On March 3, 2023, Huai Jinpeng, the minister of the Ministry of Education (MOE), attended the establishment ceremony of the Seniors University of China (SUC) and delivered a speech. Wu Yan, vice minister, presided over the event.

Huai Jinpeng emphasised that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed significant emphasis on education for older adults and implemented a series of crucial decisions and arrangements. The report presented at the 20th National Congress of the CPC highlighted the need to implement a proactive national strategy in response to population ageing, which has provided us with the direction to develop education for older adults and served as a fundamental principle. The establishment of the Seniors University of China (SUC) is a tangible step taken by the education system to serve the national strategy and assist in building a society and country where lifelong learning is pursued by all. In compliance with the requirements outlined in The Guideline of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council on Strengthening the Work on Ageing in the New Era, and with strong support from the relevant departments of the central government, the SUC was officially inaugurated today. This represents a specific measure to fulfill the people's expectations and implement a proactive national strategy in response to population ageing in the year of thorough implementation of the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the CPC. It also marks a significant milestone in the reform and development of education for older adults in China.

Huai Jinpeng emphasised the importance of earnestly implementing the guiding principles of the 20th National Congress of the CPC and General Secretary Xi Jinping's vital instructions. He stressed the need to be acutely aware of the significant changes in economic and social structures and to have a comprehensive understanding of the political, social, and practical significance of promoting the establishment of a learning society and a lifelong learning system in China as the country transitions into an ageing society. It is crucial that we steadily implement all tasks involved in building the SUC to guarantee that older adults have access to learning opportunities that bring them joy and fulfillment.

The first goal is to mobilize the entire education system and facilitate the successful development of SUC. The educational principles of promoting "virtue, learning, health, happiness, and accomplishment" should be universally implemented in an open and collaborative manner. Regular institutions of higher education and vocational colleges should provide services for elderly education. Primary and secondary schools are encouraged to utilize their sports and cultural facilities to serve older adult education, while both in-service and retired teachers are supported to contribute to education for older adults. In this way, a variety of social resources will be activated, and the potential of the university will be fully developed to establish a university without boundaries that is highly regarded by the public.

The second goal is to mobilize resources from across society and jointly develop a successful university that knows no bounds. A joint conference mechanism for elderly education will be established in collaboration with related departments, and resources will be shared by following demand-driven, service-oriented, and category-based policies. This will enable education services to extend to townships, sub-districts, villages, and communities, ensuring that the SUC truly becomes a cooperative university without boundaries between households, universities, and society.

The third goal is to embrace the digital trend and develop a successful university for seniors in an open manner. By understanding the characteristics of older adults' life and learning, the course resources and teaching modes will be transformed, leveraging modern information technology to achieve the best integration between the seniors university and digitalisation strategy. This will allow the seniors university to integrate into the global development process, develop a Chinese experience and approach, and collaborate with the world to promote resource sharing among seniors universities in the context of digitalisation.

Responsible comrades from several government departments and relevant departments of the MOE, as well as members of the leadership, middle-level cadres, and staff representatives from the OUC (SUC), participated in the event for the establishment of the SUC.


Reprinted by OUC New Network from the MOE Official Website