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China to offer global students online courses in English

BEIJING - China's universities and colleges will offer a number of high-quality courses in English to global students via an international online teaching platform to promote the massive online open course (MOOC).

The international platform is still under construction, and two online teaching websites, www.icourse.cn and https://next.xuetangx.com/, were first included in the program, Wu Yan, a higher education official from the Ministry of Education (MOE), said at a video conference held in Beijing on Friday on the construction of the program.

The MOE will set up a committee to promote the construction of the platform and curricula while establishing an expert team to guide the operation and management of the platform, Wu said.

“For more than 40 years of reform and opening up, China has been learning a lot from the world in developing its higher education,” Wu said. “Now, we want to actively contribute to the world’s higher education through massive online teaching and learning practice this time.”

The construction of the platform came at a time when the novel coronavirus epidemic forced the suspension of classes globally.

After Chinese universities turned to online teaching for the new semesters amid the coronavirus epidemic, the UNESCO released distance learning solutions for schools around the world and recommended 27 free learning applications and platforms worldwide, including those recommended by China’s MOE during the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 950,000 teachers from 1,454 universities or colleges in China have been teaching 942,000 online courses as of April 3, attracting 1.18 billion registrations by students, according to the MOE.

China’s universities and education departments, such as Tsinghua University and the education department in northeastern Heilongjiang province, have shared their experience with their overseas peers on online teaching and learning amid the outbreak.

Dozens of online courses offered by Chinese universities have joined global online education platforms like edX.org and coursera.org, according to the MOE.

In addition, the MOE also plans to host a world MOOC conference in Beijing this year and proposes the establishment of the World MOOC Alliance to promote the global development of higher online education.

First published on http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/ April 10, 2020