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Tianjin Open University

Tianjin Open University (TOU), founded in 1958, is a higher education institution under the Tianjin Municipal Government and with academic guidance from The Open University of China. TOU was the first university in China to offer education via radio and correspondence.

TOU now has 8 colleges, 21 campuses and 15 education centers with 60 thousand students and 2449 full time and part time faculty members. The University has created a distance education network covering all 18 districts and counties of the municipality and become an important base for modern distance learning and life-learning in Tianjin, China.

TOU has ten-gigabit campus network, satellite-data-receiving system, and two-way video distance education system. The Public Service Center for Distance Education at TOU is capable of managing registration for ten million people and providing real time service for more than one hundred thousand online learners.

TOU operates a system based on open education with academic development in both degree program and non-degree program. It offers open education programs at both undergraduate and junior-college level for adult learners. In 1986 TOU began to offer associate degree courses for adults, and in 2000 higher vocational education programs were launched. Open education programs granting bachelor and associated degrees started in 1999.

Since the founding of the institution, courses in 72 majors have been offered to adult learners from all walks of life. Until now, nearly 220 thousand students and adult learners have been granted bachelor or associate degrees; 480 thousand trainees have been granted various diplomas or certificates in vocational training or continuing education.

As a member institution of both ICDE and AAOU, Tianjin Open University has put great emphasis upon international exchange and cooperation and set up close ties with distance and open education institutions in 17 countries or regions including the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Hong Kong, etc. In 2008, it successfully hosted the 22nd AAOU Annual Conference. Tianjin Open University is going to be the host of the 25th ICDE World Conference to be held on October 16th-18th, 2013.