I. Basic Information

The Lifelong Education Research Institute of the Open University of China (OUC) is China’s earliest research and management institution on distance education.

Known as the Research Office of Distance Education in 1985, it was renamed as the Scientific Research Institute of Distance Education in 1992, the Research Institute (Research Department) of Modern Open and Distance Education in 2002, the Education Research Institute (Research Management Department) in 2014, the Education Research Institute in 2018, and the Lifelong Education Research Institute, its current name, in 2020. As of the beginning of 2021, the institute has eight research divisions, eight research centres, and one comprehensive administrative office under its jurisdiction. A team engaging in research on open distance education in and out of China, including nine full-time researchers, more than ten senior consultants, and more than thirty part-time researchers, has been established at the institute.

Wang Ying currently acts as the director of the institute, with Li Wei as deputy director.

II. Functions

1. Carry out theoretical research, comparative research, and project research related to lifelong education
2. Develop academic exchange, cooperation, and consultation services
3. Be responsible for the overall coordination and management of relevant research centres
4. Be responsible for the work of the Secretariat of the Academic Committee
5.Complete other tasks assigned by the OUC

OUC Academic Committee

The OUC Academic Committee complies with relevant laws and regulations, and is the core of the university’s academic-management system and organisational structure, while also functioning as its highest academic organisation.

The Academic Committee of the OUC Headquarters exists within the umbrella of the OUC Academic Committee, and these coordinate decision-making and other tasks related to the academic affairs of the OUC and its headquarters.

Organisation of the Academic Committee

The third OUC Academic Committee consists of 106 members, 16 of whom were specially invited. Its characteristics are as follows. 1) It consists of seven sub-committees to cover all OUC disciplines. These are active in the construction of disciplines and majors as well as of teaching and academic development. 2) It covers all OUC branches, and includes roughly equal proportions of branch members. 3) Its members tend to be young, with an average age of 47, and the youngest 39. 4) Its members have outstanding teaching and research evaluations, hold senior professional titles, and have high academic literacy and rich work experience.

Grand Committee: one executive member, 16 deputy executive members, 38 members, and one secretary-general.

Discipline Sub-committees: 16 members for the disciplines of Humanities, History, Philosophy and Art, 12 members for Economics, 13 members for Law, 18 members for Education, 19 members for Science and Engineering, 9 members for Agroforestry and Medicine, and 19 members for Management.

III. Organisational Structure

The Education Research Institute is responsible for eight research divisions, eight research centres, and one administrative office.

Division of Theory and Policy-studies

This division pays close attention to theoretical trends in national education reform and development, carries out research in theory, policy, and development in distance and open education and related disciplines, and provides theoretical and policy support for discipline construction in open and  distance education as well as for the development of open-university education.

Deputy Head: Jiang Yilu

Researchers: Zhang Manyin, Xu Changwei

Division of School-operations and Management-studies         

The principal work of this division is adapting to the needs of national economic and social development, helping construct national lifelong education, carrying out research on internal governance (organisational structures, divisions of functions, system construction, cost effectiveness, and so on) in open education, and providing consultation and other services to school management. It is responsible for the corresponding Research Centre for Open Education Learning-support Services and the Research Centre for Education Information-management and Information Systems.  

Head: Li Ying

Researcher: Yin Shuangxu

Division of International and Comparative-education Studies

This division focuses on the needs of the OUC in terms of construction and development; tracks the trends of theory and practice in international open and distance education; conducts comparative research on ideas, policies and practices in international open and distance education, on typical organisations and institutions, national and regional development, and other areas; and provides information services and policy consultation related to the internationalisation and development of the OUC.

Deputy head: Wang Xiangxu

Division of Teacher-development Studies

This division focuses on research, the construction of open-university teaching teams,  enhancing online instruction, and the responsibilities and professional development of open-university teachers.

Head: Zhang Luangqiao

Deputy head: Liu Ying

Division of Education Quality-assurance Studies

This division focuses on the development of the university, implementing the requirements of the Ministry of Education and the local education bureau; conducts theoretical, empirical and comparative analysis and research on building the quality-assurance system of the OUC and boosting the quality of continuing education in national higher education. It also serves the strategic development of the OUC.

Head: Han Yi

Deputy head: Fu Shixian

Division of Curriculum and Teaching-studies Division

This division focuses on theoretical and applied research on curricula and teaching in open education, exploring curriculum development and teaching design, and aiming to enhance OUC operations and serve national lifelong education.

Head: Li Song

Deputy heads: Tan Wei, Jia Yuchao, Shao Yunda and Li Guangde

Division of Studies on Science and Technology for Learning

This division focuses on the practical needs of the development of open and distance education, undertaking research on the basic principles of learning science and technology as the core, exploring its application methods, strategies, modes and effects in this area, and working to enhance its quality and serve the development of the OUC.

Head: Liu Shu

Researcher: Miao Jingmin

Division of Resource and Service-studies

This division tracks the design, development and use of learning resources at home and abroad, conducts research into open online courses, micro (five-minute) courses, smart maps, immersive technology, virtual simulation, and other areas, and innovates in terms of standards, construction, integration, services, and uses of learning resources for Chinese open universities.

Head: Cheng Gang

Deputy heads: Li Shuguang, Wang Ran

Contact Us:

Add: Education Research Institute, the Open University of China, Beijing, 100039, P.R.China
Tel: (+86)10 57519240