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01.06.2015

Press release

United Nations together with HPI Start New Online Learning Platform in China

Shanghai/Potsdam. On Monday, June 1 the United Nations, the German Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) and a Chinese hi-tech company, are starting an Internet learning platform in the 24 million inhabitant city of Shanghai. This platform is available at https://openune.cn and will offer all interested parties a wide range of open, online courses - so-called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Content includes vocational and professional education as well as knowledge for specific population groups and company employees. Especially the aspect of Industry 4.0 – the intelligent networking of industrial production – will play an important role. Successful course participants receive a certificate from the participating United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). Hasso Plattner Institute, the Potsdam university-institute, contributes its software system and experience as a MOOC pioneer in Germany. The Shanghai company Guofuguangqi Cloud Computing is responsible for the technical operation.

Minister President of Brandenburg, Dietmar Woidke and Director of Hasso Plattner Institue, Prof. Christoph Meinel traveled to Shanghai for the launch of the platform. Together with the Chinese partners they opened the teaching operation of the online course platform: openUNE. The project is also being supported by the German software giant SAP. This company’s own platform, called open.SAP.com, also uses the modern e-learning technology provided by Hasso Plattner Institute. 

“With their extraordinary range, MOOCs can efficiently expand education, and do this for population sectors with limited access to traditional educational institutions. At the same time, this service will greatly improve people’s access to life-long learning,” said HPI Director, Prof. Christoph Meinel. In Shanghai, Meinel entered into an agreement with the high-tech company Guofuguangqi on “Innovation Labs.” This agreement established the framework for the innovation projects of both partners, for example in Massive Open Online Courses in the field of e-learning and for a new Tele-Board. This HPI development brings innovation teams, who are separated by huge distances, together in a shared virtual space.

In September 2013, the Institute began its own learning platform: https://open.hpi.de. The twenty-first online course is being offered now. In this English-language course, the participant is introduced to the technologies of the World Wide Web. In the meanwhile, there are over 87,000 learners from over 150 countries active at openHPI. The number of enrollments is recorded at 183,000.

Hasso Plattner Institute at a Glance

The Hasso Plattner Institute for Software Systems Engineering GmbH (HPI) at the University of Potsdam is Germany’s university excellence center for IT-Systems Engineering. HPI is financed entirely through private funds donated by its founder Prof. Hasso Plattner, who co-founded the software company SAP. HPI is the only university institution in Germany offering the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in “IT-Systems Engineering” – a practical and engineering-oriented alternative to conventional computer science studies. Current enrollment is at approximately 480 students. The HPI School of Design Thinking is Europe’s first innovation school for university students. It is based on the Stanford model of the d.school and offers 240 places yearly for a supplementary study. There are a total of ten HPI professors and over 50 guest professors, lecturers and contracted teachers at the Institute. HPI carries out research noted for its high standard of excellence in its ten topic areas. Research work is also conducted at the Potsdam HPI Research School for PhD candidates as well as at its branches in Cape Town, Haifa and Nanjing. HPI teaching and research focuses on the foundation and application of large-scale, highly complex and distributed IT systems. The development and exploration of user-driven innovations for all sectors of life is an additional area of importance. HPI always earns the highest positions in the CHE university ranking.