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[NPC & CPPCC] Li Xiaoming: Free Higher Education for All through Internet Technology

MAR . 14 2017
Peking University, March 11, 2017: Li Xiaoming, member of the National Committee of CPPCC and professor at Peking University, came up with a proposal about speeding up MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) construction. He regarded the prosperity of MOOC as an opportunity to achieve free higher education for all.
Li pointed out, “Nowadays, 70% of young people in China still have no access to systematic higher education. Traditional ways including taking Self-taught Higher Education Examination and Adult College Entrance Examination can, to a certain extent, meet this demand. However, the popularization and development of the internet technology provided a great opportunity to leap forward in the realizationof education for all.”
Li believed that the number of MOOC courses worldwide would reach 5000 in two or three years. “The number 5000 is significant – itroughly equals the number of courses offered by a comprehensive university. Given such a large quantity of MOOC, there are definitely enough excellent courses, and more importantly, we can combine certain courses together to have some great ‘packages’.” In this way, those who arewilling to learn can have an easy access to free systematic higher education. Another exciting fact concerning the mushrooming of MOOC is that many of the courses are actually supported spontaneously and voluntarily by the colleges. “Previously, the construction of MOOC can only be promoted withsupport of national projects. But today, MOOC courses are considered as a trend, an opportunity, thus colleges are taking the initiative themselves.” Li explained.
Li suggested that Chinese colleges make their excellent courses open to the pubic, and provide free fundamental higher education packages, each containing about 20 courses. Certificates for courses completed should be issued, and given recognition in a CV. Finally, he further advised colleges and other education institutions to provide additional services like face-to-face tutorial, supervised examinations and identity authentication. And the additional cost of these services can be subsidized by the government.
Li also emphasized that in addition to accelerating the popularization of MOOC, the opening and sharing of intellectual property should also be encouraged. He then suggestedborrowing the internationally recognized Creative Commons License to protect the copyright ownership of author of the MOOC and avoid unnecessary obstacles in the process of opening and sharing.
Written by: You Danqian
Edited by: Wang Qian
Source: PKU News (in Chinese)