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The 20th Anniversary Event and the 2nd Work Conference of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning has been successfully held at SOU on Nov 20. More than 80 representatives attended the event, including leaders from the Member Institutions, experts and scholars in the field of ODL. Dr. TANG Qian, Assistant-Director General for Education sent congratulatory message on behalf of UNESCO. International organizations including ICDE, ACDE and COL, higher education institutions including Open University of Netherlands also sent messages to congratulate the Network on the occasion of its 20th anniversary celebration.

Ms. YU Xiaoping, Director of Department of Education of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, Mr. NI Minjing, Deputy Director of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, and Prof. LOU Junjiang, Deputy Director of SOU Council attended the opening ceremony and delivered opening address. Prof. WANG Yibing, Founder of the Network and Dr YUAN Wen, Chairholder of the Network and President of SOU delivered keynote speeches.

The coverage and influence of today's unesco unitwin network is expanding from east asia to the world, and the innovation, cooperation and development of open and distance education continues to move forward.

Keynote Speech by Mr. Wang Yibing

At the Work Conference, representatives of the Member Institutions looked back to the development history and summarized the experience and achievement obtained based on the principle of the Network. Questions including how to make full use of their institution’s advantages and distinctive fields, how to work more closely with other member institutions, and how to make contributions to the Network’s development have been discussed at the Conference.

We have established a broad and close partnership with our counterparts and organizations globally (UNESCO, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), African Council for Distance Education (ACDE), Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU), the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), Brazilian Association for Distance Education (ABED), European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU)). We have expanded the channels for exchanges with higher education institutions in more than 40 countries, and worked to achieve the goal that is requested by UNESCO to build the network into a regional distance education center.

Keynote Speech

by Dr. YUAN Wen, UNITWIN Coordinator, SOU President


Uphold the purposes and ideals of UNESCO, fulfill the network responsibilities, and strive to create an integrated platform of ODL teaching, research, publishing and international cooperation, and give full play to the function of network to promote knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation.


  • Promote the development of ODL in China and East Asia through cooperation among network members.
  • Promote the application of information technology in the field of ODL, so that everyone can have access to lifelong learning opportunities and quality of education is improved.
  • Through the implementation of the projects, strengthen the exchange with relevant universities and institutions at home and abroad, promote knowledge sharing and innovation, reduce the digital gap between developed and developing countries, developed regions and less developed regions.

Action for 2030

The UNESCO UNITWIN Network in ODL will be under the leadership of UNESCO and National Commission of PRC for UNESCO, guided by the Education 2030 Framework for action, to strengthen cooperation and exchange among Network members, to perform sharing and cooperative function, to promote Chinese case studies and international cooperation in education, training, scientific research, academic and practical innovation, carry out major projects and important activities to contribute to the promotion of equitable, and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning for all.

  • Education and Training
  • Sharing and Developing Educational Resources
  • Academic Exchange and Innovation

Network Members