At 10 am on 21 June 2019, the conference to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Open University of China (OUC) was held.

Relevant leaders of the Ministry of Education (MOE), domestic and foreign guests, experts and scholars from various fields, representatives from all walks of life who care about and support the construction and development of the OUC, representatives of cooperative universities and industries, and representatives of faculty and alumni gathered together to review the development of the OUC over the past 40 years. Having inherited a fine school-running tradition, the OUC has demonstrated its achievements over the past 40 years. The participants looked forward to a bright future and hope to jointly create more glory for the OUC. Member of the MOE Party committee and deputy minister of the MOE, Sun Yao; member of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), deputy director of the Constitution and Law Committee of the NPC, and vice chairman of the Central Committee of the China Domestic League (CDL), Xu Hui; deputy director of the former Press and Publication Administration and chairman of the China Media Culture Promotion Association (CMCPA), Li Dongdong; vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the 7th Presidium of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, Party committee member, and vice chairman, Lv Shiming; and State Council Counsellor Tang Min attended the conference.

More than 400 people attended the conference, including relevant representatives and heads of the MOE, the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the All-China Women’s Federation, the China Disabled Persons' Federation, the National Bureau of Statistics, the National Health Commission, the Central Military Commission, the Air Force Major Commands, the Chinese Armed Police Force (CAPF), Beijing Municipal Education Commission, cooperative universities, industry associations, enterprises, open universities from local regions, RTVUs at the provincial level, experts and scholars, teaching faculty and representatives of the OUC, student alumni representatives, and journalists. The branches of the OUC, its schools and study centres, and each department of the OUC headquarters established more than 400 online broadcast sessions. About 30,000 people watched the live broadcast through various terminals.

Over 20 institutions sent congratulatory letters to the celebration conference, including North China University of Technology, the University of International Business and Economics, the International Council for Open and Distance Education, Tsinghua University, the HR Division of MWR, the China Association of Social Work, and China Post Group.

MOE Party committee member and vice minister of the MOE, Sun Yao

Sun Yao conveyed minister of the MOE Chen Baosheng’s greetings to all the staff and students of the OUC system. He congratulated the OUC system for its 40 years of contributions to promoting educational equality, deepening education reform, and promoting educational modernisation.

He stressed that a new era must have new actions. He hopes that the OUC will thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping's socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, adhering to the requirements of the central government's theme of "remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind", striving to implement the requirements to "serve the country with education and keep the original intention” and “foster virtue and undertake the mission", insisting on the direction of socialist education, and guiding the teachers and students to practice the core values of socialism. It is necessary to make full use of modern technologies such as 5G and artificial intelligence to promote the in-depth integration of technology and education, and integrate and share quality education resources in order to benefit more members of society. It is necessary to open universities and RTVUs across the country to form a joint force for reform and innovation. It is hoped that the OUC will make new contributions to accelerating the modernisation of education, making China an education power, and satisfying members of society through the education cause.

Party secretary and president of the OUC, Yang Zhijian

Cao Guoyong, executive deputy secretary of the OUC Party Committee, presided over the conference

Yang Zhijian, secretary of the Party committee and president of the OUC, delivered a speech at the conference. He pointed out that over the past 40 years, the OUC has embarked on an open university path with Chinese characteristics in line with China's national conditions. Over the past 40 years, the OUC has adapted to China's national conditions, taking root in the land of China, adhering to the needs of serving economic and social development and the all-round development of the people, running schools with open concepts and methods, and adhering to a school orientation aimed local and grassroots areas, rural areas, and remote and ethnic minority areas. The OUC has adhered to the concepts of "employing famous teachers and famous teaching methods" and developing a university based on teaching quality, tracking and applying advanced information technology to promote education and teaching reform, and establishing school-running network across rural and urban regions. The OUC is often referred to as a new type of "Internet+ university" and "a university without walls.”

