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Higher vocational education first successes in “going global”

2018-05-17 15:14:00

China has achieved first accomplishments in its international effort to expand higher vocational education abroad. The 2017 Annual Report on Higher Vocational Education Quality showed that the number of higher vocational education institutions expanding globally reached 500, including 162 institutions that seconded teachers to provide guidance and 187 institutions that dispatched students for internships to overseas Chinese enterprises seeking global expansion. Over 7,000 international students were enrolled in full-time programs offered by higher vocational education institutions. Various short-term overseas programs provided more than 380,000 man-days of training, while there are now 283 industrial and professional teaching standards developed by Chinese vocational education institutions and recognized by overseas authorities. Many vocational colleges launched overseas vocational training programs such as Luban Workshops which have had a positive impact around the world.

China intends to further improve the system of standards for higher vocational education, to unlock its full development potential and provide institutional assurance for its international expansion. Relevant policies will also be better shaped to incorporate new technologies, processes or regulations from international enterprises in a timely manner, while meeting human resource selection criteria and requirements related to specific positions. As part of the construction of a new standards system for higher vocational education with Chinese characteristics, which is expected to cater for the needs of industrial development, more effort will be poured into promoting pilot “going-global” programs from vocational colleges to gather and broaden experience through practice. Existing internationally recognized and relatively mature standards in teaching and training, industry-education collaboration, contribution to public services and other areas will be drawn upon to develop a variety of Model Projects. The development of mutual recognition of diplomas between China and other countries will also be strengthened by increasing the international community’s awareness about higher vocational education in China and facilitating the transition for international students from their local education system into the Chinese system. In addition, think tanks supporting the global expansion of higher vocational education will be established to conduct studies on the socio-economic situation of target countries, in order to collect adequate data and material and supply evidence-based input for improving the standards system.

To conclude, the “going-global” blueprint for Chinese higher vocational education has now been rolled out. Vocational colleges have the necessary impetus to expand overseas, and in particular to serve as a bridge between China and the Belt and Road countries, thereby allowing Chinese wisdom to exercise its full potential in the development of world vocational education.

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