The Fifth Conference of China’s University Foreign Language MOOC Alliance (UMOOCs) and the Second Conference of Virtual Simulation Experimental Teaching Innovation Alliance were held on April 14, 2023, at the Conference Center of the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), under the theme of “New Development, New Ecosystem, and New Journey”.
SUSTech jointly hosted the conference along with the International Center for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI) and Beijing Foreign Studies University.
The conference brought together leaders, experts, and scholars from the Ministry of Education, UMOOCs, and the Virtual Simulation Experimental Teaching Innovation Alliance to discuss future talent development in the context of new humanity education.
It also explored the latest developments and dynamics of foreign language education based on MOOCs, virtual simulation experiments, and industry-education collaboration to promote the digital transformation of higher education in China and improve education quality.
Hongwei FANG, Vice President and Provost of SUSTech, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He reaffirmed the University’s commitment to innovation in education technology, promoting a digital campus, and accelerating the development of a world-class university and digital transformation of higher education.
He noted that SUSTech would participate and integrate in the global trend of digitalization of higher education, promote global sharing of higher education resources, and contribute to building a global education community.
Yi SONG, Director of the Higher Education Department of the Ministry of Education, delivered a keynote speech at the event, pointing out that China’s digital transformation of higher education is making steady progress in the context of global digital transformation, vigorously promoting the construction and application of MOOCs at various levels, and gaining wide recognition in the world.
In the future, China will actively implement strategic measures to digitize education under the five aspects of “teaching, learning, management, research, and exchange” to continuously improve the service level of intelligent education platforms. Additionally, he noted that it would pilot the construction of a group of “future learning centers”, strengthen the supervision and management of online credit courses, deepen the research on the digitization of higher education, and expand the leading role and international influence of China’s MOOCs and online education.
Dinghua WANG, Chairman of UMOOCs and Party Secretary of Beijing Foreign Studies University, reported on the work of UMOOCs and said that they are actively responding to the national “Belt and Road” initiative and serving the international dissemination of Chinese culture. In the future, the UMOOCs will play a greater role in the digitization of foreign language education.
Jianhua ZHAO, Deputy Director of the SUSTech Future Education Research Center and Senior Expert at UNESCO-ICHEI, presided over the keynote speech at the conference.
During the conference, Wei HAN, Executive Director of the UNESCO-ICHEI and Professor of the Center for Higher Education Research (CHER) at SUSTech, shared how CHER is building an international network to promote online and hybrid teaching among college teachers and improve the quality of education for students.
She also talked about the Center’s practical achievements in promoting digital transformation in higher education, expanding lifelong learning opportunities, and providing new ideas for digital transformation in higher education.
Dr. Yuan LI, Director of the SUSTech Center for Language Education, spoke about the opportunities for foreign language learning in the digital era and how to help students develop strategies for foreign language learning in this context.
She also presented SUSTech’s practice in terms of foreign language education positioning, strategies, and course system design, as well as the English language framework for general education and student learning support.
The conference was held both offline and online and attracted nearly 60,000 attendees nationwide. More than 600 representatives from universities across China attended the event at the SUSTech campus. They expressed their admiration for SUSTech’s achievements in nurturing innovation talent, the beautiful campus, and the University’s commitment to the digital transformation of higher education.
Proofread ByAdrian Cremin, Yingying XIA