The Ministry of Education launched the White Paper on the Development of Vocational Education in China on August 20 to present China’s experience in developing vocational education over the last decade.
According to the document, vocational education is a significant component of China’s educational and talent cultivation system. In fact, developing vocational education has become part of many countries’ strategic response to economic, social, environmental, and employment challenges. Since 2012, the Chinese government has prioritized vocational education in its economic development and educational reform plans, creating a unique modernization paradigm for vocational education.
Modernization, with industrialization as its core, has brought great changes to human society, including economic growth, shifts in thinking, institutional innovation and social transformation. Despite China’s unique challenges in its pursuit of modernization—given the country’s huge population and the legacy of a millennia-old agrarian civilization—it has explored effective ways to realize comprehensive modernization, covering economic, social, cultural, educational and other areas. Vocational education is also part of this process. It has both benefitted from and contributed to the modernization drive by spurring economic growth, improving people’s livelihood, optimizing the educational system and increasing international exchange.
Over the past decade, vocational education has developed on par with regular education, while receiving more policy support to facilitate diversification, modern governance and the integration of industry and education.
China hopes to join hands with other countries in establishing more communication and cooperation platforms for sharing lessons learnt as well as good practices in developing vocational education.