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Vocational Education to Further Integrate with Industrial Development

By RAN ZHENG|Apr 30,2022

Chongqing- The newly revised Vocational Education Law of the People's Republic of China took effect on May 1. It calls for emerging majors to meet advanced industries' demands and construct high-level vocational schools. Chongqing Municipality in southwestern China has made some progress on this topic and plans to develop it further in the near future.

What's new

The purpose of vocational education has changed from cultivating technical and skilled talent to nurturing high-quality technical and professional talent. This conceptual breakthrough conveys to society that general education and vocational education are "equally important".

"The new law allows vocational school students to go to junior college and undergraduate college. It will greatly increase students' enthusiasm to go to secondary vocational schools," said Chen Ziji, Director of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education of the Ministry of Education, P.R.C.

According to the statistics of UNESCO, the cost of vocational education is about three times that of general education. Enrollment in China's higher vocational education accounts for more than half of the total enrollment. However, the financial investment in higher vocational education only accounts for about 20% of the total.

A signing ceremony for Chongqing Industry Polytechnic College and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Ltd. on the industry-education integration

A signing ceremony for Chongqing Industry Polytechnic College and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Ltd. on the industry-education integration. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

"The new law stipulates the central government to optimize the expenditure structure of education funds and encourage raising funds through various legitimate channels. The provincial-level government should set the per-student funding standards. School sponsors should allocate funds following the standards," Chen Ziji said.

The new law also encourages enterprises to support vocational education. Enterprises deeply involved in industry-education and school-enterprise cooperation will benefit from prizes and tax breaks.

Adapting skilled talent cultivation to industrial demand

"Enterprises usually book our students in the second semester of their junior year. These students are all majoring in new energy vehicle (NEV) technology," said Li Shisheng, a Chongqing Industry Polytechnic College officer. Since its opening in 2017, the NEV technology major has aimed to cultivate professionals in the assembly, performance testing, and critical component testing of NEVs. Li said that most of the graduates were hired by well-known automobile enterprises like Tesla, BYD, NIO, and Chongqing Jinkang New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd.

With the expansion of the NEV market, plenty of vocational colleges in Chongqing have set up NEV technology majors in recent years.

"We will expand the enrollment scale of the NEV technology major and provide high-quality talent for Yongchuan District to build a 100 billion-yuan-level automotive, industrial cluster," said Ning Ping, Dean of the College of Automotive Engineering of Chongqing Creation Vocational College.

With the Dual Carbon strategy is carrying out, the new energy industry needs enormous skilled talents majoring in energy storage materials technology.

The first batch of students majoring in energy storage materials technology at Chongqing Energy College enrolled in September last year. The college aligns with the Dual Carbon strategy by opening Chongqing's first energy storage major. It carries out in-depth cooperation with leading energy storage enterprises, and students of this major will learn design and application, manufacturing and testing, and management of energy storage materials.

Chongqing's vocational schools have opened new majors to adapt to new demands and new business forms. According to the Chongqing Municipal Education Commission, Chongqing has set up 658 majors like cloud computing, industrial robots, and current services over the past three years. Over 86% of its vocational education majors are connected to pillar industries.


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