On November 26 and 27, following instructions of the State Council, the Conference for the Promotion of Quality Development in National Vocational Education was held at Shenzhen Polytechnic. It was hosted by Vice Minister of Education Sun Yao and attended by heads of relevant state ministries and commissions and educational departments at sub-national levels, as well as representatives from civil society, vocational schools and colleges, and enterprises. Deputy Secretary-General of the State Council Ding Xiangyang and Shenzhen Mayor Chen Rugui addressed the conference. Representatives of Guangdong and Jiangsu Provincial Education Departments, Shenzhen Polytechnic, Jinhua Polytechnic, Shandong Institute of Commerce & Technology, Shaanxi Polytechnic Institute, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and Aviation Industry Corporation of China also spoke at the conference.
The conference centered on the strategic arrangements put forward by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee for the promotion of China’s governance system and modernization of government governance, and full implementation of the Party’s education related guidance to nurture well-rounded youth prepared to join the socialist cause as well as the State Council’s Implementation Plan on National Vocational Education Reform. During the conference, local experiences and best practices in the accelerated development of modern vocational education were discussed and exchanged, while research plans were made for the promotion of quality development in vocational education.
It was stressed that, despite their differences, vocational education carries the same weight as that of regular education. To meet the increasingly urgent demands for skilled tech workers in China, the vocational education institutions nationwide had joined their efforts to carry out reform measures steadily and achieved intermediate milestones. However, there were still gaps to be filled. Vocational education institutions were called on to exercise stricter control over the quality of teaching and the quality of graduates and focus on the standardization in vocational education to facilitate the modernization of vocational education.
Between 2020 and 2022, the following requirements were to be adopted to promote the comprehensive improvement of vocational education quality: (1) Reform of the teacher workforce, textbooks and pedagogy, to increase the proportion of teachers with a “double qualification” and refine textbook selection mechanisms; (2) Further integration between schools and industry, to enable enterprises to play a greater role in vocational education; (3) Pilot project of 1+X certificates and development of academic credit banks; (4) Enhanced management and evaluation in schools, establishment of an assessment and appraisal system for education quality, and improvement of the principal accountability system; (5) Reinforced organizational leadership, to allow for a larger role of Vocational Education Steering and Advisory Committees in achieving high-standard teaching, high-skill training and high employment rates and making a greater contribution to China’s economic and social progress.
During the conference, the representatives conducted on-site visits to the vocational education institutions and relevant enterprises in Shenzhen.