Chinese-German Learning Platform Launches


The new Chinese-German OOC learning platform, initiated by Shanghai Open University, began with an opening ceremony on February 26.

Opening ceremony for the learning platform Photo: Shanghai Open University

The new platform is designed to promote scientific and cultural exchange between the two countries and combines the expertise and resources of ten educational institutions and companies in China and Germany, including Shanghai International Studies University, Tongji University, the Shanghai University for the Elderly, the Alibaba Group, and the German company COGNOS AG.

About Shanghai Open University

Shanghai Open University was founded in 1960 as Shanghai Television University. With the motto “For all learners, all for learners” and over 80,000 active students, it supports the cause of lifelong learning with academic distance learning programs as well as programs for non-academic and secondary school education. The university hosts the UNESCO Chair on UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning and was recognized with the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education.

When a delegation from Shanghai Open University visited the FernUniversität in autumn 2019, the two universities signed a Memorandum of Understanding, and they have been exploring a variety of opportunities for cooperation since. In particular, cooperation has begun on a “virtual exchange”: In the coming summer semester, students at Shanghai Open University can register for three English-language modules at the FernUniversität. This first experience with virtual exchange will lay the foundation for further activities, also with a view to the Chinese-German learning platform. During the ceremony, FernUni president Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert affirmed her desire to further intensify the cooperation in the future, and to make up for a planned 2020 visit to the university as soon as the current situation allows.

Celebrating the Launch of the Test Phase

Screenshot of the CGOOC website Photo: FernUniversität

The Chinese-German OOC (CGOOC) learning platform is still in its test phase. The first course contents have already been added to the platform and can be accessed freely from anywhere in the world. Currently, interested people can explore more than 30 courses in English and Chinese about topics such as the languages, economies, and cultures of Germany and China. What can German and Chinese students learn from one another, and how can they learn about each other’s countries without traveling there? “Long before the coronavirus pandemic, which has accelerated the process, digitalization of higher education has been one of the major topics at our university,” Prof. Dr. Ada Pellert emphasized. “It is also a good opportunity to prepare for a stay abroad in the other country before leaving home,” Pellert continued. In this way, the platform can also contribute to improving opportunities for professionals to gain multicultural teaching and learning experience.

For those attending in person and via video conference, the opening ceremony was accompanied by an exciting cultural program, including a dancer from the Shanghai National Opera, who delighted the audience with a performance using traditional opera masks. For in-person attendees, there was even more to celebrate after the ceremony: February 26 was also the Chinese Lantern Festival.

LeAnn Kearney | 08.04.2024