2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the first year of the 14th Five-Year Plan. It is also an extremely crucial year for reform and development of the Open University of China (OUC).

The overall requirements for the OUC’s work in 2021 are to follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; implement the guiding principles of the Party’s 19th National Congress and the second, third, and fourth plenary sessions of its 19th Central Committee in full; put into effect the important remarks on education made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and the guiding principles of the National Education Conference; fully implement the Party’s education policy and the fundamental task of fostering virtue through education; continue to follow the general principle of emancipating the mind, implementing reform and innovation, pursuing progress while ensuring stability, and promoting high-quality development; make the implementation of The General Plan for Deepening the Reform of Educational Evaluation in the New Era and The OUC Comprehensive Plan the core; focus on the promulgation and implementation of the university’s Fourteenth Five-Year Plan; comprehensively plan both epidemic prevention and control and business development; advance the “four transformations” (from seeking quantity to strengthening quality, from a focus on qualifications to one on knowledge, from providing degrees to enhancing skills, and from prioritising online teaching to the integrated development of online and offline teaching); build the OUC’s “four major platforms” (a major platform for lifelong education in China, a major platform for online education, a platform for flexible education, and a platform for external cooperation); aim to build a first-class global open university with Chinese characteristics; and make greater contributions to building an educational system serving lifelong learning for all, making China into an education power, and creating a skilled society.

I. Upholding and Enhancing the comprehensive leadership of the CPC over the university’s work

1. Make sweepingefforts to strengthen Party building guided by improving political ability

The OUC will enhance the Party’s political construction, strengthen ideology, consolidate organisation, improve conduct, and maintain discipline. It will uphold and improve the presidential responsibility system under the leadership of the Party committee, profoundly integrate Party building with the professional business, and work hard to achieve real effectiveness in enforcing full and strict Party self-governance. It will formulate the OUC’s implementation plan based on the study of Party history, make careful organisation, strengthen guidance, and ensure solid results in Party history study and education in compliance with the unified deployment of the Party Central Committee under the strong leadership of the Leading Party Group of the Ministry of Education. It will successfully hold a series of activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China in light of the implementation of The OUC’s Action Plan to Welcome the 100th Anniversary of the Founding of the Communist Party of China. It will further study, disseminate, and put into effect the guiding principles of the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the CPC, consolidate the gains from the initiative to raise awareness of the need to stay true to the Party’s founding mission, and create “a model university that the Party Central Committee trust and that the people are satisfied with.”

2. Advance the construction of Party conduct and clean government focused on political oversight

The OUC will uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position on the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and simultaneously uphold the Party Central Committee’s authority and its centralised, unified leadership. It will make earnest efforts to take charge of the responsibility of conducting internal oversight as the Commission for Discipline Inspection, highlight political supervision, tighten political discipline and rules, and focus on key areas for oversight using proper methods and achieving satisfactory results. It will exercise concrete and meticulous daily supervision. It will focus on oversight over the “key few”, by which it mean leading officials, key fields, key steps and key positions to enhance supervision on the university’s exercise of power. The exercise of the four forms of oversight and discipline enforcement will be deepened in order to identify and correct problems as early as possible and foster a healthy political atmosphere of integrity within the Party.

3. Strengthen the training of a contingent of officials and focus on encouraging them to fulfil their responsibilities

The OUC will implement a three-year action to build a contingent of officials. It will improve methods of inspecting and identifying cadres, standardise the promotion and appointment of officials to make it more scientific, have those who are ready and capable of doing things stand head and shoulders above the rest, and step up efforts to produce outstanding young officials. It will promote classified training for officials in ideology, politics, practice, and profession through training in rotation, transfer training, assistance dispatching, on-the-job service as leaders in other units, and temporary transfer to ensure that officials commit to political integrity, observe discipline, have professional competence, and are people of action. It will strengthen job exchanges between officials in different departments and different positions. It will improve performance assessment methods for officials and build a comprehensive, systematic, and scientific assessment and evaluation system. It will adhere to both assessment and appointment, give play to the positive role of assessment, and encourage officials to shoulder their responsibilities. It will improve and put in place an oversight system for officials and foster a healthy employment environment.

4. Create effective top-level designs targeted at the improvement of governance capacity

The OUC will communicate with the Department of Policies and Regulations of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to promote the issuance of The OUC Charter by the MOE through of department regulation. It will formulate and put in place the work list for The Overall Plan for Deepening Educational Evaluation Reform in the New Era and coordinate the concrete and implementation of all reform tasks. It will promulgate The OUC Development Plan during the Fourteenth Five-Year-Plan Period and achieve effective integrated implementation.

