On the morning of 7th March 2017, the president of the Open University of China (OUC), Yang Zhijian, visited the office of www.china.org.cn. Deputy chief editor of the website, Xue Lisheng, greeted the OUC delegation. Later, Yang was invited to appear on the programme "Educational Celebrity Lectures” run by the website’s education channel, in which the president shared his views on lifelong learning and the construction of open universities.

OUC President Yang Zhijian (left) visited the office of www.china.org.cn

Xue Lisheng (right), deputy chief editor of www.china.org.cn, met the OUC delegation

OUC President Yang Zhijian (left) appeared on Educational Celebrity Lectures

Yang Zhijian said that the OUC was established on the foundation of Central China Radio & TV University (CCRTVU for short), which was personally advocated by and approved by Deng Xiaoping. CCRTVU created an innovative educational model by using contemporary radio and TV technology and inviting prestigious teachers from top universities and the China Academy of Sciences to give lectures. Over three decades of development, the RTVU system across China cultivated nearly 10 million outstanding professionals.

The OUC was officially inaugurated in the Great Hall of the People on 31st July 2012. Over the past five years, the OUC has endeavoured to develop degree and non-degree continuing education, promoted the in-depth integration of modern information technology and teaching, and built a bridge for lifelong learning. It has made breakthroughs in many aspects of university development, such as the establishment of a “School Operation Community” characterised by intensive groups, multiple main bodies, and joint construction, management and sharing; the completion of the preliminary work of building a credit bank for the accreditation, accumulation, and transfer of learning outcomes; and the launch of 67 learning outcome accreditation sub-centres and the establishment of learning accounts for over 10 million learners.

Yang Zhijian added that, in addition to the above work, by relying on the OUC school-running system including the headquarters, branches, and industry or enterprise colleges, local schools and study centres, the OUC has worked extensively with industries, enterprises, and trade unions to cultivate a large number of new industrial workers to serve the transformation and upgrading of enterprises and create new energy for the growth of their employees. So as to better serve the elderly, the OUC has founded the University for Older Adults to provide degree and non-degree education specifically for the elderly and personnel working in the elderly care industry, in an attempt to address China’s ageing society.

Yang Zhijian pointed out that the university has now formed a multi-dimensional open and distance education organisational system that consists of headquarters, branches, local schools, and study centres covering both urban and rural areas. In the future, the OUC will work on the goals put forward by the 13th Five-Year Plan for OUC Reform and Construction. It will lead the modernisation of education through educational informatisation, develop the applied personnel needed by various industries, and cultivate well-educated members of society, as well as to continuing to promote the realisation of a learning-oriented society through lifelong learning.

By Yan Jingzhen, www.china.org.cn