Recently, a meeting was held to discuss the construction of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre and the initiatives of the Open Learning Centre Construction Alliance in Yantai.
In attendance were Fan Xianrui, a member of the Party Committee and vice president of the Open University of China (OUC); Han Yaodong, the vice mayor of the Yantai Municipal People's Government; and Zhuang Weiping, a member of the Party Committee and vice president of Shandong Open University (OU). The gathering saw participation from nearly 100 secretaries, presidents, and officials responsible for foreign affairs from over 30 open universities nationwide. In total, 17 units participated in a vibrant exchange of ideas concerning the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre. The proceedings were chaired by Shi Yunzhi, the deputy director of the OUC International Department (Chinese Language Centre).
Group photo of the participants at the meeting
Fan Xianrui, a member of the Party Committee and vice president of the OUC
Fan Xianrui noted that the OUC, being a novel university directly overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE), is steadfast in executing the directives of the CPC Central Committee. Following the guidance of the MOE's Leading Party Group, the OUC is intensifying its efforts to enhance international collaboration and educational exchanges. The goal is to construct a tangible international platform, elevate the "Study in China" brand, and strike a balance between “bringing in” and “going global”.
She underscored the strategies for rolling out the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre:
Firstly, there is an emphasis on systematic planning with an aim for collective contribution and mutual benefits. The OUC is committed to a methodical approach, focusing on managing risks and progressing from simpler to more complex stages based on our capacities. The approach is to progress gradually, following the principle of "a unified brand, preemptive authorization, partner-led inauguration, collaborative contribution, and multi-party operation."
Secondly, a foundation of prior research will be laid to foster collaborative innovation. The approach here is to "initiate with a research project, followed by the setup, and then construction."
Lastly, there's a call for tailoring strategies based on local conditions to drive unique development. By leveraging our intrinsic strengths and attributes, we aim to capitalize on our comparative advantages. This involves devising a versatile developmental mechanism. The OUC educational framework is urged to actively collaborate with mainstream universities, industry leaders, research entities, and other institutions. This collaboration will ensure the efficient and appropriate establishment of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre.
Han Yaodong, vice mayor of Yantai Municipal People's Government
Han Yaodong remarked that Yantai Vocational College (also known as Yantai Open University) stands at the forefront of vocational education development in Yantai. The institution actively participates in the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre, marking a significant step in the university's drive for internationalization. He expressed hope that Yantai Vocational College (or Yantai Open University) would leverage this initiative to pave the "Yantai approach" for fostering a global educational community rooted in "people-to-people ties," thereby amplifying the international prominence of China's vocational education.
Zhuang Weiping, a member of the Party Committee and vice president of Shandong Open University
Zhuang Weiping noted that Yantai Open University has pioneered the development of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre in Shandong Province. This initiative is a valuable endeavor for Shandong in aligning with China's Belt and Road Initiative in open education and furthering international educational outreach. Shandong Open University is committed to offering comprehensive support, including faculty, platforms, and courses. Moreover, they encourage more institutions to join in developing the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre. This collaborative effort will significantly enhance China's international educational partnerships and exchanges.
Chen Xinzi, secretary of Party Committee of Yantai Vocational College (aka Yantai Open University)
Chen Xinzi said that Yantai Vocational College (aka Yantai Open University) will take this event as an opportunity to improve the level of international education and promote the high-quality development of open education by focusing on the construction of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre. The College will learn from the successful experience of other universities and colleges and carefully create a "small but beautiful" high-level innovative international project. It will develop vocational education resources with strong international influence, build a team of international teachers with affection, professionalism and high quality, gain operation experiences for international schools that can be replicated and popularized, and contribute the strength of Yantai vocational colleges to help with the “going global” initiative of China's vocational education.
Round-table work meeting
17 units discussed the progress, development plans, and unique practices of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre. They also offered suggestions for its development.
Fan Xianrui emphasised that the development of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre is not just a step to align with the national strategy, but also a pivotal move to boost local economic growth and enhance the university's overall quality. It's essential for every unit to collaborate and leverage their unique strengths in building the programme. This meeting should be viewed as a platform for mutual learning and cooperation, aiming for shared growth. Through our combined efforts, we can further the development of the programme and elevate the international standing of the OUC system.
Specialised lecture by Professor Zhang Zhongxiang
To support the successful development of the Future Academy Programme at the Open Learning Centre, Professor Zhang Zhongxiang, director of the Centre for African Studies at Shanghai Normal University, delivered a specialized lecture titled "China-Africa Education Cooperation in the Context of the China-Africa Community with a Shared Future in the New Era."
By Wang Fei and Cao Xiaoyan, OUC