II. Comprehensively improving education and teaching quality

5. Advance education and teaching reform beginning with innovating the mechanism

The OUC will adjust and optimise the specialty development of degree education for undergraduate, junior college, and secondary vocational programmes, standardise the setup of specialties, and promote structural adjustment. It will deepen the curriculum and teaching reform of degree education, further advance ideological and political work, explore an innovative model for large-scale online ideological and political teaching, strengthen practical teaching via experiments and training, and popularise virtual  experiments and training. Based on the promotion of an integrated online-offline teaching model, it will strive to train a new generation of capable young people who are well-prepared to join the socialist cause. It will promote the standardisation and institutionalisation of the teaching and examination processes. It will improve the proportion of students pursuing undergraduate programmes based on junior college degrees in open education, and explore the integration of secondary vocational education with junior college and undergraduate education. By doing this, it will be able to better open courses. It will guard against risks and improve quality by improving the management of industrial schools, enterprise schools, and specialised schools. It will give full play to the role of the MOE’s Work Office of the Steering Committee for Industrial and Vocational Education and Teaching in promoting the reform of education and teaching.

6. Improving the quality assurance system based on the construction of standards

The OUC should improve its  “register for education, tolerant entrance and strict graduation” quality standard system, and rigorously control the standards for teachers, specialties, curricula, teaching, and the graduation quality of students. It will improve the standardised management system and mechanism of the OUC educational system and improve the quality report release system. It should earnestly strengthen the quality control of the OUC educational system, establish and perfect the system for regular teaching inspection and supervision, successfully conduct annual satisfaction investigations, and strengthen the supervision and evaluation of the quality of talent training by enterprises and other employers. It will further improve the OUC’s educational evaluation index system and evaluate the operation of around 10 OUC branches.

7. Strengthen the construction of a contingent of teachers targeted at capacity improvement

The OUC will establish and improve a long-term mechanism for the cultivation of teachers' virtue to steer their political direction and to guide them to establish themselves and the university and teaching students through virtue. It will establish and improve its teacher training system and continue to offer various forms of training to improve the professional abilities of teachers. It will organise teaching competitions to explore diversified teacher development activities and projects and to improve the level of education, teaching, and scientific research. It will optimise the structure of teachers and introduce academic leaders and other high-level professionals. It will select and train a number of famous teachers to build a contingent of high-level teachers led by other famous teachers. It will promote the professional development of teachers and explore a system for outstanding teachers to serve as editors-in-chief and course leaders. It will improve the teacher development mechanism, formulating and promulgating a plan for the construction of teaching teams and a system for workload management.

8. Strengthen student work rooted in the improvement of student quality

Based on the overall student-oriented recurrence of education and teaching, the OUC will strengthen the concept of serving students, study the characteristics of its students, and innovate work based on the students' real situation. It will strengthen ideological and political education, improve the quality of students, and organise “national security education,” the “themed activity for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Party,” and other unique student activities. It will work with local open universities to organise for students to participate in the Seventh Internet Plus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition for University Students. It will innovate systems of rewarding and encouraging students, give better play to the role of student rewards, enhance the students’ sense of belonging, and to give encouragement rewards to about 10,000 students. It will organise activities to bring together outstanding alumni and to foster a campus cultural atmosphere of solidarity and hard work. It should speed up the concrete and standardised construction of a database of frequently-asked questions, introduce artificial intelligence technology, and improve the level of response given to the students’ inquiries and questions.

9. Strengthen the construction of the experimental school based on the principle of demonstration

The OUC will build a comprehensive online operating model to promote the reform of teaching models and the reform of systems and mechanisms in an all-round way and promote the transformational development of the experimental school. It will deepen the structural adjustment of specialties to offer new majors suitable for emerging industries. It will investigate the mechanism and process of teaching team development under a new type of business model based on comprehensive online operation and create matching measures for assessment, reward, and punishment. It will promote the development of an integrated platform for online operation to support this new type of business model. It will also explore a postgraduate education model. It will strengthen student work and organise ideological and political education, mass entrepreneurship and innovation competitions, and other activities. It will adhere to fostering virtue through education, implement first-line rules, and put in place the “student-centred” principle.

