Brief Introduction:

Officially founded in 1971 with the grant of a UK Royal Charter, the Open University, UK (OUUK) is an independent, autonomous national institution of higher education. It is the largest university in the UK and is eligible to confer all kinds of degrees.

It offers education to 260,000 active students, with over 7,000 part-time tutors and 3,500 staff engaged in administration and management.

There are no entry requirements for OUUK students in terms of age, education level and background. Adults of 18 years of age and above who reside in the UK or any other European country can apply for admission. The OUUK promotes the popularisation of higher education and the development of lifelong learning by running the school based on an open and distance model that combines methods such as correspondence, radio, television, and the Internet. Students are not required to take an entrance examination or attend face-to-face tutorials; they have the freedom to choose when and where to learn. Learning resources provided include textbooks, self-testings, recommended books, specially designed home experiment equipment, and videotapes. The OUUK does its best to provide everyone (including women and the disabled) with the opportunity to learn and as such enjoys a strong reputation around the world.

Cooperation with the OUC

China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU, aka the present OUC) has benefited a lot from the OUUK’s successful experience. When Deng Xiaoping met former UK Prime Minister Edward Heath on 19 October 1977, he fully endorsed the OUUK’s progress in conducting distance education through television and other modern means. In February 1978, he personally advocated and approved the establishment of a nationwide radio and TV university system, opening a new chapter of development for distance higher education in China.

In 2001, the CCRTVU and the OUUK and launched the “Joint Development of English as a Public Course” project. In the spring of 2003, This is English was put into use as a common foundation course and has been well received by the students. In 2007, it was selected as an Excellent National Course. Today, thousands of students study the course at different levels every year.


In 2009, the CCRTVU and the OUUK launched the online tutor training programme. They cooperated in the development of the three courses: Online Course Design, Learner Support and Online Learning Tutoring. Four new courses are under independent development as part of the project: The Application of New Technology in Education, Online Learning Tools, The English for Online Education, and Online Searching. The first training class for The Application of New Technology in Education was held on 15 October 2012.

On 9 May 2013, the OUC and OUUK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Strategic Cooperation. In line with the MOU, both parties will explore the future development of open and distance education based on information technology. They will strengthen their capacity in the areas of teaching resource construction, teacher training and academic exchanges.


In addition, the OUUK is one of the universities that receives visiting scholars from the Sino-British Fellowship Trust Project, in which the OUC participates. Both parties also send experts to conduct learning and research activities at each other’s university.