Recently, Shanghai Open University has formally requested the renewal of the Agreement between UNESCO and Network in Distance and Open Learning (East Asia) in January 1997, and UNESCO agrees to renew the Agreement for an additional period of four years to September 2024. Prof. YUAN Wen, President of Shanghai Open University is the Network Coordinator.
In a formal reply, UNESCO fully affirmed the work done by Shanghai Open University as the host institution. “The thematic area covered by the network is of crucial significance for higher education and has been given renewed priority due to the crisis caused by the global pandemic. The expertise that this network can bring to other universities and education systems is of great value and should be capitalized on. The cooperation programme is going beyond the original East Asia focus with outreach to partner with universities in Africa and South Asia,” they said.
The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme was established in 1992 and every four years, the university hosting a UNESCO Chair or assuring the coordination of a network party to a UNITWIN Cooperation Programme shall submit to UNESCO a report on the activities carried out by the Chair/network, their development prospects and the financial resources secured. In 1997, the UNESCO UNITWIN Network in Distance and Open Learning (East Asia) was approved by UNESCO and then established, Shanghai Open University is the host institution. The Network has a history of 24 years and is committed to building an exchange platform, promoting knowledge transmission, resource sharing and academic development in the field of ODL. Up to now, the Network has 20 member institutions, including The Open University UK and The Open University of China.