The participation of big investors in online education has made it a new hotspot for investment in the education industry. Students in remote and underdeveloped areas are the biggest beneficiaries of online education, but online universities offer students who have failed university entrance examinations and working people the opportunity of lifelong education and training.
The Ministry of Education has approved 68 ordinary schools of higher learning and the Central Radio and TV University to pilot modern distance education. They have set up 2,027 off-campus learning centers (stations) around China, offering 140 majors in 10 disciplines, and have a total enrollment of 1.467 million.
The gradual spread of broadband technology has also helped online education. The China Education and Research Network (CERNET), started in 1994, is now China's second largest Internet network, with a high-speed transmission network of 20,000 km, 28 international and regional channels, covering all major cities of China. The high-speed connection between it and the China Education Broadband Satellite Net, opened in 2000, established a "space to earth" transmission platform for modern distance education, and provided an all-round network support environment for distance education.
Adult education in China is both dynamic and diverse. Schools of higher learning for adults include radio and TV, worker, farmer, correspondence and evening universities, management and education colleges; adult secondary schools include vocational, high and technical schools; worker elementary and farmer elementary schools comprise the adult elementary sector.