Professor Chen Lin, a foreign language education expert

At the conference, a video of an interview with Professor Chen Lin, a foreign language education expert, was broadcast. Professor Chen Lin served as a lecturer in radio and television English from 1978 to 1984. He compiled the textbooks English and RTVU English, making prominent contributions in developing the early teaching direction of RTVUs. In the interview, Professor Chen Lin introduced his teaching experience and thoughts about his career and described the development history of the OUC. He pointed out that, over the past 40 years, the OUC has made a major contribution to the popularisation of education across the country. He hopes that the OUC will continue to play a role in the implementation of national policies, making new and greater contributions.

Professor Tan Haoqiang, an expert in computer education

Professor Tan Haoqiang was invited to attend the 40th Anniversary Conference and give a speech. He mentioned that in the late 1970s, China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) was established, realising the university dream of hundreds of thousands of young people. The RTVU is a new type of university without walls and has created a precedent for the popularisation of universities. It is important that the RTVUs adhere to the teaching principle of "gathering talented professionals from around the country to provide the best education" and employ first-class teachers from across the country to give lectures. All the teachers take great pains with their work and are strict with themselves in order to achieve good teaching results. 

Professor Liu Zhimin from the Faculty of Economics and Management delivered a speech on behalf of the representatives of the teaching staff. Graduate representatives delivered speeches, including Long Siqing, Rural Administrative Management junior undergraduate in 2011 and undergraduate in 2014, and National Red-Banner Pace-setter; Zhu Guiquan, Administrative Management undergraduate in 2011 and 2005 top 10 figure that moved Qingdao; and Dong Ming, business administration management undergraduate in 2015 and China youth "May 4th" medal winner. The on-campus OUC student representative, Yu Pusong, also delivered a speech. He is majoring in Mechanical Design and Automation at the Qinhuangdao branch of Hebei RTVU under the OUC. He enrolled at the school in 2017 and is also a member of the 13th NPC.

On the afternoon of 21 June, a group symposium of the presidents and secretaries of the branches was held. The leaders discussed the topics of the minister's speech and the future development of the open universities.

Over the past 40 years, the OUC has trained more than 14.4 million graduates, providing members of society with opportunities for non-degree education training. Currently, there are 4.04 million registered students, most of whom are on-the-job students. Among them, 55% of the students are from central and western regions and rural registered students account for 46%. There are nearly 200,000 rural college students, 130,000 military students, and 5,000 disabled students. Among the graduates and students are Party representatives, NPC members, CPPCC members, and holders of various national medals and honours.

Foreign embassy officials visited the South Hall

Opening ceremony of the Multilingual Learning Platform

                                             Press conference for the launch of a series of books commemorating the 40th anniversary of the OUC

In the afternoon, an opening ceremony for the Multilingual Learning Platform and a launch ceremony for a series of books commemorating the 40th anniversary of the OUC were held. Awards for the Enrolment Creative Micro Video Contest and the OUC System Teachers’ Painting Competition were also given out. First prizes for the Enrolment Creative Micro Video Contest went to the Shanghai branch, Wuhan branch, and Sichuan branch. Fifteen branches won second prizes and 25 branches won “outstanding” prizes. Five branches won “most popular” prizes and eight branches won “best organisation” prizes. Representatives of the prize winners went on stage to receive the honour certificates. The OUC System Teachers’ Painting Competition selected two special prizes, ten first prizes, twenty second prizes, and sixty third prizes. In addition, 47 paintings won the nomination award. Twelve units won the organisation awards. President Yang Zhijian presented the awards to the organisations where the special prize and the first prize winners work, as well as twelve branch representatives who won the “organisation” award.

At the end of the conference, a staff commendation ceremony was also held for Hu Kuan, Liu Guo, Wang Wenlin, and 583 other teachers who have worked at the OUC for 40 years, as well as sixty-eight incumbent school-level leaders who have worked at the OUC for 20 years, such as Wang Haitian, Deng Songdong, Zhao Liling, Wang Hongning, and Li Dongqing.

Awards for the Enrolment Creative Micro Video Contest were given out

Awards for the OUC System Teachers’ Painting Competition were given out

School leaders who have worked at the OUC for twenty years and teaching staff who have worked at the OUC for 40 years were commended

OUC Outstanding Alumnus Symposium

By Wu Yaqi, OUC