An Exploration of China-Africa Cooperation in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges in Open Distance Learning

Xia Zhu, Gladson Chikwa


Cognisant of the wide range of cooperation between China and Africa and the existing strong Sino-African relationship, this article explores the international cooperation between Africa and China in the higher education domain, especially in the field of Open Distance Learning (ODL). The study employed data triangulation relying on both secondary and primary sources to address the main research questions. It sheds light on the development of ODL in Chinese Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with a focus on professional development of university teachers. The article argues that ODL is crucial for emerging economies’ sustainable development. Key factors such as political, technological and socio-cultural features play a crucial role in the development and effective implementation of ODL. By exploring the potential opportunities and identifying related challenges, this article contributes to an understanding of how mutually beneficial partnerships between African universities and Chinese HEIs can be developed within the wider framework of Sino-African relationship.


Lifelong learning; Educational technology; Professional development of university teachers; Sino-African cooperation; Sustainable development; Open Distance Learning

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