The 2020 Global MOOC Conference, jointly organized by Tsinghua University and UNESCO IITE, kicked off online on Wednesday.

The first day of the three-day conference hosted two sub-forum discussions.

Director of UNESCO IITE, Tao Zhan, and Tsinghua University’s Vice President and Provost, YANG Bin, delivered opening remarks at the first sub-forum held on the topic “Learning Revolution for MOOC Platforms.”

Tao Zhan expressed his sincere thanks to guests who attended the forum to discuss the future development of online education. He conveyed the view that with the joint efforts of global universities and online education platforms, MOOC and online education will surely make greater contributions to promote inclusive and equitable quality education proposed in the UN sustainable development goals.

Tao Zhan said he was eager to learn how MOOC could lead digital innovation in all levels and all forms of education and he was also expecting great ideas and inspiring discussions at the three-day event.

Stating that the impact of COVID-19 was raising the issue of equity in higher education, YANG Bin urged all the MOOC platforms to work together to narrow the “digital divide,” creating more accessible high-quality resources and promoting equity in education.

He said universities and MOOCs platforms should continue to strengthen communication and cooperation to explore new orientation in the learning revolution, and to enhance the integration of higher education and online technologies.

Panel Discussion of Sub-Forum 1 moderated by Enoch Wong (Tsinghua University)

The sub-forum was also attended by SHI Jinghuan, Professor and the Chair of the Academic Committee of the Institute of Education, Tsinghua University, and Gideon Shimshon, Associate Principal Digital Learning & Innovation, Queen Mary University of London, and WANG Shuaiguo, the President of XuetangX, among other higher education stakeholders.

The second sub-forum of the conference will be held today on the topic “Virtual Simulation: Information Technology and Educational Reform.” Two other sub-forums on the topics “Resource sharing for MOOCs and Global Higher Education Cooperation” and “MOOCs: Learning Revolution for Better University Education” will be held on the second day of the conference.

The conference will culminate in the plenary session on Friday. QIU Yong, President, Tsinghua University, Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO, and Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, Special Advisor to the Secretary-General, OECD are scheduled to deliver high-level opening addresses, while Chinese Minister of Education CHEN Baosheng will give a keynote speech.

With the main theme “Learning Revolution and Higher Education Transformation”, the conference aims to promote good practices and resources of MOOC development and online education, explore the role of technology in shaping the future of higher education, encourage international cooperation on educational technology innovation, and lay a foundation for jointly promoting the progress towards SDG 4 – Quality Education.

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