The ICDE (International Council for Open and Distance Education) Leadership Summit and ICDE-UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Leadership Forum were held from 22-24th May, 2017 in Nancy, France and the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris, respectively.

A delegation of five people from the OUC, led by vice president Qi Yanwei, attended the conferences. This is the second time since 2015 that the OUC was invited to visit UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.

The Leadership Summit 2017 was hosted by LORIA lab at Universite de Lorraine in Nancy, France. The theme of the summit was “Leadership: When transforming education through learning analytics and adaptive learning”. Mandla Makhanya, ICDE chairman, and Gard Titlestad, ICDE secretary general, attended the summit and delivered speeches. The summit was attended by more than 100 guests and representatives from over 20 countries, including China, the U.S., France, Greece, Indonesia, South Africa, Israel, and Korea. The OUC delegation attended all sessions and the first meeting of the ICDE Learning Analytics Team. Dr. Wei Shunping from the OUC made a presentation during a panel on “The Impact of Learning Analytics Strategy on Universities Management” entitled The Application of Big Data and Learning Analytics in Universities Management: Practices from the Open University of China, which garnered widespread attention and was complimented by the host as a key “voice from China”.

The ICDE-UNESCO Leadership Forum was held on 24th May, 2017, with the theme of “Visionary Leadership for Digital Transformation”. The forum focused on the topics of “Access, Equity, Quality, and Student Success” and “Experience Based and Future Orientated on Leading Digital Transformation” and invited relevant experts to make keynote reports. More than twenty experts from different organisations across the world exchanged their experiences and gave presentations. The OUC delegation attended the sessions and positively interacted with the experts on hot issues, with the hope of absorbing conducive experience to promote the development of the OUC.

During the conferences, the OUC delegation led by vice president Qi Yanwei also met and communicated with Chairman of the ICDE and president of the University of South Africa, Mandla Makhanya, ICDE secretary general Gard Titlestad, and delegations from Canada, Italy, Korea, and Japan. They exchanged views on how to further consolidate and develop partnerships with each other. It is hoped that cooperation and exchange with the OUC will be strengthened, especially in the aspects of personnel visits, cooperative research, and project promotion. The OUC will create a specific and feasible implementation plan so as to propel the cooperation forward.

By Wang Yongfeng, OUC