President Yuan introduced the development history and university profile of SOU. As a university without walls, Shanghai Open University takes advantage of its branch school system and learning platform and provides citizens with opportunities for higher education and lifelong learning. SOU has played an important role in supporting regional industry development, promoting higher education equity and enhancing the quality of urban population’s lives. At the same time, as the host institute of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network, SOU actively promotes international cooperation in the field of open distance education and has achieved remarkable results.
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Shanghai Open University (SOU) as approved by Chinese Ministry of Education is a higher education institute which is providing distance open education to adults with support of modern information and communication technologies. We have provided degree education for 350,000 graduates since our establishment in 1960 along with numerous training certificate programs in collaboration with Shanghai’s public and private sectors as a key contribution towards Shanghai’s goal of developing as a Learning Society.
The fifth session of Immersion Hub Short Term International Student Program was officially started on the morning of June 12 at Shanghai Open University. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice President ZHANG Jin expressed a warm welcome to all international students, hoping that 25 students from 8 countries could learn from the two-week program and experience the Chinese culture by themselves.
After visiting the Digital Lab of Open Learning at Shanghai Open University, the students had their first Chinese language class – Coding Chinese. SOU’s foreign expert Zhao used a unique teaching method to help students to learn Chinese characters, verbs and sentences in a relatively short period of time.
In the afternoon, students experienced a classical Chinese dance lesson instructed by Zhou Yuqi. Ms. Zhou is good at Chinese classical dance, she taught international student a few fundamental dance movement and proper postures in Chinese classical dance. In order to show students diverse styles of Chinese dance, Ms. Zhou also performed Xinjiang folk dance and taught international students a short piece of it. After the class, international students from Brazil and Russia also demonstrated the dance from their countries.
The dance class was followed by team building activities organized by David James, the specially invited visiting scholar of SOU. The activities have made students to understand each other’s cultural backgrounds, cultural identities, personal interests through ice-breaking games and small group Q and A. At the end of the event, the students said that they hoped to learn Chinese, to exercise their English skills, to build network and to understand the Chinese food and culture better through the two-week program. Anja, one participant from Belgium, said that “cultural integration is very important in international communication, and everyone with cultural identity should not confine themselves to the cultural circle in which they are located, but should be more tolerant, receptive and integrated into a multicultural culture. The easiest way to achieve this goal is to take the chance to communicate with students from different countries, which is also a rare and valuable opportunity offered to us by the Immersion Hub Program.”
The first Immersion Hub Short Term International Student Program was held in 2013. So far it has attracted 239 international students from 27 countries for the past four years. It features Chinese language and culture classes and activities, facilitates communication and exchanges among students from Open Universities around the world and conventional Universities.
April 17, the president Jiang Hong, vice president Gu Xiaomin, professor Wang Min and other delegates of Shanghai Open University (SOU) paid an official visit to Mr. Du Yue, the Secretary-General of Chinese National Commission of UNESCO. The leaders of our school briefed the development of international exchanges of SOU in the recent years, especially, carrying out the activities of the UNESCO Chairs. In order to implement the 20+20 China’s aid programme to Africa, SOU specially invited core teachers of the open universities under the supervision of ACDE coming to our school as visiting scholars; SOU also invited students from the open universities all over the world coming to China for culture trip. In addition, the development of Chinese Language course, Chinese Business course, and Chinese Culture course are also introduced. School leaders also gave some details on the preparation of the International Conference on Ubiquitous Learning jointly held with National Commission of UNESCO on May 30th, 2014, and the progress of SOU as being a pilot open university. Secretary-General Mr. Du Yue fully affirmed the international exchanges of Shanghai Open University, and he said that to some extent, the work of international exchanges of SOU was actually to fulfill our country’s obligation of international exchanges. He also expressed his willingness to give a full support to the future school work of SOU.
Opportunities, Challenges and Strategies
Date: 30 – 31 May, 2014
Venue: Guoshun Campus, Shanghai Open University
Shanghai Open University
UNESCO Chair in ODL in East Asia
Chinese National Commission for UNESCO
Official Website: http://2014conference.sou.edu.cn
On November 25, six African experts and scholars on Distance Education from South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria came to Shanghai Open University for research and exchanges. The exchange activity is a follow- up to the 2013 focal point meeting of UNESCO-China-African Tripartite Initiative on University Cooperation which President of Shanghai Open University Professor Jiang Hong attended and part of the International Staff Exchange Fellowship Program of SOU in year 2013.
Institute of International Exchange (IIE) held commencement ceremonies November 3rd, awarding 31 bachelor’s degrees and 54 associate bachelor’s degrees and diplomas in business administration as part of the Shanghai Open University’s joint program with the Southern Cross University of Australia.
The Shanghai Open University International Student Exchange Program, hosted by the Institute of International Exchange at SOU, successfully concluded at Guoshun Campus on the morning of August 23, 2013. 24 international students from 12 countries and 10 universities, including the Open University of Netherlands, The Open University in UK, Dublin City Univeristy, Universitadegli Studi Guglielmo Marconi, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, etc. participated in the event.