On 19th October 2009, the Open University of China (formerly the China Central Radio & TV University) signed a cooperation framework agreement with CIBT Education Group Inc. (CIBT). Vice Secretary Zhang Shaogang of the Party Committee in the OUC and President Dean Duperron of Sprott-Shaw College of Canada signed the agreement on behalf of OUC and CIBT respectively. The signing of the cooperation framework agreement was a key event in the "2009 International Forum on Open and Distance Education".

The collaboration is aimed at making use of each other's educational resources and advantages. Under the preconditions of having common objectives, complementary advantages and mutual benefits, both parties will introduce to each other new ideas of running schools, management expertise and operational modes, to broaden the scope of education, to improve teaching and learning quality, and to expand the influence of both parties in international education markets by launching cooperative educational programmes in a number of fields, in various countries including China and Canada,. At present, the bilateral cooperation agreement covers teaching Chinese language and popularizing Chinese culture, cooperating in the courses of hotel and lodging management, talent training, English teaching, and related distance educational training and exchanges.

At the signing ceremony, Secretary Ruan Zhiyong of the Party Committee in the OUC introduced the basic conditions of the OUC to the CIBT partners and expressed OUC's full support to all the programmes included in the cooperation framework and its full confidence in the future of the cooperation.

Professor Dean Duperron, CIBT representative, extended sincere congratulations on the 30th anniversary of OUC at first, and then wore the OUC badges with "30th Anniversary" with other delegation members. He said that CIBT has rich teaching resources and experience of running schools cooperatively and attaches high attention to its cooperation with OUC, and that the CIBT will give all rounded support and guarantee future cooperation.

Mr. Shuai Yang, responsible for the management of CIBT sites in China and president of China-Canada College said that CIBT has about 20 subsidiaries in the west of Canada, which serve the entire North America. The OUC has been a leader in teaching Chinese as a foreign language and has successfully undertaken a number of teaching programmes of China "Hanban" (Chinese Language Office). Its advantages are clear. The cooperation this time takes Chinese language teaching as a starting point to explore concrete cooperative modes and details, lays foundations and makes full preparations for wider and deeper cooperation.

Subsequently, both parties engaged discussion and exchanged views on the cooperative programmes. They agreed that within the framework agreement they can coordinate their own related subsidiaries for further cooperation details, and independent cooperative project agreements can be signed in line with actual progress of each project for independent operation. In addition, the OUC and CIBT will consider launching cooperation in the fields of distance education and vocational education. If new cooperation agreements are reached, the new projects will be operated in accordance with the items in the cooperation framework agreement.

CIBT Education Group Inc. is an international education management and investment company listed in Canadian and American stock exchanges. Its subsidiaries include educational institutions like Sprott-Shaw College in Canada, Beijing China-Canada School of Business, and China-Canada Beihai International College in Shandong, China. It is one of the first foreign-funded institutions engaged in running schools cooperatively in China. Its Sprott-Shaw College was established in 1903. It confers bachelor's degree and is the largest private career college with the longest history in the west coast of Canada.

Reported by Wu Han from the OUC