On April 10, a video conference was held in Beijing on the topic of online education in China’s higher education institutions (HEIs).
At the conference it was noted that HEIs in China had achieved remarkable results in providing online education during the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). As of April 3, a total of 1,454 HEIs across the country have provided online education programs to their students; more than 950,000 teachers have created 942,000 online courses and taught 7.133 million lessons via online platforms; and students across the country have taken a total of 1.18 billion lessons. Under the coordination of the Ministry of Education, 37 online education platforms took the lead in offering a wide range of free online courses, and later more than 110 other platforms followed suit. The first quarter of 2020 has seen an increase of 5,000 MOOC courses and 180,000 other online courses in China. In sum, the scale, magnitude and influence of this “online education revolution” in China’s HEIs are unprecedented.
An announcement was made that an international HEI online education platform would be built. Selected HEIs in China will create a number of high quality online courses taught in English, and make them available to university students all over the world. Proper guidance, help and service will also be provided.
It was also stressed that China have made and will continue to make its share of contribution to facilitating online education in HEIs worldwide by putting forward Chinese solutions, providing Chinese technologies and sharing China’s experience. During the outbreak of COVID-19, China engaged in extensive exchange and collaboration with governments, HEIs and platforms of other countries. On March 13, UNESCO released a list of distance learning solutions, including three Chinese platforms or applications, i.e. Icourses, Dingtalk and Mosoteach. On March 17, the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) recognized “China MOOC Conference: 5G + Remote Virtual Simulation Experiment” as an outstanding example of 5G-empowered applications. To date, a dozen Chinese distance learning courses have been included in various global platforms like edX, Coursera and FUN.