In order to adapt to the development of lifelong education and modern information technology, the Open University of China (OUC), the Classified Information Protection Centre of the Ministry of Public Security, and Beijing Huadian Zhuoyue International Technology Training inaugurated the School of Information Security at the OUC on 26 November 2013.

In 2016, six departments and commissions under the central leadership, including the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and Cyberspace Administration of China, and the Ministry of Education, issued Opinions on Strengthening the Building of Training in Cyber-science and Technology. The OUC decided to rename its School of Information Security as the School of Cyber Security on 11 July 2017, focusing on the needs of national cyber-security and information development, as well as the training requirements of national cyber-security.

With the development of information technology in China, computer network-and-information systems are playing a more and more important role in the businesses of government departments, public institutions, enterprises, and social groups. Advances in IT have brought about both great development opportunities and severe challenges, and cyberspace security has become crucial to national strategic security. So far, China has trained only approximately 100,000 professionals in this field, far short of the goal of over 700,000, and a serious obstacle to the development of the cyber-security industry.

The School is a significant member of the OUC’s educational and institutional system. It reports directly to OUC headquarters, and its teaching and academic affairs are subject to the OUC’s instruction and management. The School mainly operates via the branches and study centres of the OUC, and operates study centres nationwide in line with the needs of development. The OUC organises the approval and management of the centres, as well as expert assessments, ensuring standardised management and teaching quality.

The School mainly serves the cyber-security industry, offering both degree and non-degree education to students and workers, aiming to further integrate national-vocational requirements and the training objectives of higher education, provide diverse continuing-education services and opportunities, and put itself at the forefront of training in the field of cyber security in China.

At present, the School offers an Information Security and Management major. Its main features are as follows.

A new curriculum. On the basis of the specialised courses of OUC’s Cyberspace Security major, the School embeds job qualifications into the setup of the major by referring to the rating and protection system of cyber security, as well as its policies, regulations and standards, in combination with the training programme of rating appraisers. We will combine the credit system and the system of flexible length of schooling with the course-selection system as the core to form the curriculum of the new major.

Top-ranked teachers. Full-time teachers, industry experts, and other professionals with rich work experience in enterprises and projects make up a high-caliber teaching team.

A unique and practical teaching system. Close cooperation takes place with key national industries involved in crucial IT infrastructure, and attention is paid to both teaching and practice, covering theoretical studies related to cyber security as well as hands-on skills.

The School will make use of the Credit Bank to formulate accreditation standards that connect degree with non-degree education, allowing learners to obtain both vocational and academic qualifications, enhancing their competitiveness. Beginning with non-degree education in the field of cyber security, the school introduces authoritative accreditation and training certificates to meet market demand, and allows students to graduate with two certifications. At present, the school gives specialised security training called “Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Training” (CIIPT) to people engaged in protecting critical information infrastructure in China based on national policies, regulations, standards, and technical practices. There are three main types of certificates: foundation certificate CIIP-F, administrator certificate CIIP-A, and professional certificate CIIP-P.