Address by Zhang Yaoxue, Director of Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education, P.R.C., President of China Central Radio and TV University
Speech at ‘2003 World Summit of Mega-Universities’
Director of Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education, P.R.C.
President of China Central Radio and TV University
His Excellency Vice Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng,
Vice Mayor of Shanghai Yan Jiongqi,
UNESCO Assistant Director-General Sir John Daniel and Mr Abdul Waheed Khan,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to witness the ‘2003 World Summit of Mega-Universities’ in Shanghai, China. Please allow me, on behalf of China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU), to express my warmest congratulations on this conference. Also I would like to extend my heartfelt welcome to all the participants here.
With the globalization of economy and rapid development in science and technology comes the new demand for education, the demand that education should provide both opportunities and necessary conditions for life-long learning. The Internet and multimedia technologies have equipped us with the needed technologies to popularize higher education and provide lifelong learning. To face the new challenges and to meet the needs of the Chinese people for higher education and life-long learning, China Central Radio and TV University (CCRTVU) and the 44 local radio and TV universities have worked together with the spirit of innovation and collaboration. We have been adopting new technologies and initiating new teaching and learning methods to develop a network of open universities in China.
Twenty-five years ago, Mr Deng Xiaoping wisely guided us to make education oriented to modernization, to the world and to the future. It was with his personal proposal and approval that CCRTVU came into being, followed by 44 RTVUs at the provincial level. Now we are happy to say that China has set up a complete system of radio and TV universities. Right from the start, China’s RTVU system has employed a wide range of media to provide quality open and distance education. The media range from traditional radio and TV to new technologies such as IP and the Internet. We’ve provided degree programmes and in-service training to millions of working adults and some high school graduates through open and distance education.
With the goal of safeguarding the quality of education, CCRTVU and local RTVUs have clearly specified their respective responsibilities and duties. CCRTVU is responsible for formulating subject curricula and course syllabi, developing course materials, setting end-of-course exams and awarding certificates. Local RTVUS work under the guidance of CCRTVU. Their responsibilities include enrolling students, providing routine administration and student support services. Such a quality assurance scheme has guaranteed a high standard in our instruction and management. Our graduates have been well-received by the employers. This mode of collaboration between the central and local RTVUs has proved successful. It has become a unique open and distance education mode in China.
The Chinese Central government and local governments have attached great importance to our RTVU system. Our system has been regarded as an important force in the national life-long learning framework. Since 1999, the Chinese government has spent a huge amount of money in upgrading China Education and Research Network (CERNET) and the educational satellite TV network. Local governments have also invested heavily in the development of local RTVUs. The system has produced many high quality CAI coursewares and teaching platforms.
In 1999, an open education pilot program was launched through China’s RTVU system. During the past four years, over 1.5 million students have been enrolled within the system under this programme. Now China RTVUs are constructing a new public service system to cater to the life-long learning programme in China. The system aims to be an educational supermarket oriented to the society’s life-long learning needs. In the meantime, we are making great efforts to reform our open and distance learning mechanism, to improve our course delivery modes and better our management system, with the aim to advance the development of higher education process and build up a lifelong learning framework in China.
I firmly believe that this summit will help to advance the process. It is our hope that the Summit will enhance our communication and cooperation with UNESCO and with our counterparts in other open universities in the world. Our joint efforts will surely promote open and distance education both in China and in the world.
I wish you all a pleasant stay in Shanghai.
I wish the Summit a great success.