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July 24, 2010

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Home » Metro » Education

City's university for everyone

YOU can study MIT and Harvard courses or learn Shanghai dialect and all about Confucius at the Shanghai Open University, a school launched by the city government yesterday to support life-long learning for everyone in the city.

Based on distance-learning techno-logy, the school currently offers 2,000 courses to cater for the various needs of local residents including those seeking degrees, vocational training or recreation and leisure.

The school is open to all local residents, who can apply online or at local district colleges to enjoy the free resources.

"Shanghai, with a population of about 20 million, only has 2 million at-school students now," said Li Junxiu, deputy director in charge of life-long education at the Shanghai Education Commission.

"But millions of local workers and the growing population of retired people are also keen to upgrade their knowledge and enrich their lives," he said.

The city already has many adult education schools attached to universities, communities, districts, companies and industries.

But they do not make their resources available to the public and they do not recognize the credits that students take at other schools, and their criteria for similar courses may be different.

The Shanghai Open University aims to integrate and standardize all the existing continuing education resources in the city and make them available to everyone.

To apply, visit An English version of the website is under construction and the school plans to launch bilingual classes for expats at the end of the year.

Students can study at any time and anywhere they want. They can even pause their studies for marriage, work and other reasons and resume them later.

Once sufficient credits are gained, they can obtain a college degree.


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