Recently, a joint application submitted by the Open University of China (OUC) and Anadolu University in Turkey for an EU’s Erasmus+ project was approved, marking the first time that OUC has been granted a fund from this programme.

The Erasmus+ programme funding will help the two institutions reach an intercollegiate student and teacher exchange agreement (2021-2027). The EU will support two OUC staff to conduct a seven-day short-term exchange programme in Turkey each year, and the OUC will receive two staff from Anadolu University for the same length of time.

The Erasmus+ was set up by the EU in 1987 as a higher education scholarship programme. Since January 2014, the EU has upgraded the Erasmus+ programme to expand the exchange opportunities beyond European countries and regions, with a large budget invested in promoting student and teacher exchanges and strengthening cooperation in talents, knowledge, skills, employment, and innovation both within and outside the EU. Applications for the Erasmus+ grants are strictly evaluated and the programme receives wide recognition in the international academic community. Chinese higher education institutions that have been approved for and implemented the Erasmus+ projects include Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Zhejiang University.

Approval for the Erasmus+ project was achieved as a result of long-term, high-quality cooperation between the OUC and Anadolu University and is an acknowledgement of the OUC’s international reputation and its operational advantages with characteristics. Anadolu University operates both traditional and open education models and is well-known as a mega university. In June 2019, an OUC delegation visited Anadolu University and signed a strategic cooperation agreement to facilitate collaborations in areas of teaching and research between the two sides. In October 2019, Anadolu University was invited by the OUC to attend the 3rd Symposium on Open and Innovative Education, in which the two parties discussed their intention to jointly implement the Erasmus+ project.

The friendly partnership between the two institutions will be further consolidated and strengthened by the approval and implementation of the Erasmus+ project, as it will provide more opportunities and methods of international exchange for OUC students and faculty.

By Dai Jing, OUC