From June 11th to 12th, 2018, the Asia-Pacific Regional Seminar on MOOCs for Higher Education (the “Seminar”) was held in Shenzhen. The Seminar was hosted by UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok), the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, and Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), and co-hosted by the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (ICHEI).
Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi, Director of UNESCO Bangkok, Mr. ZHOU Jiagui, Deputy Secretary General of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, Mr. TANG Tao, Vice-President of SUSTech, Academician of Chinese Academy of Science, Mr. SONG Yi, Deputy Director of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of China, Mr. XU Jianling, Deputy Director of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Education, Mr. LI Ming, Director of ICHEI, and over one hundred policy-makers, university presidents, entrepreneurs, professors, researchers from more than 30 countries in Asia Pacific attended the event.
The overall aim is to support implementation of the Qingdao Declaration and the Education 2030 agenda (i.e. seizing digital opportunities and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all). In particular, the seminar will focus on the following objectives: highlight state-of-the-art technologies from the public and private sectors to enhance the quality of teaching and learning in higher education; identify strategies to strengthen institutional governance and partnerships for technology-enriched learning to reach the most vulnerable in Asia-Pacific, etc.
Mr. Shigeru Aoyagi delivered a speech in the opening ceremony. He said, since the adoption of the Qingdao Declaration, UNESCO has attached great importance to MOOC research and development, and has held seminars and conferences on MOOC in Chengdu of China, Seoul of Korea, and Bangkok of Thailand successively. How to apply MOOC to higher education has become a key focus of UNESCO’s work.
Professor TANG Tao extended warm welcome to the seminar participants on behalf of SUSTech, one of the hosts. He introduced SUSTech’s exploration in MOOC development and MOOC platform resources. In May 2018, SUSTech MOOC Center was officially launched. Currently, 12 MOOC courses are under production.
Mr. XU Jianling delivered a speech on behalf of Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Education. He pointed out that Shenzhen boasts huge advantage in information and communication technologies. The University Open Online Course (UOOC) was initially launched in Shenzhen. Now, UOOC provides 213 online courses with over 3 million registered teachers and professors, and has become one of the four major MOOC platforms in China.
Mr. ZHOU Jiagui delivered a speech on behalf of the National Commission of the People’s Republic of China for UNESCO. He said, ICT in education is a common concern shared by many countries. China is willing to cooperate with other countries to advance international exchange in this field and thus instill new thoughts and vitality into the development of educational informatization.
Mr. SONG Yi delivered a speech introducing the rise of MOOC, the building of MOOC platforms, and the outcomes of MOOC development in China. MOOC provides solutions to address the regional difference in education equality. The application of MOOC has promoted the flow of quality course resources between the eastern, central and western China.
Mr. SONG Yi, Deputy Director of the Department of Higher Education of the Ministry of China
On behalf of ICHEI, Mr. LI Ming introduced that the Seminar was focused on MOOC and ICT application in higher education. The Seminar would be live broadcast on the internet and wechat platforms so that people interested could watch the meeting online. The Seminar also used simultaneous speech recognition, transcription and interpreting services provided by iFlytek, a leading IT company specialized in voice recognition and machine translation. That way, participants were able to learn about the speakers’ ideas more directly and quickly.
In this Seminar, experts and scholars, representatives from the academia as well as business circle were all gathered together to discuss how to make national policies on MOOC development, share experience in developing MOOC platforms and explore possibilities of inter-organization cooperation.