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Beijing launches academic credit bank

By Zhao Xinying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-10 19:49

An academic credit bank was officially launched in Beijing on Friday.

The platform, which covers all educational stages and targets people of different ages, could be used to take courses and tests for certain academic credits or certificates, said Yang Zhijian, president of the Open University of China, which led the construction of the credit bank under the guidance of the Ministry of Education.

"The credits and certificates accumulated could then be used to gain specific academic degrees or diplomas according to the requirements of different educational institutions," he said.

He added that the credit bank, which started construction from 2012, is also an open platform that all educational institutions, public or private, could use to deliver their courses.

"These institutions could set prices and requirements for their courses, and learners could decide which course they would like to enroll in, much like what consumers do on Taobao," Yang said.

According to Wang Jicheng, director of the education ministry's vocational and adult education department, the concept of an academic credit bank, which combines academic credits with the features of banks in the field of finance, was first conceived by people in South Korea in 1995.

"The purpose of building the credit bank in China is to cover people's education 'from birth to death', boosting lifelong learning and improving the literacy of people nationwide," he said.

Zhu Yongxin, vice-chairman of the Chinese Society of Education, said the credit bank is a new phenomenon in China, and both credit and quality are crucial to its future development.

"We should pay great attention to the quality of the courses and make sure that every credit issued to learners counts," he said. "Only in this way can the academic credit bank be widely recognized and accepted."

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