On the 20th September, 2018, the 8th OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar hosted by the Open University of China (OUC) and attended by representatives from the Open University of Japan (OUJ) and the Korea National Open University (KNOU) was held in Beijing.

The theme of the seminar was Online Teaching Development and Open University Innovation. The delegates from the three open universities conducted academic discussions and shared their experiences from the perspectives of teaching professionals and curriculum construction.

At the opening ceremony, Yang Zhijian, secretary of the Party Committee and president of the OUC, delivered a speech in which he welcomed and thanked the representatives from the OUJ and KNOU on behalf of the OUC.

Yang Zhijian pointed out that China, Japan, and South Korea are important countries in Asia. The establishment of a distance education seminar mechanism between the three countries has important significance and far-reaching influence on enriching cooperation in the field of education between China, Japan, and South Korea and further deepening cooperation in the field of open and distance education among the three countries. The OUC is willing to work with the OUJ and KNOU to further strengthen exchange and cooperation, and deepen cooperative relations in education informatisation, personnel exchange, cooperative research, high-quality resource sharing, language learning, and other fields.

Yang Zhijian mentioned that the Chinese government’s Belt and Road Initiative has provided a broad new platform for pragmatic cooperation between China, Japan, and Korea, and has created more new opportunities for three-party educational cooperation. In May this year, Premier Li Keqiang went to Tokyo, Japan, to participate in the China-Japan-Korea leaders' meeting, and put forward a concept of establishing a cooperation model of "China Japan Korea +X" under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Yang Zhijian hopes that the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU will seize this historic opportunity, give full play to the spirit of sharing and cooperation among neighbouring countries, jointly strengthen cooperation in the field of open and distance education, and make efforts to promote innovation in open and distance education in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world, realise the sharing of high-quality resources, and promote educational equality.

Mr. Yang stressed that he hopes that through the forum, the OUC, OUJ, and KNOU can reach a consensus on the construction of open universities, build an efficient cooperation mechanism, and deepen the cooperation content in order to jointly promote the construction of open universities in Asia. He also hopes that the OUC-OUJ-KNOU Seminar will encourage more young scholars to participate in relevant academic discussions, and stimulate them to contend, share academic achievements, and contribute innovative wisdom.

In their speeches, professor Shin Kisugi, president of the OUJ, and professor Su Noh Ryu, president of the KNOU, expressed good wishes for the convention of the 8th OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar. They affirmed the positive role of the seminar between China, Japan, and South Korea in promoting three-party cooperation, and hoped to make use of the forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by the distance education universities.

During the academic discussions, Professor Tang Yingshan and Dr. Li Shuguang from the OUC, professors Masato Takiura and Kazuhiro Katoh from the OUJ, and professors Ji Won Byun and Kwang Sik Chung from the KNOU, gave keynote speeches. Their speeches covered topics such as the exploration of the practical links of online teaching, the development of online courses, and the joint research projects among the three universities. The speeches reflected a common understanding of the challenges and innovation of educators engaged in distance education in China, Japan, and South Korea, the problems of how to solve the practical links of online learning commonly faced by the three parties, and the actively exploration conducted in the practices of arts and science. When the three parties solve problems in online teaching practice, their solutions are diverse and comprehensive, provide useful insights and enlightenment for the participants, and have a positive effect on future tripartite cooperation in the field of online teaching.

Professor Tang Yingshan from the OUC

Dr. Li Shuguang from the OUC

Professor Masato Takiura from the OUJ

Professor Kazuhiro Katoh from OUJ

Professor Ji Won Byun from KNOU

Professor Kwang Sik Chung from KNOU

At the closing ceremony of the seminar, Yang Zhijian signed an agreement on a cooperative research programme with the KNOU and a license agreement for the distribution of video resources with the OUJ on behalf of OUC. There was also a ceremony to present the World Open Universities Case Study Series. Finally, Professor Su Noh Ryu, president of KNOU, announced that the 9th KNOU-OUJ-OUC Seminar would be held in Seoul next year.

The OUC-OUJ-KNOU International Seminar is an important international conference held by three open universities. It is held by the OUC, OUJ and KNOU in turns and has been held for eight consecutive sessions so far.

By Chen Haishan, OUC