Shanghai Open University is a new kind of university, sponsored by the Shanghai Municipal Government, approved by the Ministry of Education of China, and subject to the administration of Shanghai Education Commission. The university was formerly known as Shanghai TV university, which was founded in 1960.

Shanghai Open University mainly carries out undergraduate and junior college education in the form of open and distance education supported by ICT for adults. Shanghai Open University offers a total number of 46 academic programs at the junior college and undergraduate levels, with an enrollment of 80,000 registered students at present. The university has more than 470,000 graduates since its foundation.

Adapting to the needs of economics and social developments in Shanghai, the university carries out large-scale non-academic education and training for about half a million people in various types of training and examinations each year. The university established several colleges with features for those who have special learning needs.

The university provides students with comprehensive learning support services through a systemic provision of its 40 campuses and teaching centers, relying on the government, industry and social resources all over the city. The university has currently the largest number of college students in Shanghai, and also serves as an important platform for the construction of lifelong education system and learning-oriented society in Shanghai. The Chairman of the University Council is served concurrently by the Vice Mayor of Shanghai in charge of education affairs. The members of the University Council are composed of leaders of relevant departments of Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, and those of the University.

The university actively plays the role of the Services and Guidance Center for a Learning Society in Shanghai to promotes lifelong learning for citizens’ development and learning organization construction; plays the role of the administration center of Shanghai Academic Credit Transfer and Accumulation Bank for Lifelong Education to carry out authentication of learning outcomes, credit accumulation and transfer; is responsible for constructing and running Shanghai Lifelong Learning website, websites of special topic studies and the Shanghai Center for Education Resources with a total capacity of 15T, which provides one-stop learning support service for the public.

Shanghai Open University hosts the UNESCO Chair on UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning, and has been awarded the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education. The university was awarded “Excellent Group Work Award” by the International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and “Excellent Support Organization Award” by the African Council of Distance Education (ACDE). The University carries out strategic cooperation with Open Universities of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and ACDE. The University passed the education quality audit of the International Council of Open and Distance Education (ICDE).

The university pursues the tenet of “open, high quality, flexible and convenient”, and carries out the principle of “For All Learners, All for Learners”, adhering to the motto of “Education for All, Learning with Aspiration”, striving to achieve and openness in terms of ideas, objectives, models, resources, means of education and faculty members with all efforts. It aims to establish itself as a domestic first class modern open university with internationally significant effect, and contributes to the building of a learning society in Shanghai characterized by “learning by anyone, at anytime   and anywhere”.