eChina UK eLearning Programme

eChina-UK: eLearning Programme – Overarching Research



China’s radio and television universities (RTVUs) began in the early 1960s, were closed down for 10 years and then re-opened in the 1970s.

CCRTVU is an open university managed directly by the State Education Commission of the China Ministry of Education (MOE).  The Ministry determines its curriculum.   There is a five-tier management system, with CCRTVU at the top.  The 44 Provincial Radio and Television Universities (PRTVUs), are at the next level down and these have the right to award degrees.  At the next level are the 1010 Branch Schools, then the 1942 working stations and, finally, the 33608 TVU teaching classes.

Two types of degree are offered: two and three year programmes.  The three year specialty may be taken by part time students in a 4-6 year period.  The two year programmes are for full time Humanities students.  While the CCRTVU top layer of management furnishes core programmes, courses, and materials, there are opportunities for RTVUs to construct their own courses according to local economic needs.

The system has proved attractive, not least because some have claimed it may be cost effective when put alongside traditional HEIs (Ding, 1999).


Ding, X. (1999). Distance Education in China. In Harry, K. (ed.) Higher Education
Through Open and Distance Learning. London and New York: Routledge and
the COL. Chapter 9.2: 176-89

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