2019 International Visiting Scholar Program Sponsored by Shanghai Open University Shanghai, China


Shanghai Open  University is  pleased  to announce  that applications for its  2019  International Visiting Scholar Program are now being accepted.

 Shanghai Open  University,   sponsored    by    the    Shanghai    Municipal    People’s government,  approved  by  the  Ministry  of  Education  of  China  and  subject  to  the administration  of  Shanghai  Education  Commission,  is  a  new  type  of  institution  of higher  education.  It  was  formerly  known  as  Shanghai  TV  University,  which  was founded   in   1960.   SOU   provides   open   and   distance   education   to   adults   at undergraduate and junior college level and is technically supported by ICT. SOU has more   than   470,000   graduates   since   its   foundation.   Adapting   to   the   needs   of economic   and   social   developments   in   Shanghai,   SOU   carries   out   large-scale non-academic education and training for about half a million people in various types of  training  and  examinations  each  year.   SOU  established  several  colleges  with features  for  those  who  have  special  learning  needs.  SOU  has  currently  the  largest number of college students in Shanghai, and also serves as an important platform for the   construction   of   lifelong   education   system   and   learning-oriented   society   in Shanghai. SOU is also the coordinating institution of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning, and has been awarded the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa  Alkhalifa  Prize  for  the  use  of  ICT  in  education.  SOU  was  awarded  “Excellence Group  Work  Award”  by  the  International  Council  of  Open  and  Distance  Education (ICDE) and “Excellent Support Organization Award” by the African Council of Distance Education  (ACDE). SOU carries out strategic cooperation with Open Universities of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and ACDE. SOU passed the education quality audit of the International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

In order to promote global cooperation between universities, other institutions and interested  scholars  through  academic  exchange  and  to  enhance  the  quality  of teaching   and   research   in   the   field   of   open   and   distance   learning,   SOU   has successfully conducted the International Visiting Scholar Program each Spring and/or Autumn since 2013, with participation by the member universities and institutes of African Council for Distance Education (ACDE), Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU),  as  well  as  other  universities  and  institutes  that  currently  provide  or  are developing open and distance education all over the world.


SOU  is  offering  up  to  15  fellowships  for  the  2019  International  Visiting  Scholar Program. We have found that offering the program on this scale promotes excellent collaboration  and  exchange  among  the  visiting  scholars  and  their  SOU  colleagues, not  only  for  the  duration  of  the  on-site  program,  but  for  years  to  follow.  Our International  Visiting  Scholar  program  is  unique  in  that  we  use  the  same  'blended model' as we do in our courses to combine both face-to-face and mobile and internet distance  education  to  create  global  communities  of  scholarship  for  our  Visiting Scholars.

Duration of the Program

Onsite in Shanghai: 2 weeks from June 10th  to June 21st. SOU also maintains Wechat social  network  groups  for  Visiting  Scholars  to  foster  and  maintain  professional collaboration and support before, during and after the onsite program.

Important Dates

Deadline for application: March 29th, 2019

Notification of acceptance: April 12th, 2019


Requirements for Candidates

The candidates for the program

  • Must have relevant teaching and/or research experience in open & distance learning.

  • Must  possess  a  post-graduate  degree  and  have  held  the  position  as  an instructor or above in home institutions.

  • Must have fluent written and oral English ability (the working language for all official activities is English).

  •  In good health.

Besides   the   above   requirements,   applicants   who   have   administrative management experience, or who have been engaged with the collaborative research with SOU, will be given priority in consideration.

Required Materials for Application (Written in English)

  •   Curriculum Vitae (candidates should have advanced English skills and hold a M.A degree or above)

  •   A  research  proposal  of  the  fellowship  program:  it  could  be  a  study  on practices  of  SOU  or  a  comparative  study  between  SOU  and their  home institutions, proposal for future collaboration, etc. Topics may include but are not restricted to:

(1)  Quality assurance of open and distance learning(ODL)

(2)  Teachers professional development of open and distance learning

(3)  Research on the design of personalized service for ODL (4)  Research on open learning analytics

(5)  Research on team teaching in ODL

(6)  Specialty development & course development in ODL

Specialty  includes:  Pre-school  Education,  Nursing  for  The  Elderly,  Public Safety   &   Emergency   Management,   Artistic   Design,   and   International Chinese Language Education & Chinese Culture

 ※Shanghai  Open  University  will  give  priority  to  the  topics  related  to  the research fields and on-going projects of SOU faculty or collaborative research in order to promote international exchanges and collaboration.

  • A professional letter of recommendation from the president/chancellor of the home institution.

  • A recent photo of the applicant.

 Financial Information

SOU will provide the following for the fellowship:

  • Hotel accommodation

  • Living  expense  allowance  &  transportation  within  Shanghai  (during  the  two weeks), which is 250 RMB per day for the allowance, and 200RMB in total for the inner-city transportation, both are before tax.

  • Workspace with Wi-Fi, telephone and internet access

Required Health Insurance

All  fellows  are  required  to  show  proof  of  health  insurance  for  the  entire  length  of their stay that meets specified minimum levels of coverage (Please send us the copy via email during your application or by person at arrival). Fellows who bring health insurance  from  their  home  country  must  bring  a  copy  of  the  complete  policy  in English. If these conditions are not met, they must purchase insurance in China.

Fellows’ Activities and Responsibilities

  • The  nominated  candidates  should  keep  regular  electronic  contact  with  the SOU to inform the process of applying for visas and making travel plans. The SOU reserves the right to cancel any fellowship offer if full visa and travel plans have not been successfully completed and the SOU so notified at least two weeks prior to the start date of the program.

  • Visiting  and  meeting  with  relevant  departments  and  facilities(Shanghai Education  Resources  Center,  the  university  library,  Department  of  Research and  Development,  Information  &  Network  Management  Center,  Teaching Affairs Office, Student Affairs Office, SOU branch schools, etc.).

  • Conducting their proposed research.

  • Giving a presentation based on their research conducted during their stay at SOU and the introduction of their own institutions.

  • Submitting a final report (Min. 3000 words) on the outcome of the research to SOU within 30 days at the conclusion of the program.

  • The Fellow will also be required to complete a feedback form on the quality of the Fellowship program.

How to Apply?

Please refer Please refer to the website of the International Institute of Exchange of Shanghai Open University: http://iie.sou.edu.cn/en/immersionhub/visiting-scholar-program/   to   complete the online application.

We very much look forward to hearing from you  and would also appreciate your sharing  this  invitation  with  others  in  your  professional  networks  who  might  be interested in applying. Everyone will be assured a warm welcome in Shanghai and the SOU!

Contact details:

Ms. Dorothy Tang

Email: tanghf@sou.edu.cn, or 2383467916@qq.com

Telephone: +86 21 2565 3412

Fax: +86 21 25653267

Mobile: +86 13671627400

Mail Address: The Institute of International Exchange of SOU Room 402, Building No.1

288 Guoshun Road, Shanghai, China, 200433 

Further Information

The website of Shanghai Open University: http://global.sou.edu.cn/

The website of Institute of International Exchange of SOU: http://iie.sou.edu.cn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/n/?shanghaiopenuniversity

NewsRita Chan