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China Offers Open-Enrollment Online Courses to International Audiences

To enhance its soft power, Beijing is making efforts to offer Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to international audiences.

People’s Daily reported that China “leads the development of the World MOOCs and Online Education Alliance.” It organizes the World MOOCs and Online Education Conference annually and actively promotes international exchanges and cooperation in online teaching. China has “launched 341 globally-integrated courses and introduced 10 global integrated certificate programs, attracting nearly 25.4 million learners; it has established bilateral communication and exchange channels for course with more than 30 renowned universities and online education institutions worldwide.” Additionally, China has published the “Infinite Possibilities: Report on the Digital Development of World Higher Education” and the “World Higher Education Digital Development Index.”

Another People’s Daily report stated that the World Digital Education Alliance was established at the 2024 World Digital Education Conference, and that China has officially launched the international version of the China National Smart Education Public Service Platform. The platform “offers 780 courses, covering 12 disciplines and 17 major categories including literature, engineering, science, and arts. The instructors for these courses come from over a hundred high-level Chinese institutions such as Tsinghua University.” The platform also provides services for international students to study in China.

The second article says that “in November 2023, UNESCO passed a resolution to establish the UNESCO International STEM Education Research Institute in Shanghai.” Xie Dong, Shanghai Deputy Mayor said that “the Shanghai center will actively focus on strengthening cooperation and exchanges in STEM education with African and island countries.”

1. People’s Daily, January 29, 2024
2. People’s Daily, February 8, 2024