MOE briefed the press to present progress on vocational education action plans [Photo/Fan Shigang]
On the afternoon of November 7, in Changsha, Hunan Province, the MOE briefed the press on progress achieved in implementing the Action Plan on the Innovative Development of Higher Vocational Education (2015-2018) and the Action Plan on Improving the Management of Vocational Education Institutions (2015-2018) as well as measures that have been taken to put into place guidelines formulated during the National Education Conference in the field of vocational education. The press conference was hosted by the MOE spokesperson Xu Mei and attended by Wang Jiping, Director of the MOE’s Vocational and Adult Education Department, Jiang Changzhong, Director of the Education Department of Hunan Province, Dong Gang, former president of Tianjin Vocational Institute and Li Bing, president of Changsha Social Work College.
Wang gave an update on progress achieved with the two action plans over the past three years, and spoke about the next steps that were envisaged for furthering vocational education in the new era. He said that the first action plan was aimed at reforming higher vocational education to drive the development of vocational education at all levels. To date, progress had been made in the following five areas:
1.Better access to high-quality vocational education resources. China launched a campaign to mobilize higher quality resources with a view to increasing its technically skilled workforce, namely through the establishment of 456 vocational institutes, 3,815 specialty programs, 1,933 production internship bases and 727 provincial collaborative innovation centers.
2.Targeted two-pronged teacher training. Through collaboration between universities and large companies, a total of 660 training-of-trainer programs have been established across the country to help vocational teachers develop both the practical expertise and teaching skills required for their field, whilst strengthening their ties with industry. In addition, 351 international projects have been launched with “Belt and Road” countries, to explore vocational education development models that can support China’s going global strategy.
3.Closer cooperation between vocational training providers and industry. Over 1,400 vocational education groups have been established, attracting 30,000 companies to jointly develop 558 apprenticeship projects which has benefited over 90,000 students.
4.Improving the weak links in institutional development. The higher vocational appropriation system has been enhanced, with the average per student funding reaching 12,000 RMB. The National Teaching Standard System for Vocational Education has been further improved, providing a solid foundation for the evaluation of teaching quality and supervision over school operation. The teaching diagnosis and continuous improvement mechanism has also been enhanced and a regular teacher training scheme is taking shape.
5.Exploring a student admission model that is suitable for vocational education. A new admission model has been established for higher vocational education, providing diversified channels of admission into vocational colleges other than the national college entrance examination. For the last three years, the number of students recruited through this model has exceeded half of all newly-enrolled higher vocational students.
Wang also introduced the progress made in implementing the second action plan in terms of student enrollment and management, teaching standards, school operation and quality control.
Speaking of future steps, he said that a number of plans and systems would be designed and introduced, including a national reform plan for vocational education, a joint conference system for vocational education under the State Council, a plan to build higher vocational education institutes and high quality training programs with distinctive Chinese characteristics, and a “one plus x” diploma reform plan.
Later at the meeting, Jiang Changzhong introduced the development of vocational education in Hunan Province, while Dong Gang and Li Bing presented developments in vocational schools.