The year 2019 is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It will be a crucial year for China as the country endeavours to achieve the first Centenary Goal of building a moderately prosperous society.
It is also the first year that the guiding principles of the National Education Conference will be fully put into effect. It is also a prominent year to overcome difficulties for the further and complete implementation of the need for the education system to “Advance Bravely.” At the same time, it also marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Open University of China (OUC) whose predecessor was China Central Radio and TV University. This is a crucial stage for the OUC to achieve transformational development and its goals for 2020. In order to build on the OUC’s past successes and develop education that people are satisfied with, it is of great significance to fulfil all of its tasks for 2019.
The overall targets for 2019 are set as follows: to fully review and advance all the tasks in the OUC Construction Plan, the OUC Comprehensive Reform Scheme, and the OUC 13th Five-Year Plan; to achieve the overall goals for OUC construction; and to make the OUC into a new type of university within China’s higher education system, a first class open university with Chinese characteristics within the global open university system, and a strong pillar of China’s learning society.
The general requirements for 2019 are as follows: to hold high the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics; to be guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and put the guiding principles of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and its second and third sessions into effect; to fully understand and implement the guiding principles of the National Education Conference and to meet the overall requirements of “Advance Bravely” and work requirements of “implement, implement, and implement again” of the Leading Party Group of the Ministry of Education; to further emancipate our minds, to engage in reform and innovation, to overcome difficulties, and to promote work in all areas by focusing on the fundamental tasks of serving the major national development strategies and advancing the construction of a learning society for equal access to education, and meeting the basic requirements of improving education and teaching quality; to advance reform and construction, to successfully run the OUC with it rooted in the vast land of China, and to push the construction of the OUC forward to a new stage under the overall leadership of the OUC Party Committee. All the above is a way of paying tribute to the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the OUC and the 70th anniversary of the founding to the PRC.
I. Fulfil the fundamental task of fostering virtue through education
1.Take solid action for the implementation of fostering virtue through education
Objectives: To fulfil the fundamental task of fostering virtue through education, to carry out ideological and political work throughout the complete process of education and teaching, and to strive to witness the guiding principles of Xi Jinping Though on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era “go into classrooms, into textbooks, and into brains.”
Measures: To establish a steering group for ideological and political education work and to formulate a work system “through comprehensive education”; to strengthen the ideological and political education of teachers and to organise special studies, such as reports on policies and situations; to overhaul the training objectives for all majors (focusing on the talent training objectives for 53 majors), teaching plans, and course content, and to include training on ideological and political qualities into to construction of majors and curricula; to strictly guard the ideological and political quality of teaching resources, and to advance the “1+4+X” construction model of ideological and political courses with the guiding principles of making “blockbusters”; to employ approximately 50 experts inside and outside the OUC to form the OUC instruction committee for the teaching of ideological and political courses; to give teachers special training to enhance their ideological and political awareness as part of majors and courses.
An open and web-based School of Marxism will be founded. It will be made into an independent secondary organisation entity of teaching and research under the direct leadership of the OUC Party Committee. Its functions, internal organisations, and staffing will be clarified in order formulate a development plan. Studies will be conducted into the teaching of ideological and political courses with the characteristics of open universities, Marxist theories, and traditional Chinese culture and its popularisation.
II. Deepen education and teaching reform
2. Issue guiding documents for teaching and reform
Objectives: To propose a road map for OUC education and teaching reform in the new era.
Measures: To promulgate Several Opinions on the Overall Improvement of Teaching Quality and its serial matched management documents on teachers, majors, and examinations; to expand the pilot areas of all online teaching in line with the different features of the majors and courses; to advance further examination reform and to optimise the design of formative assessments and the proportion of their results as part of completion examinations; to revise the rules of setting questions in the examinations and the salary standards, and to intensify supervision to guarantee the quality of questions in the examination papers and to advance the construction of examination question banks; to develop an online summative assessment system and to optimise and integrate online examination platforms; to push forward the construction of monitoring conditions for examination venues and a monitoring system for examinations so as to explore ways to build and upgrade monitoring facilities that can connect examination venues between the headquarters and branches.
3. Complete the adjustment of majors
Objectives: To optimise and adjust the structure of major and to focus on the construction of key majors.
Measures: To formulate and promulgate the OUC Setup and Management of Majors; to earnestly intensify the coordination of teaching departments; to improve the scientific relevance of the newly-established majors and to explore a new mechanism for major construction; to conduct a review of the existing major, to accelerate the structural optimisation of majors, to integrate and revoke any majors that fail to meet the market needs with some space for development, and to set up a raft of majors in conformity with the national strategies and market needs; to accelerate the construction of key majors; to conduct a review of the curriculum setup of major and the basic teaching contents in line with the requirements for practical professionals, and to propose appropriate corrective measures for substandard courses and contents.
4. Improve the quality of learner development
Objectives: To advance the reform of the learner development model in secondary vocational schools, junior colleges, and undergraduate colleges and universities with a focus on quality improvement.
Measures: To further improve the “Six-Network Integration” learner development model; to revise the OUC Teaching Quality Standard (2.0) and to lead the implementation process of learner development with quality standards; to conduct a satisfaction survey of the graduates and employers, to organise holistic teaching examinations, to collect, release, and analyse data on teaching quality factors, and to further improve the mechanism of writing and issuing annual quality reports; to organise a quality assurance committee and encourage their experts to get involved in relevant quality assurance jobs and functions.
It is necessary to work on student evaluation and commendation and continue to carry out campus cultural activities that uphold socialist core values, to organise student events focused on innovation and entrepreneurship, to promote successful case studies, and to find out and popularise their achievements.
We will continue to build and improve online platforms for secondary vocational schools and to optimise the operation mechanism of distance secondary vocational education leagues. Online teaching teams for secondary vocational schools will be organised and the online platform resources of secondary vocational schools will be enriched in order to launch outstanding courses for a range of majors, which will encourage students to learn online and to strengthen the management and support services for the students’ online learning. Steady progress will be made in the pilot construction of the overpass linking secondary and tertiary vocational schools.
III. Strengthen the construction of teaching teams
5. Accelerate the construction of a group of online teaching teams
Objectives: To give play to the operational advantages of the system and create a batch of online teaching teams.
Measures: To promulgate the OUC’s Opinions on Further Promoting the Construction of Online Teaching Teams and to formulate complementary measures to support its implementation; to begin with key majors, characteristic majors, ideological and political courses, and prominent courses; to build cross-regional online teaching teams that support the entire system across the entire process; to provide learners with comprehensive customised distance learner support; to innovate the construction model and operation mechanism for online teaching teams under the “Six-Network Integration” learner development model.
6. Strengthen the selection, employment, and training of teachers
Objectives: To develop specialised high-quality teaching staff with the characteristics of open universities.
Measures: To formulate an OUC Code of Conduct for Teachers and to organise diverse forms of studies and trainings for teachers in the university system; to carry out appraisals and commendations for outstanding teachers and selection and training programmes for outstanding young teachers (including researchers) in the university system; to advance the construction of data banks for full-time and part-time teachers in the OUC and the functional development of teachers’ study and training network; to create an action plan to improve the competence of teachers in the headquarters and to take measures to improve their ability and quality; to create a plan to select, employ, and train famous teachers, and to choose about 100 academic leaders from key major from across the entire university system for focused training; to give annual training to over 3,000 teachers inside the system and organise at least 80 teachers to receive various overseas trainings and exchanges; to select and employ about 100 professors and doctoral supervisors to serve as academic leaders throughout the country within the new mechanism, covering all key disciplines and majors; to strengthen student work organisations and team building in local open universities and study centres.