On 20th July 2018, a conference on development strategy was held at Guangdong Open University (Guangdong OU, Guangdong Polytechnic Institute).

Luo Haiou, party secretary of Guangdong OU’s Party committee, presided over the meeting, which was attended by 98 people, including the leaders of Guangdong OU, Liu Wenqing, Li Jiang, Sun Ping, Chen Xianqiang and Wang Yifen, and all the middle level leaders and teacher representatives.

Luo Haiou pointed out that this year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up strategy, as well as the 40th anniversary of Guangdong OU. During the university’s critical period of transformation and development, it is of great importance to convene a conference on development strategy. It is necessary to further summarise the experience of school running for the past 40 years, clarify the tasks and challenges facing the transformation and development of the university, study the target content of the development of the university, and try to make Guangdong OU (Guangdong Polytechnic Institute) a first-class open university and a high-level technical vocational institute.

Liu Wenqing gave a special report titled “What is in store for Guangdong OU (Guangdong Polytechnic Institute) in the Future.” President Liu said that in the new era, the university’s development goal is to set up a school running concept based on "openness, inclusiveness, flexibility, and convenience", and to adhere to the ideas of "open operation, development based on technology, strengthening the university through innovation, thriving by talent and growth with quality", in order to make the university a first-class Open University and a high-level vocational institute. The university should stay at the forefront among national Universities and colleges in the following four categories: accelerating innovation of the system and mechanism and the construction of a new university; the formation of a life-long education system for all people; the construction of a teaching team and the exploration of a talent training mode combining senior high school, technical secondary school, and undergraduate education; and the promotion of the in-depth integration of information technology and education. All of this plays an important supporting role in accelerating the construction of a modern vocational education system, promoting the modernisation of education, and building a learning society in Guangdong. At the same time, the university should explore the establishment of a lifelong learning mechanism for Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macao, and establish learning on a larger scale with a larger system, larger platform, larger hub, and larger alliance. Under the leadership of the Party committee, the university should strengthen its alliances, continue to deepen reform, innovate the school running model, improve the quality of school running and undertake the mission and responsibility endowed by the country and the province to speed up the transformation and development from a large university to a strong one.

Professor Peng Kunming was invited to give a report entitled "Difficulty Analysis and Path Selection for the Transformation of Open Universities.” In his report, Professor Peng described the core problems in the construction of open universities and explained the social background of the renaming of Guangdong OU, the significance of its transformation and development, and the difficulties that lie ahead transformation process. He approached his report from ten different angles, including emotion attribution, school running characteristics, development model, system and mechanism, service ability, cultural consciousness, connotation construction, quality monitoring, and social identity. The transformation of the open university is not a simple exchange of cards or a remarkable shift; it signifies a new goal and a new challenge. He clarified the development path and direction of the construction of the Open University from ten aspects: serving the national strategy, serving the masses, shifting the focus of work downwards, integration and development, differential development and competition, strengthening practice and exploration, self-transcendence, being realistic and pragmatic, joint construction and sharing, and playing a leading and demonstration role. He pointed out that we should have an open mind, think rationally, and be determined in our pursuit of the construction and development of the open university.

Li Jiang, Sun Ping, Chen Xianqiang, and Wang Yifen each gave a speech on the results of their research from four aspects: the reform of the training model and the construction of a personnel training chain, their understanding of running a vocational institute, the focus of information construction, and the construction of campus culture. Next, the participants were divided into four groups to brainstorm ideas for development strategies for Guangdong OU.

Finally, Party Secretary Luo Haiou gave a summary speech. He expressed his satisfaction that the conference featured a large amount of information and rich content. A consensus on Guangdong OU’s "Five in One" strategic layout — i.e. open operation, development based on technology, strengthening the university through innovation, thriving through talent, and growth with quality — has been reached and the meeting has achieved the desired results. We should adhere to the "Five in One" strategic layout, increase investment, and double our efforts to create a first-class education information level, educational resources, flexible learning system, operating mechanism, learning service, and social service. Mr. Luo said that the speeches give at the meeting were full of genuine passion, rational analysis, and smart suggestions, a source of confidence for the future development of the university. We must have determination, confidence, and patience, and possess strong leadership, scientific operation, and efficient execution, in order to enhance the senses of belonging, achievement, and happiness. Under the leadership of the Party committee, we should enhance cohesion, work hard, and maintain a more pragmatic approach to build a better tomorrow for Guangdong OU.

By Guangdong Open University