Courses on Chinese culture and philosophy for foreigners, training for volunteers, and programs for elders and children, will be developed by a special college established at Shanghai Open University yesterday.
Shanghai Community College aims to enhance non-diploma education in local communities by providing courses to community schools and training their teachers based on the diversified demands of people of all ages in local communities, said Yuan Wen, president of Shanghai Open University.
The college will cooperate with educational units, including universities and training organizations, to integrate resources and distribute them to 212 community schools, with more than 5,000 teaching places, she added.
Courses at community schools sponsored by the government are popular as they are convenient and cheap. Take piano lessons for example, a 16-lesson course only charges 300 to 500 yuan ( to ), which is almost the price of a single lesson in commercial training organizations.
"With the newly established college, we want to expand our service to more people, such as out-of-school education for young children, latest agricultural knowledge teaching for new professional farmers, training for volunteers and activities to help newcomers settle down in Shanghai," Wang Bojun, vice president of the university, said.
Bi Hu, president of the community college in the Pudong New Area, welcomes the new college. "We need to improve our courses with development of Pudong," he said. "We now have many foreign experts working and living in the free trade zone. How can we serve their needs? We hope the new college will develop more courses suitable for them."