Press Releases

Step change in China’s vocational education

Source: China Education Daily

On the morning of May 24, the MOE held a press conference to review progress achieved in vocational education since 2012. Chen Ziji, director of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education, presented a report for the occasion.

According to Chen, China has built the world’s largest vocational education system, which produces some 10 million skilled professionals every year. In 2021 alone, China’s vocational schools enrolled 5.57 million students, marking an increase of 180 percent over 2012.

Over the last decade, China’s vocational education has achieved a step change in terms of quality, diversity and contribution to social progress. Specifically, it has become more aligned with economic and social development needs through stronger alliances with industry and a direct link with compulsory education, and the support of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The teaching workforce has become larger and more qualified. Between 2012 and 2021, the number of full-time teachers in vocational schools grew from 1.11 million to 1.29 million, marking an increase of 17 percent. Teachers specializing in more than one professional field account for over 55 percent of the workforce at all level of vocational education institutions.

The employment rate has been consistently above 96 percent for secondary vocational graduates and above 91 percent for polytechnic college graduates.

As a next step, the MOE will go on to build a modern vocational education system, building on the implementation of the newly promulgated Vocational Education Law. Diversification of secondary vocational education, greater focus on specialization in polytechnic colleges, building a direct link with the academic education system, and stronger partnerships with industry have been identified as the way forward.