REVIEW: China’s Radio And TV Universities And 
The British Open University: A Comparative Study

Reviewed by Desmond KEEGAN

This book is a major contribution to the fields of distance education research, the field of comparative education and to the history of Chinese and British education. The book undertakes an impossible task: the comparative study of China’s Radio and TV universities and of the British Open University. The task is impossible because the two entities to be compared are essentially disparate. The British Open University (OUUK) is a single university set up at Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom by Royal Charter. China’s Radio and TV universities, known as the Dianda system, is a network of 45 open universities set up all over China. The essence of the success of the British Open University was its creation as a full university, offering its own university degrees on the same level as all the other universities in the country. The Dianda institutions were set up in what Wei calls the ‘adult higher education sector’ in China, offering what Wei calls sub-degrees and always regarded as inferior both to the great Chinese universities (Beijing University, Qinghua University, Fudan University and Tongji University) and also to the ordinary Chinese universities.