In early 2022, the Chinese platforms listed in this article offered close to 70K online courses. That’s about twice as many as in 2020. Now, in early 2023, we reached a total of about 100K courses, showing that the growth trend perdures.
On March 28, 2022, China’s Ministry of Education announced the “Smart Education of China” initiative and launched the comprehensive website Chinaooc, bringing together all the MOOC platforms of mainland China.
Here are the Chinese online course platforms that focus on MOOCs. You can click on one to jump to the description.
In October 2013, Tsinghua University along with partner institutions in China announced the launch of XuetangX, China’s first MOOC platform. The are close to 7000 courses and programs offered on the platform, including live streamings, online degrees, microcredentials, and cohort-based boot camps. XuetangX reached over 80 million users at its 8th anniversary on October 10, 2021.
Chinese University MOOC, also often called iCourse, is the fruit of a collaboration between the Chinese internet giant NetEase and the original iCourse learning platform. The MOOC platform offers over 10,000 free university courses, including nationally-recognized MOOCs. Free digital certificates are automatically available when students pass quizzes and final exam.
Zhihui Shu, which translates to “Wisdom Tree”, was launched in December 2012. It has the particularity of allowing its university partners to share credit-bearing courses with one another, facilitating academic credit mobility across China.
Of the 14,100 courses offered on the platform, 10,500 (that is, 75%) are credit-granting courses only for on-campus students. The platform offers 45 courses with a free digital certificates. And there are also 18 microcredential programs available.
In April 2014, Shanghai Jiao Tong University launched CNMOOC, a online course platform promoting the integration of MOOCs into China’s on-campus higher education system. The platform offers over 3000 courses. About half of them provide free digital certificates.
Xue Yin Online
Xue Yin Online launched in November 2017. It was developed by The Open University of China and the Chaoxing Group. The purpose of this online course platform is to serve as a “credit bank” for vocational skills, facilitating the transfer of credit and the recognition of prior learning across different universities. The platform offers nearly over 16,000 course with a free digital certificate.
The University Open Online Courses (UOOC) platform was founded by Shenzhen University in February 2016, subsuming the preexisting MOOC platform from April 2014. The are 1375 free courses on the platform, with the vast majority also offering credit for on-campus students.
Zhejiang Provincial MOOC Platform
The Zhejiang Institutions of Higher Learning Online Open Course Sharing Platform — or Zhejiang Provincial MOOC Platform for short — is backed by the Education Department of the province of Zhejiang, south of Shanghai. There are 17,500 courses offered on the platform.
In December 2015, the Department of Education of the Aihui District, situated in the northwest of China, launched E-Huixue. Like Zhejiang’s Provincial MOOC Platform, the purpose of E-Huixue is to serve as a regional repository for online courses. The platform offers more than 2500 MOOCs with a free digital certificate.
Rong You Xue Tang is the new name of the former Beijing MOOC Research Association platform. It was founded in 2016 by Renmin University of China together with several Beijing-based universities. Over 210 free courses are provided on the platform, some of which are credit-eligible courses.
Ulearning was launched by the online learning company Ulearning in May 2015. There are close to 2700 courses provided on the platform.
ICVE MOOC College
ICVE was built for professional education by Higher Education Press in 2014. There are over 7300 free courses offered on the platform, and over 80% of them provide a free certificate.
ErYa was launched in January 2015 by the Chaoxing Group, an edtech corporation based in Beijing. The MOOC platform offers around 500 free courses in liberal arts from humanities to creative thinking.
Gaoxiaobang was established by a subsidiary of Huike Group, a company focused on the upskilling and reskilling of professionals in tech-related domains. The platform was launched in September 2015, and it currently offers close to 470 free courses.
UMOOCs is a Chinese MOOC platform for studying foreign languages. The platform was founded by Beijing Foreign Studies University in December 2017, and it is affiliated with the Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, a publishing company dedicated to all facets of foreign language study in China. It offers over 400 free courses with certificate covering 10 languages.
iLab-X is a MOOC platform for virtual simulation experiments launched by Higher Education Press in 2017. Close to 3500 virtual experiments are provided on the platform.
MOEC is a MOOC platform for virtual simulation experiment education in medicine, launched by the company Mengoo in 2020. The MOOC platform has provided around 720 courses in medicine for over 100 university medical schools in China.
Educoder is a MOOC platform for computer science and programming that was launched in July 2016. There are over 640 free courses and thousands of free programming exercises. The MOOC platform also allows its verified users to create their own courses, exercises, and online classrooms.
eWant is a MOOC platform that was launched by National Chiao Tung University in 2013. National Chiao Tung University is one of Taiwan’s leading public research universities, located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. It hosts more than 3200 courses from over 90 different universities.
ShareCourse was founded by Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University in September 2012. 90 institutions contributed over 650 courses to the MOOC platform. About 190 of them are free.
OpenEdu is a MOOC platform from Taiwan. The MOOC platform is based on Open edX and offers over 470 courses in subjects including computer science, business management, humanities and art.