A delegation of five people headed by deputy secretary of the Open University of China (OUC) Liu Chen recently visited Open University Malaysia (OUM), Universal College, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), and Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU), among others. They negotiated academic exchanges and Chinese language teaching, and carried out work on the “World Open Universities Case Study Series.”

The delegation first visited Open University Malaysia (OUM) and talked with OUM president and Professor Mansor Fadzil, vice president and Professor Ramli Bahroom (in charge of planning and strategy), and vice president and Professor Widad Othman (in charge of teaching). The leaders of both universities introduced their basic situation and international programmes, exchanged their experience in distance education and overseas learning centres, and explored cooperation on course resource construction, Chinese and Malay languages teaching, and the exchange of scholars and research. The delegation also visited the teaching design and technology center, and took a workshop titled “Case Study of Open University Malaysia” to promote successful research.

During their stay in Malaysia, the delegation visited both Universal College of Universal Education Group and Universal International School (Hua Xia), conducting an on-the-spot investigation into the local need for Chinese language learning and the cultivation of Chinese language teachers. They looked into the establishment of the OUC’s Malaysia Study Center with Dato Dr. Joseph Wang, chief executive officer of Universal Education Group, starting with Chinese language teaching and cultural exchanges for joint non-degree and degree education.

The delegation headed by deputy secretary Liu Chen was also invited to have a meeting with Datuk Wira Gan Tian Loo, vice president of the China Public Relations Association of Malaysia. They both agreed that culture should be the focus in strengthening China-Malaysia educational cooperation and that they should promote mutual learning. They further explored the establishment of an OUC learning centre to teach Chinese language and exchange traditional cultures in Malacca, where there are a large number of Malaysian Chinese and overseas Chinese. The centre would offer a wide variety of courses so as to provide the local Malaysians opportunities for further learning.
During their stay in Thailand, the delegation visited the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) and signed a formal cooperation memorandum of understanding to define their cooperation and exchanges with regards to personnel, Chinese language teaching, and education training. They also discussed the establishment of an OUC learning centre in Thailand for Chinese language teaching and cultural exchanges through online and offline integration.

The delegation also paid a return visit to Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University (STOU) following STOU’s high level visit to the OUC this March to implement the cooperation agreement signed by the two universities. STOU’s executive president and professor Prasart Suebka met with the delegation headed by deputy secretary Liu Chen, extended their welcome, and expressed their readiness to carry out all-round, in-depth cooperation with the OUC. STOU’s executive vice president and Professor Krisana Rungrojwanich, who is in charge of research and international affairs, Professor Bhawat Chiamjinnawat, assistant to the executive president, and representatives of the relevant departments joined the discussion. They discussed cooperation on personnel exchange, Chinese language teaching, cooperative research, and co-sponsorship of academic meetings, as well as the progress case studies on Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University.

The delegation also visited the STOU’s local distance education centre in Petchburi in order to gain a better understanding of its teaching management, learning support, students’ practical activities, and the application of information technology. Both sides expressed their readiness to carry out more exchanges and cooperation in the future.

By Chen Na, OUC