Briefing on TVET Policies in China
China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE)
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) has been playing a significant role in supporting the socioeconomic development in China. So far, China has established the largest TVET system with more than 11,300 vocational institutions and schools enrolling over 30 million students in the world.
The Chinese government has undertaken active policy reforms with the goal to establish a comprehensive TVET system providing paths and choices among academic, professional, technical and skills education and training, and to improve public visibility and recognition of the sector.
China issued the National Implement Plan for TVET Reform in January 2019. The Plan called for establishing national standards for TVET and building up a modern and advanced TVET system with Chinese characteristics. For the first time, the Plan announced pilot of a 1+X certification system, which encouraged students to obtain occupational and competency-based certificates (X) in addition to higher vocational education diploma . The 1+X certification learning hours and outcomes will be counted as academic credits by the national credit bank system. The credit bank will support recognizing, accumulating and transforming various types of learning experiences and outcomes, and help lead to a lifelong learning society.
In 2021, a first-ever National Vocational Education Conference activated a few new actions to reinforce implementation of the Plan. One of the most significant measures is to upgrade the three-year diploma to four-year baccalaureate TVET programs and institutions. In 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Education released a list of 247 baccalaureate TVET majors.
Substantial cooperation and integration of industries, enterprises and educational institutions including course design and delivery, faculty training and coaching, and practicum and apprenticeship was also encouraged, so as to better match the supply of high-quality workforce with industrial demand.
Entering into a new five-year cycle of national strategic planning in 2021, TVET, now recognized as an equally important type of education, is a strong driving force for economic transformation and an impetus for preparing for future jobs.
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