On 12 October 2023, the International Department of the Open University of China (OUC) hosted a presentation by visiting scholars from the 2022 Sino-British Fellowship Project.
This initiative aims to promote UK Open and Distance Education Programmes for personnel from Chinese Open Universities. The event was organised to foster international exchanges, mutual learning, and to enhance the capabilities of faculty in international cooperation and communication.
Fan Xianrui, a member of the OUC Party Committee and vice president, addressed the meeting via a video link. Nine distinguished scholars from the OUC and other local open universities showcased their insights and findings. The event witnessed participation from over 200 faculty and staff members, both online and in person. The proceedings were chaired by Shi Yunzhi, the deputy director of the OUC International Department.
Fan Xianrui emphasised in her speech that the OUC has diligently acted upon the decisions and strategies related to expanding educational outreach set by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council, and the Leading Party Group of the Ministry of Education. Especially since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the OUC has introduced a range of measures to promote international exchanges and cooperation, share Chinese culture and China’s perspectives globally, boost the development of overseas learning centres, organise international conferences, continuously improve its global presence, and continually refine the OUC’s image.
She highlighted that the OUC is committed to building a world-class open university with Chinese characteristics, the Seniors University of China, and the digital university. The focus will be on integrating internationalization with digitalisation, planning the creation of a global digital education platform, and pioneering new avenues for a digital study abroad programme. The aim is to enhance the international influence, shaping ability, and leadership of China’s education.
She expressed her hope that the visiting scholars would reflect on their learnings and build upon their achievements. She encouraged them to draw from the UK’s practices to benefit the OUC’s educational development, to equally prioritize teaching and research, and to elevate their research standards. Additionally, she emphasised the importance of each department and branch in providing full support for the visiting study programme. The goal is to fortify the development of an international talent pool, collaboratively improve the global operational capabilities of open universities, and offer talent and intellectual backing for the establishment of a world-class open university with Chinese characteristics.
The nine visiting scholars from the Project each gave presentations, sharing their experiences, outcomes, reflections, insights, and future plans from their visit. They all agreed that the visiting study was a valuable and memorable experience that broadened their academic horizons, and enhanced their abilities in international cooperation, research, and cross-cultural communication. Moving forward, they plan to integrate the knowledge and insights gained from their visit into their future teaching and research.
Written by Liu Xiaoqian, photographed by Zhuge Huanyu and Liu Xiaoqian