From November 27-28, 2014, China International Distance Education Conference 2014 was held in Beijing. With the theme of “Science and Technology Leads Future Learning, Strategic Choices in the Age of Changing Education”, the Conference focused on the development of information technology, scientific and technological achievements in related fields, and “MOOC”, and discussed their impact on traditional education fields in China and how Chinese education should respond to the challenge.

President of the OUC Yang Zhijian and secretary general of the Cooperative Group of National Colleges and Universities for Modern Distance Education (CGNCUMDE) Yan Jichang both addressed the opening ceremony. Yang Zhijian said that an online model promoting large-scale online education has brought about important changes in learning methodology, while opening up new avenues for lifelong learning. The public has never had so much access to higher education, particularly disadvantaged groups, thanks to open and distance education. In the past, education was not used to its full potential to remove obstacles to learning and to build an open and flexible public platform, in order to provide lifelong education opportunities in a personalized, diversified and new educational model. He also hoped that the attendees would have the chance to learn from each other, build a consensus and promote the deeper integration of Internet technology and education to better serve society. 

Vice director-general of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education(DVAE) of the Ministry of Education (MOE), Liu Jiantong, together with director of the MOE Science and Technology Development Centre (STDC) Li Zhimin, vice president of Tsinghua University and vice director of the MOE Research Centre for Online Education Yuan Si, director of the National Key Laboratory of Manufacturing Systems Engineering of Xi’an Jiaotong University and Distinguished “Cheung Kong Scholar” Li Dichen, and director of the Distance and Continuing Education Division of the DVAE Liu Ying gave reports entitled “Grasp the New Normal and Serve New Development”, “Science and Technology Development and Changing Education”, “MOOCs: Practice and Exploration”, “3D Printing Technology: A powerful Tool for Innovation” and “The Opening up of Education and Open Education: Thoughts on the Reform and Development of Continuing Education in Higher Education” respectively.

Head of the magazine “Distance Education in China” and Vice General Manager of the OUC’s publishing and media group Zhao Wei hosted the opening ceremony. 

Chairman of the board of ChinaEDU Huang Bo, Huawei’s BG China marketing director for the Education Industry Kong Meng, and the leader of Tsinghua University Outstanding Course “The Principles of Circuits”, doctoral supervisor and one of the first five MOOC teachers at Tsinghua University, Yu Xinjie gave speeches entitled “Online Education under the Principles of Internet Thought”, “Learn Happily, ‘Zero Distance in the World: Huawei Smart Education Goes with You” and “Spread Your Wings and Set Down Roots: MOOC Sustainable Development” respectively. 

The following events were held at the same time as the conference: Summit Forum for University MOOC Development; Summit Forum for Presidents of Online Education and Continuing Education Institutions of Higher Education; Summit Forum for the Construction of Open Universities and the Strategic Transformation of RTVUs; Summit Forum for Enterprise E-Learning Practices and Corporate University Construction; Summit Forum and Fair for Smart Campuses Between China and Taiwan; Summit Forum for Scientific and Technological Development and Future Learning; Summit Forum for the Construction and Application of Mobile Learning and Micro Courses, Summit Forum for Enterprise E-Learning and New Technology Application; and Summit Forum for the Innovative Development of Online Education.  

The conference was jointly guided by the OUC and the CGNCUMDE, and organized by Distance Education in China Magazine Agency. Around 2,000 people from online schools of universities, corporate universities, the OUC, provincial RTVUs and open universities, and municipal RTVUs attended the conference. 

President Yang Zhijian of the OUC making a speech 

Secretary General of the CGNCUMDE Yan Jichang making a speech 

Vice director-general of the MOE DVAE Liu Jiantong delivering a speech 

Director of the MOE STDC Li Zhimin giving a speech with the topic “Science and Technology Development and Education Change”

Vice president of Tsinghua University and vice director of the MOE Research Centre for Online Education Yuan Si giving a speech with the topic “MOOC: Practice and Exploration”

President Yang Zhijian visits the exhibition area 

By He Jing, the OUC