On 16 December 2018, the Science and Technology Department of the Ministry of Education (MOE) entrusted the Open University of China (OUC) to organise experts to check and accept the construction project of the MOE’s Engineering Research Centre for Technology Integration and the Application of E-Learning (Engineering Research Centre).

An acceptance inspection meeting was held at the OUC. Chen Geng, a professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, acts as chairman of the expert group, which includes Wang Qiong, professor of Peking University; Li Dan, associate professor of Tsinghua University (young Yangtze River scholar); professors of Beijing Normal University, Zhang Weiyuan and Huang Ronghuai (Yangtze River scholar); and Xie Wei, general manager of Guangzhou Distance Education Centre Co., Ltd. Yang Zhijian, Secretary of the Party Committee and President of the OUC, and Li Linshu, OUC Vice President, addressed the meeting, which was presided over by Li Yanzhong, Director of the Reform, Development, and Policy Research Office (Poverty Alleviation Office and Scientific Research Management Office). The meeting was also attended by personnel from relevant departments of the OUC.

Introduction to the Construction Process of the Engineering Research Centre

Yang Zhijian, director of the Engineering Research Centre, introduced the preparatory process for the Centre and talked about its future construction prospects. Wei Shunping, deputy director of the Engineering Research Centre, reported on the construction process and status quo of the centre. The acceptance expert group reviewed the relevant information and inspected the engineering research centre. After questioning and discussions, the acceptance expert group agreed that the OUC has completed the construction of the Engineering Research Centre, and unanimously agreed that the project has passed acceptance inspection.

Onsite inspection by the expert group

On 30 October 2013, the "Notice of the MOE on the Plan for the Establishment of the MOE’s Construction Project for the Engineering Research Centre in 2013 (Educational Technology Letter [2013] 56)" was issued. The MOE’s Engineering Research Centre for Technology Integration and the Application of E-Learning (Engineering Research Centre) was included in the plan. Since the approval of the OUC’s Engineering Research Centre, the OUC has conformed to the development direction of "focus on modern distance education, support the construction of the OUC and serve the digital learning needs of all members of the society, establish a digital learning environment, collect resources, and carry out demonstration and application projects.” It has given full play to the advantages of demonstration and applied schools throughout the country, and made joint efforts with companies during the construction, which has resulted in significant progress and achievements. The Engineering Research Centre has completed the construction of a digital learning environment laboratory, a digital learning resources laboratory, a digital learning model research centre, a credit bank application research centre, and a teaching capacity construction research centre. It has undertaken two national projects, two MOE Education Science Planning research projects, two Beijing Education Science Planning projects, and eight other projects at the provincial and ministry level. Twelve software copyrights and copyrights of works have been applied for, 16 awards and honours from various national, provincial, ministerial and international organisations have been received, 37 Chinese and English books have been published, 240 academic papers have been published in important journals, and seven relevant international and domestic academic conferences have been held.

Facing the future, the Engineering Research Centre will adhere to the core concept of the deep integration of information technology and education and teaching, adhere to the basic principles of being application-driven and innovating mechanisms, support and lead education modernisation with educational informatisation, serve the construction of an "Internet Plus" University, and contribute to distance and open education in China.

By Wei Fangfang, OUC, photo by Li Muming