To further advance the implementation of the thematic education campaign on Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and to effectively carry out the important task of promoting the digitalisation of education and establishing a society and nation that prioritizes lifelong learning, the Open University of China (OUC) convened a meeting on May 20, 2023.

The meeting, titled "Implementing the Guiding Principles of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Empowering Lifelong Education with Digitalisation," focused on the work deployment for the first anniversary of the launch of the OUC Lifelong Education Platform and the ten major actions in 2023. Fan Xianrui, a member of the Party Committee and vice president of the OUC, attended the event and delivered a speech. Also present were Zhong Yuning, deputy secretary of the Party Committee and president of Hubei Open University; Zhang Jixian, member of the Party Committee and vice president of Zhejiang Open University; Wang Guowei, member of the Party Committee and vice president of Shanxi Open University; along with industry experts, scholars, strategic partners, and university officials from relevant departments.

Fan Xianrui emphasized that lifelong learning has become both an action goal and a shared consensus within the international community. The 20th National Congress of the CPC explicitly proposed the promotion of education digitalisation and the creation of a society and nation where lifelong learning is pursued by all. The Leading Party Group of the Ministry of Education attaches great importance to advancing and implementing the national education digitalisation strategy. The OUC has firmly committed itself to this cause and has actively constructed and launched the lifelong education platform, demonstrating its dedication to serving lifelong learning for all.

Firstly, the university is fully dedicated to building a digital university, aiming to achieve high-quality development through digitalisation. This entails focusing on top-level design and comprehensive planning. The university will continuously strive to enhance learning resources, teaching processes, examination and evaluation methods, and management services. Its ultimate goal is to provide a more equitable and inclusive education of superior quality to the wider public. Secondly, the OUC aims to gather a wealth of useful resources that are easily accessible for learning purposes. These resources will contribute to improving learners' core competencies, including specialized skills, digital thinking, foreign language proficiency, artistic accomplishments, and innovation and entrepreneurship abilities. The goal is to create a broad platform for individuals to enhance their lives and make a positive impact. Thirdly, the OUC aims to strengthen cooperation with the OUC education system, renowned universities, research institutions, and leading enterprises. By harnessing the power of digital technology in amplification, integration, and multiplication, the university seeks to drive the high-quality development of education. This approach involves reshaping the new ecosystem of open education and facilitating the construction of a learning society where anyone can learn anytime and anywhere.

Cheng Gang, the director of the Information Technology Department at the OUC, presented an overview of the lifelong education platform, including its basic information, resource scale, unique features, and notable achievements since its launch. Yuan Yaxing, the chairman of OUC Online Education and Technology, provided insights into the platform's operational data, services offered to learners in the past year, and the social benefits it has generated.

During the event, the ten major actions of "Empowering Lifelong Education with Digitalisation" in 2023 were announced. These actions are as follows: "The Mythical Animal Bai Ze Has Arrived – the Birth of Intelligent Q&A 'Smart Learning Companion'," "Learning with Digital Intelligence," "Esthetic Education for All," "Innovation and Entrepreneurship Action," "Rural Revitalisation Action," "Female Growth and Digitalisation Action for Combined Family, School, and Society Education," "Education Foundation Support Action," "Learning Action with Gains," "Exquisite Resources Construction Action," and "Action for Brothers of the Same Mind." These ten actions aim to leverage modern information technology and strive to establish a new educational ecosystem for lifelong learning, with the ultimate goal of realising lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The open universities of Hubei, Zhejiang, and Shanxi are among the first provincial lifelong education platforms to be granted access. They are collaborating with the OUC to establish a digital learning platform that provides regional services. The primary objective is to continually address the varied learning requirements of the public and strive towards achieving "need-based teaching."

The event also extended invitations to platform partners, industry experts, scholars, and student representatives to share their experiences of using the lifelong education platform and express their expectations for its future.

In the future, the OUC Lifelong Education Platform will continue its efforts in building and curating high-quality learning resources across various categories and fields. By prioritizing renowned instructors' guidance and providing accessible and valuable learning materials, the platform will ensure that learners' diverse educational needs are fully met, with the ultimate goal of offering a suitable course for everyone. Furthermore, the platform will explore the integration of multimedia teaching materials, virtual simulation experiments, and innovative forms of course resources. This approach will enable the continuous enhancement of digital resources through the application of emerging technologies, fostering collaborative creation, sharing, and connectivity of high-quality digital resources. The aim is to elevate the level of digital management within the platform. To improve the quality assessment of learning resources, the platform will place additional emphasis on implementing intelligent recommendations and comprehensive evaluations throughout the entire learning process. Leveraging technologies such as knowledge mapping and big data analysis, the platform will facilitate intelligent resource recommendations and provide holistic evaluations. These efforts will contribute to the realisation of a learning society and country where lifelong learning is pursued by all.


By Zhang Jun, OUC