On the 21st of September, 2018, the opening ceremony for the project "Realising the University Dream of Civil Aviation Staff", sponsored by the Civil Aviation Administration of China trade union and the Open University of China (OUC), and organised by the trade union of the China National Aviation Holding Company and the Experimental School of the OUC, was held in the headquarters of Air China in Beijing.

Party secretary and OUC president Yang Zhijian; OUC vice president Lin Yu; Peng Yi, director of the Staff Education Division of the Publicity Department of the All-China Federation of Labor; Dong Zhiyi, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and chairman of the CAAC trade union; executive vice chairman of the CAAC trade union Huang Lihui; and trade union leaders from the China National Aviation Holding Company, Capital Airport Holding Company, Shanghai Airport Authority and China National Aviation Fuel Group attended the ceremony. Together with more than 80 civil-aviation staff representatives, they witnessed the project initiation. More than 1,000 civil-aviation staff and students from across the country watched it online.

Huang Lihui was responsible for establishing this project, based on central-government guidance in relation to the use of information technology in the continuing education of trade-union members. More than 1,200 employees have signed up, with the union providing generous financial aid. Three national model workers will receive free tuition, while eight others will have half of it covered. The rest can see a reduction of RMB 500, and over the following two and a half years the students with outstanding performancewill receive scholarships ranging from RMB600 to RMB800 each semester.

Yang Zhijian, on behalf of the OUC, welcomed the new students, pointing out the relation of the project to the new government guidelines for educating industrial workers. Implementation of the project was carried out by the Experimental School of the OUC, focusing on providing IT-based education geared toward employer needs and on-the-job training. He stated that students are expected to work hard, to make practical use of what they will learn, and to think of their education as a lifelong process.

Dong Zhiyi congratulated this first group of students on their pursuit of their dream and of lifelong learning. He expressed the hope that everyone would study hard and achieve self-actualisation within their field, as well as to expand the capabilities and promote the modernisation of civil aviation.

Yang Zhijian and the other leaders at the ceremony presented the freshmen with their admission notices and gave them gift packages. Then the students took part in a solemn enrolment ceremony to mark the beginning of their new journey.

By Xu Gang, OUC