On 21 October 2017, organisations and enterprises of vocational education formally established a “Sino-German Alliance on Dual Vocational Education” in Nanjing. Different from already existing bilateral VET associations, the new alliance will, according to its Chinese name, focus on the cooperation between enterprises and schools, and thus focus on truly “dual” vocational education.
The alliance was founded at the “International Summit for Vocational Education”, which was part of Education Plus 2017, an exhibition organized by Messe Stuttgart Nanjing Ltd. During the constituting session, founding members adopted by-laws and unanimously elected their chairman, Simon Zhao, CEO of National Center for Open & Distance Education in Beijing.
Mark Ma, Vice General Manager of Open Education, referred to a 2016 study which estimated the vocational education market volume of China at 600 billion RMB (about 78 billion Euro) and further growing. “In this market, the new alliance aims at developing the cooperation of enterprises and schools in vocational education, supporting the implementation of the Sino-German vocational education strategy, and establishing a new and sustainable type of cooperation.”
The new alliance is a branch organisation of the “China External Cooperative Alliance of Vocational Education” in Beijing.
A group of deans of the Panjin Vocational and Technical College (PVTC) under its vice principal Zhang Hongfu visited the Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (SFIVET) in Zollikofen near Bern on 7 July 2017. The event was part of a Sino-German Project on Dual Vocational Education in Panjin. Project Team Leader Zhang Yaowen also joined the visit at SFIVET.
The delegation was received by Eric Swars, Head of International Relations. He provided insights into the dual VET system of Switzerland and its differences to the German dual system, into the education of TVET teachers and masters, and into TVET research and vocational development, tasks his institution is in charge of. In May 2017, SFIVET already established a partnership with the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE).
Panjin is a chemical and petroleum industry city in Northeast China. The Chinese government is encouraging the entire region to modify its economy. Panjin was selected by the National Development and Reform Commission as a pilot city for the introduction of a dual VET system similar to the German and Swiss systems. PVTC is at the core of the pilot project, initially focusing on the vocations of Chemical Technician, Mechatronics Fitter, and Geriatric Nurse.
A delegation of the Chinese National Center for Open and Distance Education visited the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Dual University DHBW) in Stuttgart on 28 June 2017. The group was received by Prof. Harald Stuhler, head of vehicle systems engineering studies at DHBW.
With 3.5 million registered students, the National Center for Open and Distance Education is one of the largest education institutions worldwide. It is specialized on online education and is cooperating with all notable universities of China. The Center is a joint venture of the electronics giant TCL with the Chinese Ministry of Education. The Center has recently started to establish a vocational education programme similar to the German dual system through its subsidiary I-Vocedu.
Simon Zhao, CEO of Open Education, headed the delegation. Other members were Wu Shujun, Director of the Vocational Education Center, Mark Ma, Vice General Manager, and Tina Jin, Vice President of Shenzhen TCL Education Technology Co., Ltd.
The visit to Germany was organized by the former China Project Director of BMW AG, Kayjay Brix, who is now advisor of I-Vocedu in Shenzhen. Further participants were Oliver Schindler, CEO of ITW Schindler GmbH, and the former Programme Director of GIZ in China, Helmut Schoenleber.