On 7 July 2020, the China National Committee on Ageing (CNCA) released the Notice on Announcing the Results of the First Batch of Scientific Research Centres on Ageing. The Open University for Older Adults of the Open University of China (OUC) was successfully selected as one of the scientific research centres, being the only university for elderly people of the 20 approved units.

The CNCA released a notice in October 2019 stating that it planned to select a batch of scientific research centres for the purpose of implementing the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council’s strategic deployments on the ageing population and strengthening the study of important theories and issues of policy practice related to ageing and industrial development. According to the regulations specified in Trial Measures for the Recognition and Management of Scientific Research Centres on Ageing, the CNCA selected a number of universities, scientific research institutions, and Party schools that have launched relatively complete disciplines and established physical research institutions and that are staffed with full-time research personnel, have already accumulated research results, and have been guaranteed with scientific funds. After a six-month process of application, screening, reviewing, and public announcement, 20 scientific research centres have been confirmed for the first batch. The CNCA will grant licenses to these centres, entrust them with research topics, and provide funds for relevant academic activities. The research results from these centres will be sent to national ministries and commissions to use as a reference for decision-making on issues related to the ageing population.

As a teaching and research unit of the OUC, the Open University for Older Adults has achieved a number of academic research results by tracking the trends of ageing population development, and conducting both theoretical and practical explorations according to established international practice. It has undertaken the research of several topics entrusted to it by the Ministry of Education, such as The Study and Implementation of Countermeasures for Supporting a Human Resource Power Strategy in the Context of Ageing Populations, Survey of Implementing Elderly Education in the Open University and RTVU System, Study on Construction Standards for Open Universities for the Elderly and Online Elderly Universities, and The Accreditation, Accumulation and Transfer of Continuing Education Learning Achievements.

Now that it has been approved as a research centre on ageing, the OUC Open University for Older Adults will strive to build into an open, high-level, and comprehensive brick and mortar research institution, as well as a platform for theories and practice on the foundation of elderly education in order to form a new type of research centre supported by modern information technology and characterised by elderly education research and practice. It is committed to constructing a new integrated development model with the features of Internet + Elderly Education and Health-Preservation-Study-Tour, focusing on key issues in the development of national elderly education and facilitating the scientific development of elderly education in China.

By Mu Xingyan, OUC