On 29 November 2018, Yang Zhijian, secretary of the Party Committee and president of the Open University of China (OUC), received a visit by a team led by Mr. Paul Kett, director of Education Standards, Department for Education, UK.

Mr. Kett was accompanied by Ms. Cathy He, head of Higher Education, British Council, and Danny Pan, deputy head of Education and Skills, Department for International Trade, both under the British Embassy in China. Heads of the relevant departments of the OUC participated in the reception activities.

The main purpose of Mr. Kett’s visit was to find out more about the OUC’s views on online education, the OUC’s existing cooperation with the UK, and the need for support from the British government. They also discussed the issue of online degree accreditation and the possibility of future cooperation.

Yang Zhijian pointed out that the demand for online learning has increased alongside the development of society, the economy, and information technology. Online education will become an educational development trend throughout the world and promote the reform of education. The OUC's strategy of school operation based on the Internet aims to achieve educational equality and the sharing of high-quality resources. At present, the OUC is making efforts to explore an online learning environment, learning resources, and curriculum construction, and is on track to achieve its expected results. Regarding cooperation with British universities, Yang Zhijian said that the OUC has established a partnership with the Open University of UK, and has carried out cooperative projects and exchanges visits for teacher training and the development of training courses for online education practitioners. In the future, he hopes to further expand cooperation with the OU, in particular, exchanges and cooperation on a standards system, online learning assessment methods, and curriculum and major construction and training, which will ensure the quality of online education. He also hopes to discuss the cross-border accreditation of online degree courses.

Mr. Paul Kett spoke highly of the OUC school running concept and achievements. He shared an overview of online learning and quality assurance in the UK. He said that he would actively promote exchange and cooperation between the OUC and relevant UK online education institutions. He hoped that through the joint efforts of the open universities of China and the UK, the cross-border certification of online degree courses can be promoted and all-round cooperation in the field of online education between China and the UK would be further deepened.

Written by Chen Na, Photo by Wu Yaqi, OUC