Video classes of 20 courses from top Chinese universities will be available free of charge through the Internet starting Wednesday, according to the Ministry of Education.
Similar to Harvard open courses, the video classes will be provided on www.icourse.edu.cn, China Network Television and the web portal Netease for free.
The open courses of China's universities, feature 20 scientific and cultural subjects or lectures given by speakers and professors from high-profile universities across China, including Zhejiang University, Nankai University and Wuhan University.
The online open courses will focus on Chinese traditional culture and will mainly target college students, said Liu Ju, the deputy head of the Department of Higher Education.
The courses also include the rise and fall of ancient Greek civilization and a brief introduction of aeronautics and astronautics.
Liu said the launch of open courses will help spread traditional and modern Chinese culture and is conducive to enhancing China's cultural soft power and international influence.
The MOE will provide more online public courses with "high quality" and "enriched contents," Liu said.
Online open courses of top U.S. universities have become a hit among young Chinese, who find them beneficial.
According to a survey conducted in August by Sina.com, a major Chinese Internet portal, 94.5 percent of the 1,600 people surveyed were interested in online open courses of universities home and abroad.
In the next five years, universities and colleges in China will contribute 1,000 online open courses, with each being allocated a budget of 150,000 yuan to 200,000 yuan, according to a report from the Wuhan-based Changjiang Daily.