In this edition -
During the 1st session of 12th NPC held on March 5th, 2013, (now former) Premier Wen Jiabao stated in his report on the government’s agenda that government spending on education totaled 7.79 trillion yuan over the past five years, increasing at an average annual rate of 21.58% to reach 4% of GDP in 2012. This spending is at a 20 year all-time-high. In 1993, the CPC central committee and state council issued the China Education Reform and Development Outline, which created the target of 4% of GDP being dedicated to education expenditure. This target was the baseline level of spending to help evaluate China’s education level compared to the rest of the world.
According to this report, the government also prioritised the allocation of resources to rural, remote, poor and ethnic minority areas and made progress in improving fairness in education.
Free vocational tuition trends towards full coverage.
At a Ministry of Education news conference held on February 20th, 2013, Ge Daokai, Director General of vocational education and adult education of Ministry of Education, said that: “There is a trend towards vocational education being fee free.”
At present, nine provinces have expanded free courses to all secondary vocational schools. These nine provinces and cities are Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Shanxi province, Jiangsu province, Fujian province, Chongqing city, Guizhou province, Qinghai province, Ningbo city and Xiamen city. The free courses are subsidised by government within a range of 2000 yuan to 6500 yuan (per student per year).
Ministry of Education issues Three-year Planning towards National Vocational School Skill Competition.
The Ministry of Education issued the Three-year Planning towards National Vocational School Skill Competition (2013-2015). A competition committee has been established and includes Yuan Guiren, Minister of Education, and Huang Xing, mayor of Tianjin city.
The competition aims to cover 80% of professional categories in secondary and higher vocational majors and 40% of secondary professional majors. Contestants for higher vocational competitions must be 25 years old or younger and secondary vocational competitors 21 years old or younger. Students in five-year higher vocational schools can register for the competition: first to third year students (inclusive) apply for the secondary vocational competition, fourth to fifth year apply for the higher vocational competition.
Average financial allocation to vocational students would be universally popular.
On February 20th, 2013, Ge Daokai, director general of vocational education and adult education of Ministry of Education, said in the first news conference after spring festival, “There is no national standard regarding financial support to vocational students. Each province makes their own standards. But he stressed that: “an average financial allocation given to all students would be universally popular”. At the same time, the Ministry of Education has set up a pilot project of internship liability insurance for vocational students with a 39 yuan insurance premium covering a three-year term with 500,000 yuan coverage.”
First Doctorate Program “Double Qualification” (Teacher and Technician) was approved in China
The first doctorate program “Double Qualification”, to be run by Tianjing University of Technology and Education, was officially approved by the State Council Academic Degree Committee. This program is the first doctorate training program for vocational teachers who have both teacher and technician qualifications.
Beijing Commerce Vocational Education Group established by mutual recognition of credit points in 19 vocational colleges to train talents jointly.
Recently, Beijing Commerce Vocational Education Group was established. It comprises enterprises, industry associations, schools and scientific research institutes. This group will concentrate on improving student transition to employment by combining “employment and enrolment” as well as a “modern apprenticeship system”, with the aim of matching talent to enterprise needs and helping graduates find jobs..
Students of the 19 participating schools can select the most appropriate courses from among the different schools and win recognition in their own schools. Meanwhile, their practical training bases are mutually opened to these students. Partial majors are delivered in cooperation with enterprises to achieve enrollment and employment for students.
First National Vocational Education Information Construction Conference held in Nanjing
On Dec 10, 2012, the National Vocational Education Information Construction Conference was held in Nanjing by Ministry of Education. This is the first national vocational education information construction meeting held in modern China.
This conference systematically reviewed the achievements and experiences of vocational education information construction institutes since the new century; researched and deployed the policies, measures and priorities to push forward vocational education information construction during the twelfth Five-year period. This conference has long-term significance in promoting integration of information technology and vocational education, speeding up the modernization of vocational education.
Internship of five-year vocational education in Jiangsu reduced to half year.
Recently, internship periods for secondary vocational education and for five-year vocational education were reduced by half a year in Jiangsu, which now means the learning period in schools has been extended to 2.5 years and 4.5 years respectively. This policy will be implemented to all new enrolments in 2013.
At present, secondary vocational schools nationwide generally carry out the training mode of “2+1”; 2-years learning in schools and 1-year practicing.
But some places have the problems. It is easier to turn a good job into an internship than not. What’s more, longer term internships are now much shorter than before. Therefore, the quality of practice and efficiency are both low.
For these reasons, Jiangsu education bureau reduced the practice period, optimizing intern management and learning, and giving priority to good enterprises. They have also regulated the labor contract and payment of interns, implemented the intern responsibility insurance for students, and effectively strengthened labor protection for students.
205 majors removed in Hebei with clearer self-positioning in higher vocational and professional colleges.
Recently, the Hebei Major Setup Assessment Committee has reviewed newly added majors applied in 2012, agreed to add 270 majors and remove 205 majors. Many aimless majors only focusing on high level understanding were removed, such as Business English and Electric Information. These majors overlap with universities, which are highly required by employers. Therefore, getting a job is not always easy by studying these majors. The newly added majors are mainly concentrated in new colleges, with local features as well as ‘hot’ majors, such as smart phone software application technology, and signal control for high-speed rail. This action means higher vocational and professional schools are no longer focusing on areas that require higher levels of understanding, and have a clearer positioning.
Visit our archive of newsletters here