Initially, it’s hard to get past the eye-popping numbers (1876 universities, 17 million students and so on) but once you do, you’ll see that the higher education sector in China is facing remarkably familiar challenges with some interesting solutions.
We were very fortunate here at IEC that Prof Zhu Zhiting and colleagues from Eastern China Normal University and the China e-Learning Technology Standardization Committee agreed to visit our department after attending the JISC CETIS conference yesterday. He kindly agreed to let us publish his slides, which are linked below.
The two most noticeable aspects of prof. Zhu’s presentation are the nature of planning e-education in China, and the breadth of interests in Prof. Zhu’s Distance Education College & e-Educational System Engineering Research Center.
Because the scale of education in China is so vast, any development has to be based on multiple layers of initiatives. The risks involved mean that the national ministery of education needs to plan at very high, strategic levels, that set out parameters for regional and local governments to follow. This is not new per se, but it leads to a thoroughness and predictability in infrastructure that others could learn from.
The department in Shanghai, though, is another matter. Their projects range from international standardisation right down to the development of theories that integrate short term and long term individual memory with group memory. Combined with concrete projects such as the roll-out of a lifelong learning platform for the citizens of Shanghai, that leads to some serious synergies.
Learn more from Prof. Zhuâ€™s slides
More about IEC and what it does.