How has community education in China developed over the past 30 years? Are the communities themselves satisfied with community education? What are people’s expectations for community education? How should community education develop in the future? 

On June 24, 2015, the Research and Training Centre for Community Education of the Ministry of Education (MOE) published Emerging National Lifelong Learning:2014 Community Education Satisfaction Survey Report(hereinafter referred to as the Report).

According to the Report, 81.93% of respondents agree or definitely agree with the idea that "it is never too old to learn". 77.11% of the respondents are interested in learning activities organized by the community. 71.93% are satisfied with the learning activities that they have taken part in, believing that participating in community activities can enrich their lives, improve their skills, and enhance their happiness.

The Report shows that satisfaction with community education varies by groups. There is a high percentage of the aged in community education. The middle-aged and the aged account for 75.72% of respondents to the survey. Retirees and rural residents are more satisfied with community education, scoring 81.18 points and 79.12 points respectively. The survey also showed that satisfaction with community education positively correlated with education degree. The higher the degree of education, the higher the rate of satisfaction with community education.

According to the survey, satisfaction with community education is positively correlated with the level of attention received from the local government. The degree of satisfaction for community education in non-experiment demonstration zones (at the county level), in experiment zones, and in demonstration zones is in an ascending order, which shows that community education in experiment zones and demonstration zones has not only achieved fruitful results, but also demonstrates that the attention and measures taken by the local government also play an important role in the development of community education.

The Report also investigates and analyzes the expectations of the practitioners of community education for the future development of community education. According to the Report, the practitioners of community education have a high degree of enthusiasm for their work, believing that working with community education can help to realize their own value while serving the public. However, many of them have been transferred to this position from other educational and teaching posts, so they lack knowledge of community education theory and practical social work training. However, they are eager to learn more and develop their professional skills. They also frequently call on the government to further strengthen its support for community education.

The Report was conducted by a survey team set up by the MOE Research and Training Centre for Community Education under the leadership of the MOE. After two years of survey and analysis, the survey covers 61 community education demonstration zones, 49 community education experiment zones, and 80 districts (counties) with certain working experience in community education. A total of 753,000 usable questionnaires were collected from community residents, and 28,000 usable questionnaires were collected from practitioners of community education.

The Open University of China (OUC) is directly under the administration of the MOE. Supported by modern information technology, it is a new-style university open to all members of society. The OUC was established on the basis of the former China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU). It was unveiled at the Great Hall of the People on July 31, 2012.

                                               By Yan Jingzhen and Yuan Xiao from