Association for Educational Technology and former deputy secretary of the Party committee of the OUC; Yan Zhijian, deputy editor in chief of Higher Education Press; Liu Baocun, distinguished professor and Changjiang Scholar of the Ministry of Education and president of the Comparative Education Society of Asia; professor Zhang Weiyuan, a renowned scholar of distance education and doctoral advisor at Beijing Normal University; Ding Xin, professor and doctoral advisor at South China Normal University; and Zhang Binxian, professor and doctoral advisor at Beijing Normal University, were invited to evaluate the Case Studies as experts. Based on consultation with experts and scholars at home and abroad, as well as the focal points for the development of open universities released by the ICDE, the Case Studies mainly researched topics like the historical evolution and strategic development of open universities, systems and mechanisms, course teaching, management and services, quality assurance, and scientific research achievements. In addition, the Case Studies also connected and compared the situation of open universities around the world with the reality of open universities in China and presented reflections on these aspects.
Group photo of some of the authors of the Case Studies
On 24 October 2016, Professor Fred Mulder, chair of Open Educational Resources (OER) for UNESCO, former president of the Open University of the Netherlands, and visiting professor of the Open University, UK, visited the OUC. During the meeting, Yang Zhijian, then president of the OUC, presented the Case Studies to Professor Mulder as a gift, who highly appreciated the books and wrote a preface for them. Professor Mulder believes that as the first series of case studies of open universities in the world, the Case Studies have made a special contribution to research on distance education. They will help readers to understand the mission, basic information, organisational structure, educational model, and operational system of the open universities that were researched, giving a clear picture of the general characters and diversity of open universities all over the world. He also firmly believes that the Case Studies will enhance understanding and mutual learning since they are focused on the internationalisation of open universities and their importance in the era of digitalisation and globalisation.
In 2019, the OUC continued to advance the publication of the Case Studies and supported the authors in carrying out overseas field research. In March, the OUC welcomed the author of A Case Study on Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University of Thailand, and in July, the OUC visited Thailand to obtain supplementary research materials. A first draft of the book has since been completed. In June, the OUC delegation visited Anadolu University in Turkey to conduct a field investigation and obtain first-hand research materials. To date, both the Chinese and English versions of the book, A Case Study on the Open Education System of Anadolu University, have been completed. In September, the OUC welcomed the vice president of the Open University Malaysia and his party, who visited the OUC to collect materials for the draft of the book A Case Study on the Open University Malaysia and discussed the research framework. In December, the OUC sent a delegation to Russia to conduct field research on open and distance education. Lomonosov Moscow State University hopes to strengthen cooperation with the OUC and learn from the model of the implementation of open and distance education in China.