The Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU) held its 34th Annual Conference from 1 to 3 June 2021 at the Open University of Sri Lanka (OUSL). The conference was held both online and offline, and its theme was “Opening minds for a sustainable future: Re-orienting ODL to surmount challenges”. The paper submitted by the Open University of China (OUC), titled “Best Practices of Poverty Alleviation through ODE: A Case Study from the OUC” received a silver medal of AAOU Best Practice Award.

The presidents’ meeting of the “Consortium for Benchmarking Framework and Data Set for Online, Open, Smart, and Technology-enhanced Higher Education” (Consortium for Benchmarking Framework in short) sponsored by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) was held via video conference on 17 February 2021. Dr. Jing Degang, president of the Open University of China (OUC), attended the meeting and delivered a speech.

On 20 July 2020, the opening ceremony for the MBA major, the first major of the OUC China-Germany Joint Master’s Degree Programme jointly launched by the Open University of China (OUC), the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (OVGU), and the Beijing International Institute of Asia-Europe Education and Culture (AEEC) was held at the training base of the AEEC China-Germany Joint Master’s Degree Programme.

A webinar to launch the “Online and Distance Learning for Teachers in Africa (ODLTA)” course was held on 7 July 2020.

The European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN) 2020 Annual Conference was supposed to be hosted by Politehnica University of Timisoara from 21-24 June 2020 in Timisoara, Romania with the theme of “Gone virtual: Human and artificial intelligence for the society of the future and inspiring digital education for the next STE(A)M student generation.” Due to the continuing spread of COVID-19, this year’s annual conference was moved online. Experts, scholars, and other practitioners met online to share knowledge, resources, and policies for distance and open education in the digital era.

On June 24 2020, the UNESCO-Africa-China High-level Dialogue for Supporting Priority Africa in the COVID-19 and Post-COVID Context (hereinafter shortened to “the dialogue”) was held via video.

On the afternoon of 19 May 2020, the Open University of China (OUC) and UNESCO signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Jing Degang, OUC president and secretary of its Party Committee, and Marielza Oliveira, director and representative of the UNESCO Beijing Cluster Office, signed on behalf of the respective parties at a signing ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by deputy secretary general Mr Zhou Jiagui and director of the Department of Education Ms Jia Nan from the Secretariat of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO.

To further respond to UNESCO IITE Initiative “Combat COVID-19: Keep learning. Together we are on the move!” , the Open University of China(OUC) has continued to provide UNESCO with learning resources in Chinese and English to help with the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.