III. Active involvement in building an educational system serving lifelong learning for all

10. Promote the integration of open universities around China to serve lifelong learning for all

The OUC will engage in an in-depth study of the new situation and new problems facing the construction of open universities, and conduct investigations on the OUC regional centre, standardised study centres for online and offline integration, the “group” education model, and the OUC system operation standards. Under the guidance of the relevant departments of the MOE, it will sign a memorandum of understanding and related agreements on the establishment of the OUC development community. It will promote the transformational development of local open universities and strengthen support for city and county open universities. It will align efforts to consolidate and expand the achievements of poverty alleviation through education in an effort to promote rural revitalisation and take the initiative to build an upgraded version of the MOE's “One College Student Per Village Programme.”

11. Promote social training targeted at practical results

The OUC will establish an institutional mechanism to encourage all departments to participate in the implementation of non-degree education. It will explore the management of non-degree education projects and a corresponding financial security system suitable for market-oriented operation. It will build a number of characteristic physical training colleges. By focusing on key areas and serving special groups, it will engage in the targeted development of social training programmes and products around the detailed training fields. It will formulate and issue an OUC training standard system. It will explore an OUC Internet Plus social training model to improve training ability, training quality, social benefit, and economic returns.

12. Promote community education focused on brand building

Enterprises and colleges will research and develop community education cloud classrooms and other one-stop customised learning products, build training brands like the online community education lecture hall, offer live video streaming, jointly develop courses with unique features, and research and develop online-offline integrated training programmes by making full use of the OUC’s existing achievements and the influence of the MOE Research and Training Centre for Community Education. The OUC will work on research projects related to community education and organise the selection of achievements and high-quality work cases. It will start a community education teacher team building project based on the idea of “those who can teach” and the plan for “intangible cultural heritage inheritors and rural wealthy leaders assisting rural revitalisation.” It will launch a sharing activity for quality courses of community education and the construction of a lifelong learning experience base and promote online community education as a new channel for learning around the country.

13. Accelerate the construction of universities for older adults targeted at realistic implementation

The application for construction of NationalUniversity for Older Adults based on the OUC’s existing resources will be started. It will speed up the enforcement of the “special zone” policy, and fully empower universities for older adults in terms of human resources, the power to get things done, and financial resources. Based on the open university system and focusing on associations of education for older adults, it will accelerate the system construction of universities for older adults. It will promote the integration of education resources, create curriculum products for different groups of older adults and professional staff serving older adults, and establish multiple-level solutions for education for older adults. It will establish a new mechanism for the market-oriented operation of universities for older adults, establish a new type of win-win cooperation business with strategic partners, and explore a new model of development that integrates “health care and preservation, learning, and travel.” It will promote projects such as “intelligent assistance for older adults,” the “Seeing the Country” study tour, experimental teaching in Weigongcun, and overall teacher training. By relying on the Weishanzhuang campus in Daxing, it will start the construction of a national demonstration base for universities for older adults. It will launch the construction of a national sharing and public service platform for education resources for older adults.

14. Strengthen credit bank construction oriented towards practical application

The OUC will promote the natural connection of degree education with external education and training, education for older adults, and community education by using the credit bank mechanism. It will successfully operate a national credit bank for vocational education in order to expand the scope of its application, increase the number of users to more than 20 million, and improve the authority and credibility of credit recognition. It will complete the MOE’s "Research on the Construction of the National Credit Bank” research project, and find solutions for the structure, mechanism, and local relationships of the credit bank, and other key issues. It will also undertake the relevant services of the Steering Advisory Commission of National Vocational Education.

IV. Enhancing capacity construction to support high-quality development

15. Improve research capacity rooted in serving education and teaching

The OUC should speed up the construction of discipline and degree areas to strengthen three featured disciplines; build one to two interdisciplinary and emerging disciplines; integrate and gather the relevant academic forces (institutions) of the university; discover the breakthrough direction of master’s degrees relating to specialties of open education and community education; actively explore postgraduate education; and apply for the right to grant master's degrees in accordance with regulations. It will speed up cooperation with universities in China and abroad to explore the advancement of postgraduate education in three to five majors. It will produce quality publications, such as Distance Education in China and E-Learning, hold effective brand activities such as professor and doctoral forums, and launch a series of “academic salons.” It will strengthen the construction of the academic commission to create research centres with unique characteristics and cultivate an academic community. It will improve and perfect its scientific research management system to create an academic environment conducive to dedicated research and courageous innovation among its staff. It will innovate the organisation model of scientific research in order to organise major projects in the fields of cultural heritage and innovation, online education, lifelong education, education for older adults, external training, and undergraduate vocational education. It will conduct policy consultation research around the practical problems of reform and development and the MOE’s need for decision-making. It will promote the construction of high-level innovation centres in order to build an institute of education for older adults, add one or two MOE scientific research centres, enhance the scientific research ability of the existing MOE Engineering Research Center, and build a demonstration centre.

