From 12 - 13 June, 2018, the OUC's 2018 enrolment conference was held in Ningbo, Zhejiang province. At the conference, the OUC summarised the enrolment work for spring 2018, initiated the work for fall 2018, analysed and set out to implement the proposals on improving continuing education of the 19th National Congress of the CPC, put forward measures to standardise enrollment work, studied related enrollment-management regulations, and so on.

Over 150 people attended the conference, including OUC president Yang Zhijian; the deputy director of the Ningbo Education Bureau, Hu Chidi; the secretary of the OUC Ningbo branch CPC committee, Li Qun; the president of the OUC Ningbo branch, Weng Xuelian; OUC vice presidents Liu Chen and Fu Chengyan; leaders and enrolment-department heads of 45 branches; heads and relevant personnel from 15 schools, and the heads of study centres at the grassroots level.

Yang Zhijian pointed out that enrolment is tied to the survival of the OUC, and serves as a measure of its development. Although its enrolment is growing, and is expected to continue to do so, the OUC still faces both internal and external challenges. He stressed that enrolment is linked to the OUC's reputation and its educational and teaching reforms, as well as reforms of curricula, examinations, management, IT, and so on. One of the most essential issues is the development of the “Six-Network Integration” learner-development model and adaptation to the needs of learners. The relationship between scale and quality needs to be considered as part of promoting reforms and working to enhance the reputation of the university, as well as to ensure that the work of enrolment follows the relevant regulations.

During the session, personnel from the OUC Academic Affairs Department gave an account of the work done for the 2018 spring enrolment and the arrangements for the fall, along with major adjustments, the status of corporate colleges, and enrolment-management regulations. The personnel responsible for six new majors introduced them, and representatives of six branches shared their enrolment-work experiences and attempts at innovation and exploration. In the group discussion, the representatives focused on the enrollment-management system and the work remaining for the fall, and looked at problems with the enrolment process.

Liu Chen finished with a summary. He emphasised that external supervision of degree-granting continuing education is rising sharply. For instance, a range of measures for standardising the operation of schools has been put in place by the MOE and other departments for the purpose of improving the quality of schooling. Liu Chen stated several requirements that enrolment work must meet. First, the establishment of regulations and systems should be treated as the fundamental task at OUC headquarters, branches, schools and study centres. Second, the scale of enrolment should match the teaching conditions and facilities available at any given location. Third, publicity should be undertaken in connection with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the open university, and through key channels. Fourth, the use of information technology in enrolment work should be strengthened, and fifth, management of the study centres should be enhanced.

By Men Hailong, OUC