The recent visit of the OUC delegation to the UK and Netherlands was deemed a great success. Headed by Vice-President Zhang Shaogang, the delegation visited distance and higher education institutions and relevant departments between 24 May and 1 June 2010. Out of this visit have grown some new partnerships with European higher education institutions,and the following achievements have made:
1. Following amicable discussions with Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Ely, the Chairman and Honorary Director of the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, the Trust has agreed to offer another 5-year scholarship for the academic visitors from China's radio and TV universities.
Vice-President Zhang Shaogang (middle) and other OUC delegates meet Mrs Anne Elizabeth Ely (third from right), the Chairman and Honorary Director of the Sino-British Fellowship Trust, and the Trustee Lady Youde (third from left).
2. The visit to the Open University of the United Kingdom (OUUK) proved fruitful, as both sides expressed their willingness to strengthen the partnership and develop joint research in open and distance education. One researcher from the OUC will be sent to the Institute of Educational Technology (IET) of the OUUK to conduct joint research into Open Education Resource (OER) Development as well as promoting the three online courses offered by the OUUK.
The OUC delegates meet Mr. Antony Gribbon (far right), the Managing Director of the OU Worldwide, Mrs Vicky Amos (black jacket), Director of International Development of the OU Worldwide, and Professor Josie Taylor (white jacket), Director of the IET of the OUUK.
3. The delegates had a lively discussion with the professors and researchers of Beyond Distance Research Alliance at the University of Leicester, with the presentation of Media Zoo making a deep impression on the Chinese visitors. Innovation through practical experiment in teaching and learning at the University of Leicester has transformed the way of teaching, and the effective combination of technology and pedagogy has had a significant impact.
4. In a meeting with Dr. Martin Oliver and Dr. Sara Price from the London Knowledge Lab at University of London's Institute of Education (IOE), the delegates were informed of the technology application and programmes offered by the IOE. Meanwhile, they value the recent development of the IOE as both a pioneer and an innovator in the field of higher education. Two academic visitors from the radio and TV universities of China will be working with Professor Carey Jewitt to conduct joint research.
5. The visit to the Open University of the Netherlands (OUN) also proved very productive. Rector and Professor Fred Mulder and his colleagues extended a warm welcome to the delegation. Presentations were made by Huub Spoormans, Chair of the Council of Deans, Lex Bijlsma, Dean of School of Computer Sciences, Huub Breukers, Director of Education Support Services Center and Wim Westera, Director of Learning Media. Senior International Relations Officer Dr. Fred de Vries and his colleagues discussed further collaboration with the delegates. Both parties agreed to facilitate the collaboration of professional development, strategic research and the learning of Chinese as a foreign language.
Mrs. Li Yawan, Director of the International Cooperation and Exchange Division of the OUC, talks to Rector Fred Mulder of the Open University of the Netherlands.
Overall, not only was the delegation brought up to speed on the latest developments of Europe's open universities, but also partnerships were established with some traditional universities, which are spearheading technology-supported teaching and learning.