16. Strengthen learning resources construction capacity based on the principle of practical use and easy learning

The OUC will revise and improve its construction standards for learning resources in order to reform the relevant construction, evaluation, and application models. It will create an innovative supply model for learning resources by promoting new methods of introduction, bidding, and sharing. It will strengthen the construction, revision, research, and management of teaching materials on the basis of existing course resources, implement the basic allocation of learning resources, and ensure that learning resources effectively support course teaching. It will optimise and strengthen branded courses through its specialised plans for building “excellent courses by famous teachers” and “gold courses” and develop about 50 “gold courses” for degree education through multiple channels. It will strengthen the construction and allocation of high-quality learning resources in the field of non-degree education, such as external education and training, community education, and education for older adults. It will build a learning resource sharing alliance that serves the construction of a lifelong learning system. It will establish a long-term mechanism for the operation and promotion of learning resources. It will complete the construction of the OUC smart library.

17. Strengthen international cooperation capacity by increasing the university's influence

The OUC will strengthen the construction of international cooperation platforms, deepen cooperation and exchange with UNESCO in related fields, and give full play to the university’s positive role in international organisations such as the International Council for Open and Distance Education and the Asian Association of Open Universities. It will speed up development in the field of internationalisation and explore paths to internationalisation in the joint training of postgraduate students, academic exchanges and cooperation, and business promotion. It will leverage the advantages of local open universities and work together to create international cooperation projects with distinctive regional characteristics. It will put into effect the multi-party cooperation programme for overseas study centres and begin teaching. It will optimise the construction layout and professional guidance of overseas Huaqiao College to advance cooperation with the Overseas Chinese Charity Foundation of China. It will explore the transformational development of online Confucius institutes to promote International Chinese Language Education degree and non-degree education and spread Chinese culture throughout the world. It will develop online international teacher training programmes to provide teachers from the OUC system with online opportunities for international studies.

V. Upgrading the level of the university to ensure the conditions for high-quality operation

18. Improve the level of information technology targeted at convenience and advancement

The OUC will accelerate educational informatisation, and build “one route, one network, and one platform” and put them into use. It will complete the upgrading and renovation of the campus network to realise the full 5G coverage across the campus and to promote the full digitisation of business scenarios. It will balance platform development and technical maintenance, promote the movement and connection of data between the new and old platforms, and give trainings on the use of new platforms. It will promote the in-depth application of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, 5G, and block chain, extend the use of electronic signatures, seals, licenses, and invoices to improve the university’s level of e-governance. It will continue to enforce the Party committee’s network security responsibility system and construct a network security assurance system. It will integrate all necessary forces to create a public service platform in the field of lifelong learning for all.

19. Improve the level of finance and logistics targeted at enhancing satisfaction

The OUC will improve and standardise its financial system, improve the efficient of its work and services, and advance the construction of financial informatisation. It will focus on creating meticulous logistics services and improve the management level and service quality of logistics and security to build a smart, safe, and culturally advanced campus.

20. Upgrade the management level of university-run enterprises targeted at serving the overall situation of reform and development

The OUC will improve its modern corporate system, improve the governance system of university-run enterprises, and further improve the capacity and level of corporate governance.

VI. Spare no effort in effective organisation and implementation as well as supervision and inspection

21. Strengthen organisation and leadership

The OUC Party Committee will improve its inspection and supervision mechanism to enhance relevant responsibilities. The progress and results of all tasks will be publicised at regular intervals and used as evidence for assessments and rewards.

22. Refine the division of responsibilities

All departments will make and put into effect an implementation plan for key work points (including a matching expenditure plan) in order to create concrete task lists in light of the division of work and ensure responsibilities are fulfilled by all stakeholders.

23. Strengthen cooperation and collaboration

The OUC will improve its cross-department work coordination mechanism. All departments will step up their efforts to cooperate and collaborate.                   

24. Ensure inspection and supervision

All departments should pay close attention to the implementation of important tasks in order to ensure routine follow-up supervision of their main responsibilities. It is imperative that the OUC Party Committee see that all tasks are fulfilled with good results.