China and ASEAN countries seek cooperation in vocational education
Principles from China and ASEAN countries exchange books at the summit. [Photo/jesie.org]
The China-ASEAN Vocational Education Principal Summit, co-organized by the Education Department of Jiangsu Province and the China-ASEAN Center, was held in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, on July 31.
The summit, with a theme of the “’Belt and Road’ Initiative and Regional Cooperation of Vocational Education”, attracted over 200 participants including more than 60 vocational school principals and many other officials, education experts and business representatives.
Ding Xiaochang, director-general of the Education Department of Jiangsu Province, told the summit that he appreciated the contribution that vocational education had made to provincial economic development.
Ding said that the vocational education of Jiangsu province features intensification and internationalization. A total of 60 vocational colleges out of 85 in the province have launched 177 cooperative programs with foreign vocational colleges, one fifth of the total for the whole country, which bring in advanced educational concepts and resources.
With the development of globalization, Jiangsu has actively taken part in international exchange. In 2014, there were 1,880 international students studying in 20 vocational colleges in the province. Five vocational colleges had training centers overseas.
China and the ASEAN countries are all developing. Educational cooperation between them is appropriate in today’s world and testifies to the spirit of development through cooperation, said Ding. He put forward several suggestions for vocational education including setting up international alliances and training centers, developing highly skilled professionals capable of working in international environments, and accelerating mobility, especially in student exchange.
Jiangsu will establish a “Jasmine” scholarship for outstanding exchange students from ASEAN countries in 2016, according to the provincial education department.
During the summit, principals from China and ASEAN countries visited vocational colleges in the Suzhou International Education Park, participated in four sub-forums with different themes, and signed 77 letters of intent for cooperation.