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 Municipal Education Commission. The university was formerly known as Shanghai TV university, which was founded in 1960.

Shanghai Open University mainly carries out Bachelor degree and Associate-Bachelor degree programmes in the form of open and distance education supported by ICT for adults. Shanghai Open University offers a total number of 51 Bachelor and Associate-Bachelor programmes, with an enrollment of nearly 100,000 registered students at present. The university has more than 620,000 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 5 million people in various types of training and examinations each year online and offline. The university established several colleges for those who have special learning needs.

Shanghai Open 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.

It is both the university with the largest number of students in Shanghai and an important platform for building a lifelong education system and a learning society in Shanghai. The University Council is chaired by the Vice Mayor of Shanghai in charge of education, and consists of the heads of relevant departments of Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, and heads of the University.

 The university actively plays the role of the Services and Guidance Center for a Learning Society in Shanghai to promote citizens’ lifelong learning for and development of learning organizations; plays the role of the Administration Center of Shanghai Academic Credit Bank for Lifelong Education to carry out recognition, validation and accreditation of various learning outcomes; the university is also responsible for constructing and running the Shanghai Lifelong Learning Portal – Shanghai Learning Network and a series of thematic learning networks, as well as the Shanghai Education Resource Centre with a total of nearly 110,000 learning resources and a storage capacity of 18 T, to provide one-stop learning support services for the public.

Shanghai Open University hosts the UNESCO Chair on UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning. It is also a key partner of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning and UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education. The university has been awarded the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Education, the “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), and has 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 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”.