Tsinghua University

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Tsinghua University was established in 1911. Currently, there are 9 colleges and 42 departments included in this university. It is one of the best and most famous comprehensive universities in China.

Its web site is http://www.tsinghua.edu.cn/eng/index.jsp

Details and history

This is taken from the report Network-based distance education in Chinese universities.

There are 330 million books and magazines stored in the university's library, which is a comprehensive library system. There are 7,178 staff in this university, of which 3,505 people are teachers and 5,267 people are aca-demic staff. The total students comprise 19,939, which can be categorized into under-graduate and postgraduate students (data from year 1999). In the last few years, many international universities and famous companies are cooperating with this university.

At the turning point of this new century, distance education has grown rapidly in de-veloped countries; citizens in China are in great need of education, all of which has accelerated the development of modern distance education in the country. In February 1996, President Wang Dazhong first proposed the concept of developing modern dis-tance education in China. The objectives were to establish Chinese modern distance education network to be multi-specification, multi-hierarchy, and multi-function by 2010.

In November 1996, the Office of Directing Universities and the Office of Postgraduates in the former National Education Committee gave approval that Tsinghua University could launch their pilot project of modern distance education. In September 1997, the core system was already nearly complete, with the provision of almost ten courses and some lectures and the establishment of more than ten off-campus teaching stations.

In November 1997 and November 2000, Vice Premier Li Lanqing inspected the work of distance education is Tsinghua University twice and gave very important instruc-tions for the development of distance education in China. In 1998, the system of distance education in Tsinghua University received generous contribution and support from Mr Cao Guangbiao of Hong Kong Yongxin Corpora-tion, which has facilitated the smooth establishment of the system. In 1999, the Education Ministry approved that Tsinghua University could extend its pilot project in modern distance education to a nationwide roll-out.

Conforming to the instruction of the Education Ministry that before 2010 China should have the most modern distance education network (with Chinese features, multi-standards, multi-levels, multi-forms and multi-functions), distance education in Tsinghua has continued to combine internet, satellite digital network and cable TV together. Up till now, 98 off-campus teaching centres have been set up in 30 prov-inces, municipalities (directly under the central government) and autonomous re-gions. The distance education network system has been set up all over the country with appropriate use of the three networks (satellite, Internet, cable).

In July 2000, Tsinghua Webschool was established. This is the teaching and administration platform of distance education. It has taken full advantage of the network to develop on-line teaching. Now more than 50 on-line courses have been provided. The students of the distance education programme can register, select courses, ask ques-tions, download course wares and hand in homework in an on-line “lyceum”. At pre-sent, there are more than 10,000 students in the lyceum and the number of hits amounts to more than 500,000 since its establishment. Furthermore, on-line teaching and administration of teaching affairs have also been brought about.

Distance education in Tsinghua University is an integrated system, including com-puter network, satellite-based digital network, and cable television broadcasting net-work. At present, there are established 98 instructional centres outside of the university, which are distributed all over the country. In other words, a pilot distance education system is already in existence in Tsinghua University.


Due to the eminence of the university and its involvement in the UK-China eChina project on e-learning, there are a number of more detailed reports on Tsinghua University.

  1. e-Learning in Tsinghua University Current Status and Future Development, at http://www.apan.net/meetings/busan03/materials/cs/education/E-Learning_FeiyuKang_in_Tsinghua0808.ppt
  2. "CARET signs Chinese Partnership", at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/newsletter/2003/apr-may/newsinbrief.html

CARET and Tsinghua

(sourced from http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/newsletter/2003/apr-may/newsinbrief.html

The University is extending its partnership with Tsinghua University, one of the top two universities in China. The new partnership agreement will focus on two projects: a pilot scheme run by the Language Centre to teach English to staff at Tsinghua through online learning modules; and the extension of an existing collaboration between Tsinghua and the Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies (CARET) in the area of Learning Management Systems.

Tsinghua has been given the lead role in developing e-learning in China and already has a Web School providing course support and distance education programmes. Future collaboration will centre around ensuring that the Web School can scale to greater numbers of courses and students by implementing common specifications and architectures emerging from the eLearning community.

Much of the collaborative work will be an extension of the Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) work CARET has conducted over the last two years, which has defined open architectural specifications to support the development of educational software.

The partnership with Tsinghua is well developed. Professor Li Zheng spent a year at CARET working with the eLearning Systems team on developing software components for Learning Management Systems (LMS). Student software projects at Tsinghua are now based on the work that Li carried out at Cambridge.

"We feel that the collaboration with Tsinghua is a real opportunity for Cambridge University to take the innovative work of the e-learning systems group in CARET and see it used by potentially millions of students throughout China. This large scale deployment of online resources delivered through a pedagogically-sound learning environment will give us the opportunity to understand how online learning works best," said CARET Director Jem Rashbass.

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