On 22 March 2019, the 2018 Meeting on the Achievements of “Realising Dreams of Further Education Action for Industrial Workers” was held by the Open University of China (OUC) in Beijing.

Those present at the meeting included Gao Yang, director of the Continuing Education Division from the Department of Vocational and Adult Education of the Ministry of Education; Peng Yi, director of the Staff Education Division of the Publicity and Education Department of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions; Liu Chengbin, consultant for the Higher Education Division of Beijing Municipality Education Commission; Yang Zhijian, secretary of the CPC OUC Committee and president of the OUC; OUC vice president Lin Yu; Wang Zhongcai, head of the Organisation and Publicity Department of the National Committee of the Trade Union of Civil Aviation Administration of China; Guo Yujin, vice secretary-general of the China Chain Store and Franchise Association; and Wu Husheng, human resources director at McDonald's China. In addition, a total of nearly 100 people including responsible people from relevant OUC departments, cooperative enterprises and trade unions, representatives of cooperative units, and media reporters attended the meeting, which was chaired by vice secretary Liu Chen of the CPC OUC Committee.

Vice president Qi Kun from the OUC Experimental School reported the achievements of the online education project “Realising Dreams of Further Education”. The meeting presented an overall summary of the project through speeches, exhibitions, media interviews, and exchanges and discussions. Clear requirements for the next steps were presented, charting the course for the further advancement and implementation of the project.

“Realising Dreams of Further Education Action for Industrial Workers” was jointly launched by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions and the Ministry of Education, and the OUC is one of the main participants and implementers. Based on the fact that the employees of large enterprises are scattered all over the country and they have a need for job improvement without suspending their work or leaving their positions, the OUC has launched the “Realising Dreams of Further Education” online education project. Since 2018, McDonald's China, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, Foxconn Group, and several other chains and franchises have started to cooperate with the OUC. After nearly two years of practice, clear progress has been made in the OUC’s exploration of a cooperation model for universities and enterprises based on online and offline internet integration. An internet-based online teaching platform of teaching, learning, management, assessment and support has been researched and developed, shaping a teaching and management mode with unique characteristics. Majors and courses have been set up in line with the needs of enterprises and the curriculum system has integrated the contents of the inner training courses of the enterprises, which has given full play to the role of enterprises in talent cultivation and shaped a new kind of replicable, extendable talent formation model applicable for industrial workers in large enterprises to receive on-the-job training and improve their education.

As Wang Zhongcai indicated during the meeting, “Realising the University Dream of Civil Aviation Staff” is a significant part of implementing the Party Central Committee’s decisions on the construction and reform of industrial workers in the new era. It is a key part of strengthening the construction of civil aviation staff teams, as well as a major innovation to offer inclusive “Internet Plus” services, and is all the more as a guarantee to promote the sound and sustainable development of civil aviation causes.

Guo Yujin talked about the exploration of the new learner development model jointly conducted by the China Chain Store and Franchise Association and the OUC against the background of “Internet Plus. As he indicated, this project is not only conducive to the development of individual employees, enabling them to realise their own dream of attending university without suspending their work or leaving their job, but also helps enterprises to improve the professional skills and quality of their backbone staff and improve their retention rate.

As Wu Husheng indicated, as the first pilot project of online teaching, “Realising the University Dreams of Mcdonald’s Employees” has accumulated rich experience in terms of cooperation model, tuition fee standards, publicity of enrolment , financial support incentives for students, learning and examinations methods, and a series of valuable explorations and trials have been made. In particular, the implementation of a credit replacement mechanism has greatly improved the efficiency and reduced the cost of organisation and clear results have been achieved. In the future, Mcdonald’s will further expand its cooperation with the OUC with the goal of meeting the learning needs of learners.

Since the implementation of the OUC of the“Realising Dreams of Further Education” online education project, about 3,000 students have been admitted. As witnesses to and beneficiaries of online education, two student representatives shared their own learning experiences during the meeting. “Thanks to the online education project, I am able to have a flexible control of my time and I can take all the examinations at home on my computer. I have greatly benefited from the online learning courses, which are very convenient for us on-the-job employees,” Song Jinfeng, a student representative of Gome’s Kitchen and Bathroom Department of Beijing and a member of the China Chain Store and Franchise Association said. Qin Xi, a student representative from the Civil Aviation Administration of China said, “You can complete course learning any time, any where as long as you have a mobile phone or computer. The tutors will follow up with you about your learning and answer your questions online.” When talking about the learning, he said with pride, “All the students in my class have got scholarships. Thanks to the OUC and its online education project, we have realised our university dreams.”

As Yang Zhijian indicated, it is not easy to have made these achievements as we have never done such work before. Gratifying as the achievements are, the current problems should not be ignored. In response to the demands put forward by the Ministry of Education and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, we must overcome difficulties and continue to make improvements. It will be a top priority for us to earnestly ensure teaching quality, to improve the students satisfaction, and to arouse their enthusiasm in the future work. As Yang Zhijian stressed, this year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of China Central Radio and TV University, the predecessor of the OUC. We, the OUC staff, will remain true to our original aspiration, keep our mission firmly in mind, and move forward positively. We will explore an education model that is in line with the needs of society by rooted ourselves in the vast land of China to run people-centric education. We will make it possible for more people to receive higher education and to train more high quality skilled professionals. The advancement of the “Realising Dreams of Further Education” online education project is conducive for the OUC to realise its own educational purpose and mission. We hope to drive the project forward for greater progress and to hand over a satisfactory answer sheet to all social walks of life with the joint efforts of all parties under the guidance of the leaders.

By Yuan Wenwu and Wu Yaqi, OUC