The Open University of China (OUC), Korea National Open University (KNOU), and the Open University of Japan (OUJ) launched the KNOU-OUC-OUJ International Seminar in 2009. The first seminar was held in South Korea, and participants from the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU held in-depth discussions on the theme of "Innovation in Educational Practices in Open Universities.”
From 2-12 September 2010, a distance education delegation from China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) participated in the secondOUJ-OUC-KNOU International Seminar held in Chiba, Japan, joining in-depth exchanges on the topic of "Improving Educational Services in Open Universities.” Participants of the seminar discussed the research and practice of learner support services and teachers’ professional development in distance education in open universities.
The third OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar, which had the theme “The Education Management Reform of Open Universities" was held in Beijing on 19 September 2011. The presidents of the three universities expressed their willingness to strengthen exchange and cooperation in resource co-construction and sharing, research and personnel exchanges, and suggested that substantive work should be launched as soon as possible. On 20 September, a meeting of the presidents of the three universities was held at the Wukesong campus of CCRTVU. At the meeting, the three parties established a memorandum of cooperation. According to the memorandum, the cooperation between the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU will focus on the following three fields in the future: comparative research on cooperation, the exchange of teachers and students, and co-construction and sharing of curriculum resources. The three parties will set up independent working groups and appoint members of the group to be responsible for the exchanges and coordination, and sign a strategic cooperation framework agreement on the basis of the memorandum of cooperation as soon as possible.
The fourth KNOU-OUC-OUJ International Seminar was held in South Korea from 16-19 September 2011. Presidents and scholars from the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU, as well as renowned international experts engaged in distance education, participated in in-depth discussions on the theme of “The Future of Open Distance Education in a Knowledge Network Society.” A group of six people led by Yang Zhijian, then president of the OUC, attended the seminar. Yang Zhijian gave a report on the founding of the OUC to the delegates. He introduced the OUC’s school running philosophy, core values, and key points of construction and reform, as well as the latest progress that had been made. He also expressed his hope that the exchange platform provided by the seminar could bring the international exchange and cooperation of the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU to the next level, the fields and mechanisms of cooperation could be deepened, and positive contributions to the development of distance education in Asia and beyond could be made.
From 11-15 October 2016, the KNOU hosted the 6th KNOU-OUC-OUJ International Seminar. The seminar’s theme was “Exploring New Roles for Open Universities in Korea, China, and Japan,” with the sub-themes of “Educational Innovation Using New Technology” and “The Status and Prospects of Blended Learning." The presidents of the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU, along with scholars and experts from the universities, held in-depth discussions on the theme. An OUC delegation of five people headed by then OUC president Yang Zhijian attended the seminar. Yang Zhijian gave a speech at the opening ceremony. OUC associate professor Han Yanhui delivered an academic report entitled The Innovation Exploration of Cross-region, One-stop, Team-based Online Facilitation Models: A Case Study of CALL, while Dr. Cheng Gang gave a speech entitled Refactoring Learner Support Systems in the Internet Era. After the seminar, Yang Zhijian signed a cooperative memorandum with KNOU’s acting president, Prof. Kim Oi-Sook, on behalf of the OUC.
From 7-8 September 2017, the 7th OUJ-OUC-KNOU International Seminar, which had the theme of “Supporting Various Learners in Open Universities,” was held at the OUJ. The presidents of the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU, as well as scholars and experts from the three universities, held in-depth discussions on the theme. The OUC sent a delegation of five, led by then president of the OUC Yang Zhijian to the seminar. Yang Zhijian delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. Wang Ying, researcher and director of the OUC Education Research Institute, and Dr. Cheng Gang, deputy director of the Learner Support and Student Affairs Centre, gave academic entitled Research on Diversified Learning Support Services in Open Universities Based on a Survey of Chinese Learners’ Learning Needs and Data-driven and User-Centric Learner Support Systems for Various Students, respectively.
On the 20 September 2018, the 8th OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar hosted by the OUC and attended by representatives from the OUJ and the KNOU was held in Beijing. The theme of the seminar was “Online Teaching Development and Open University Innovation.” At the opening ceremony, Yang Zhijian, then president of the OUC, delivered a speech. Mr. Yang hoped that through the seminar, the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU could reach a consensus on the construction of open universities, build an efficient cooperation mechanism, and deepen their cooperation in order to jointly promote the construction of open universities in Asia. He also hoped that the seminar would encourage more young scholars to participate in relevant academic discussions and inspire them to share their academic achievements and contribute to future innovation. In their speeches, professor Shin Kisugi, president of the OUJ, and professor Su Noh Ryu, president of the KNOU, expressed their good wishes for the convention of the 8th OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar. They affirmed the positive role of the seminar in promoting tripartite cooperation and hoped to make use of the forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the distance education universities. In the follow-up academic discussions, the representatives of the three universities carried out in-depth discussions on the theme of the meeting from the perspectives of “Teachers' Professional Perspectives” and “Curriculum Construction,” and shared their experiences, which had a positive effect on strengthening cooperation in the field of online teaching between the three sides and jointly coping with the problems in the development stage.
The 9th KNOU-OUC-OUJ International Seminar was held in Seoul, South Korea, from 23- 24 May 2019. The seminar had the theme of “Transforming Open Education with Innovative Technologies.” Yang Xiaotang, then vice president of the OUC, Su Noh Ryu, president of the KNOU, Shin Kisugi, president of the OUJ, and a number of scholars from the three universities participated in the seminar and shared their experiences. Yang Xiaotang addressed the forum. He said that China, Japan, and South Korea are all important players in Asia. The establishment of this seminar mechanism for distance education between the three countries has had great significance and far-reaching impacts in enriching cooperation in the field of education and open distance education between China, Japan, and South Korea. The OUC is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the KNOU and the OUJ. From the perspective of maintaining the diversity of Asian civilisations, the OUC will attach more importance to “observation and thinking” when it looks to the past, present, and future. It will further strengthen exchanges and mutual learning, jointly promote the construction of open universities in Asia, and provide programs, models, and typical Asian case studies for the development and innovation of distance education around the world. Su Noh Ryu and Shin Kisugi expressed their good wishes for the seminar. They affirmed the positive role of the seminar in promoting three-sided cooperation and hoped to use the seminar to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the three universities while engaging in distance education.