The 2009 ICDE Standing Conference of Presidents was held from November 19th to 22nd, 2009 in Barcelona, Spain. Under the theme of 'Quality in the Context of the Financial Crisis', the meeting was advanced by in-depth discussions and exchanges. The ICDE Strategic Plan 2009-2012 was presented in the closing plenary session. The meeting, hosted by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain, was attended by eighty executives representing fifty institutions from five continents.

Zhang Shaogang, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Open University of China(OUC), Hu Xiaosong, President of Beijing TV University and John LEONG Chi-yan, President of the Open University of Hong Kong, participated in the meeting  on behalf of China.


Opening Plenary Welcome of SCOP 2009(Courtesy to ICDE)


Zhang Shaogang participating in the workshop discussions on “Quality Upgrading”

The following objectives have been identified for the ICDE Strategic Plan 2009-2012: 1. To become the global arena for the discussion of distance education policies; 2. To promote quality in distance, flexible and ICT-based education; 3. To contribute to the development of new methodologies and technologies; 4. To foster cooperation between members. A manifold of projects would be derived from the prioritized objectives and the strategies. The significance of bringing in new members was emphasized in the strategy as ICDE could thus increase its income to better support the strategies and actions. It should especially ensure that otherwise marginalized groups were going to be invited to conferences and meetings and initiatives. ICDE should support projects stressing collaboration between members, promote research in this area and give members access to relevant publications about policy developments. It was of critical importance that ICDE should engage countries with developing economies as well as nations representing both north and south in their work related to quality.


Zhang Shaogang talking with the Secretary-General and new Executive Committee member of ICDE

The meeting included four parallel workshop sessions under the themes of  'Quality Upgrading', 'New entrepreneurship', 'Employability and Lifelong Learning' and 'Leading Innovative Approaches to the Financial Crisis'. Zhang Shaogang had made greater contributions to the workshop session of 'Quality Upgrading'. In the workshop discussions, he first defined 'quality' in the five aspects of the society, students, government, enterprise employees and school staff, and then stated his views on quality assurance in five dimensions. In addition, he shared with the executives the experience on the cooperative project of training e-learning tutors between the Open University of China and the Open University UK, and introduced the characteristics of the open and distance education of the open universities in China. His views and opinions were highly appreciated and recognized.


Seeking opportunities for international cooperation

During the meeting, Zhang Shaogang communicated proactively with such prominent executives as the Secretary-General of ICDE, President of the Open University of Israel, President of Spiru Haret University, Romania, President of SIM University, Singapore, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Open University, UK, Vice-President of Thomson Rivers University, Canada, President of the Hellenic Open University, Greece, and Rector of Beirut Arab University, Lebanon. Through the exchanges and communications, on one hand, he was updated on the relevant cooperative projects, and on the other hand, he actively sought various possibilities for international cooperation. For instance, the Hellenic Open University, Greece expressed its strong wishes to carry out the international cooperation on the Chinese language teaching, which was regarded as a symbol of further collaboration to be focused on for the Open University of China.

Han Yanhui, Faculty of Foreign Languages, the OUC