On 21st June 2012, the Ministry of Education (MOE) approved the establishment of the Open University of China (OUC) on the foundation of China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU). On 31st July, the MOE held the unveiling ceremony for the OUC at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Member of Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and state councillor Liu Yandong attended the conference and made an important speech.

 The founding of the OUC marked the first step in the strategic transformation of the RTVUs. It is designed to deeply adhere to and implement the Outline of China’s National Medium and Long-Term Plan for Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) and the spirit of the important speech delivered by state councillor Liu Yandong at the founding of the OUC. It is designed to comprehensively promote the construction work of the OUC, further reach a consensus on reform and development, enhance the sense of responsibility, opportunity, and urgency, promote the coordinated development of the RTVU system, and achieve brilliance in distance and open education. 

Vice minister of the MOE Du Zhanyuan delivered a speech.

From 23rd-24th September 2012, the Seminar on the OUC Construction and National RTVU Party Secretary and President Conference was held in Beijing. Vice minister of the MOE Du Zhanyuan was present at the conference and delivered an important speech.

Du Zhanyuan put forward his requirements for OUC construction: first, make improving quality and exploring new paths the core task; second, further improve the OUC school operating system; third, open up thoughts, open up innovation, and constantly deepen reform; fourth, make promoting the construction of education informatisation a priority; fifth, strive to improve the co-construction and sharing of high-quality resources.

He pointed out that in order to successfully operate the OUC, it is necessary reach a consensus on the spirit of China’s education reform, the spirit of the speech delivered by Liu Yandong at the OUC founding on 31st July, so as to understand the significance of the construction of the OUC, and accurately and comprehensively grasp the requirements of OUC construction.

He also said that the OUC has unique features and advantages. This closely integrated school system has a unified strategy, common platform, and a variety of resources available to share. Each section is independent of each with distinctive features. We should make full use of the RTVU system in order to keep it maintained and developing. Furthermore, we should exercise the power of the RTVU to promote the construction of the OUC.

Seminar on the OUC Construction and National RTVU Party Secretary and President Conference.

Du Zhanyuan stressed that the OUC should make its features prominent, create its advantages, and actively explore the deep integration of information technology and open education. The OUC should become an experimental zone for education informatisation. It should be a demonstration area and take a leading role in promoting informatisation construction based on the principles of application-orientation, demand-led, mechanism innovation, and with multiple parties' participation.

The president of the OUC allocated the tasks necessary for OUC construction: boost and promote reform in a steady and orderly manner to resolve higher education development problems; strengthen public influence and enhance social presence; promote the construction of branches and address specific problems during the construction process; continue to form the OUC Charter and strive to seek requests from other parties; respond to students’ demands, deepen the teaching content, learner training model, and exam reform, and improve the quality of school operation; explore and establish a coordinated innovation mechanism, promote the deep integration of modern information technology and distance open education.

Seminar on the OUC Construction and National RTVU Party Secretary and President Conference

Member of the National Education Advisory Committee and team leader of the Lifelong Education System and Mechanism Construction Consultation Team Hao Keming believes that the OUC should concentrate on the deep integration between information technology and education reform. She stressed that the establishment of an open university with Chinese characteristics is a very complicated social project and suggested that OUC construction should be named a key national project and receive support in terms of policies and expenses. From the viewpoint of a city manager, Jiang Jun proposed that the OUC should cooperate with relevant cities, set up city support alliances, make use of their respective resources and advantages, and fulfil the rights of the majority to promote the educational equality. It should build a national continuing education system that caters to adult learning and meets the demands of various people for degree and non-degree continuing education to the greatest possible extent. Liu Yachang talked about the unique advantages of the OUC compared to an ordinary university. He said that the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) would continue to provide high-quality teaching resources, course resources, and degree conferment resources for the OUC’s construction. As a senior media professional, Yuan Xinwen pointed out that the OUC should not only improve its own quality and demonstrate its own features, but also conduct publicity to improve its recognition and reputation.

By Yan Jingzhen, www.china.org.cn