Open University of China wins 2017 ICDE Institutional Prize of Excellence 


For more than 18 years ICDE has worked to recognise significant achievements and contributions to the international community of open and distance education by  institutions, associations or networks of institutions.

This year ICDE would like to congratulate the Open University of China as the winner of this years ICDE Prize of Excellence. 

Prize Nomination Speech in full.

An abstract was presented during the closing ceremony of the 27th ICDE World Conference in Toronto, Canada, 16-19 October 2017. 

There can be few ICDE members who are not at least aware of The Open University of China – a university which evolved out of its predecessor, the China Central Radio and Television University founded in 1978.

That makes it one of the oldest institutions to recognise that the technology (and television at that time, in particular) could be harnessed to the cause of educating many more people than before – and reach them in places they had not been reached before.

The nomination described some of the many factors that make this university a worthy recipient of the Institutional Prize of Excellence. They include:

  1. Its leading role and significant contribution to the development of China’s open and distance education system – as well as its participation in the development of international open education. It supports the excellent Chinese Journal of Distance Education with contributors from all over the world. The expansion of its influence can also be seen in its publication of the first World Open Universities Case Study Series.

  2. Its formation of a system of education where the learning model and curriculum are based on joint construction and sharing, cross-industry and cross-regional university, catering to rural and urban as well as overseas students, and a service network that caters to the needs of 3.5 million registered students.

  3. Its cooperation with other colleges and universities, vocational schools and social education institutions to establish a National Digital Learning Resources Centre to share tens of thousands of courses, free-to-use lectures, a digital library and special learning websites that are open to the public.

  4. Its focus on the quality of learner development opening online learning spaces for tens of thousands of teachers and millions of students, with customised services for migrant workers, college students as village officials, employees of large-scale enterprises (such as McDonalds), the disabled, military personnel and others.

  5. Its ongoing formation of a “Credit Bank” system to promote the accreditation, accumulation and transfer of formal and informal learning outcomes. 67 Learning Outcomes Accreditation Sub-Centres have been established and 4.3 million personal learning accounts have been created.

  6. The initial formation of a non-degree education model that meets people’s diverse and personalised requirements for lifelong learning. Recognising necessary adaptation to an aging society in China, it has even established an open university catering specifically to the elderly.

These six reasons demonstrate not only the Open University of China’s leadership but also its outstanding contributions to the field of open and distance education. It is considered a worthy recipient of the ICDE’s 2017 Institutional Prize of Excellence.

This prize will be awarded to an institution, an association or a network of institutions for very significant achievements or contributions to the international community of open and distance education during the past five years. This relates particularly to leadership and innovation through mainstream developments, which contribute to the continuing enhancement of open and distance education, across cultural and linguistic barriers.

NewsRita ChanChina