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"Belt and Road" International Conference on TVET Opened in Shenzhen Polytechnic

 

Site of the Opening Ceremony

The "Belt and Road" International Conference on TVET themed on "mutual learning, and win-win cooperation" was held on May 11 and May 12, 2018 in Shenzhen Polytechnic. 100 influential professional educators from 21 countries and regions and 200 experts, scholars and representatives from vocational colleges, enterprises and industries (including 110 presidents or chancellors from home and abroad) gathered in Shenzhen Polytechnic, held in-depth dialogues on “Belt and Road” construction,  vocational education development and other topics, and gave advices on the construction of a “Belt and Road” TVET community, the promotion of regional vocational education reform and development, and the provision of higher-level skilled technical personnel to the “Belt and Road” Initiative.

Influential educators came together to discuss the "Belt and Road" TVET development and international cooperation

Lu Xin, Deputy Director of Xinjiang Work Coordination Group of the Central Government, former Deputy Minister of Education, and member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Marielza Oliverira, Director of the UNESCO Office in China, Katherine Vickers, minister-counsellor of Education and Training Department of Australian Government, Wang Yangnan, Director of the Institute of Vocational and Technical Education Center of Ministry of Education, Ge Weiwei, Deputy Inspector of the Division of Vocational Education and Adult Education of Ministry of Education, Bounpheng Somchanmavong, Deputy Director of Vocational Technical Education Division of Ministry of Education and Sports of Laos, Nuon Vansoeun, Deputy Director of Vocational Training Division of Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Xing Feng, Deputy Director-general of Guangdong Department of Education, member of the Party Group, Hussein JumaMtoro, Counselor of the Tanzanian Embassy in China, Ralph Rogers, Consul of Culture and Education of the British Consulate-General, Wu You, Deputy Secretary-General of the Shenzhen Municipal Government, Li Ming, UNESCO Director of the Center for Innovation in Higher Education, Chen Qiuming, Secretary of the Party Committee of Shenzhen Polytechnic, Zeng Jiali, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council, Jiang Yi, Director-general of the Education Department of the Macau Education and Youth Bureau, Jia Nan, Representative of UNESCO National Committee of China, and other leaders atended the opening ceremony. The opening ceremony was chaired by Liu Zhanshan, Executive Vice President of the Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education.

The one-and-a-half-day conference focused on the “Belt and Road” construction and vocational education. It aimed to promote international exchange and cooperation on “Belt and Road” vocational education. The conference was rich in content, practical and efficient and of great significance. The meeting was directed by the Division of Vocational Education and Adult Education of the Ministry of Education of China, the Secretariat of the UNESCO National Committee of China, sponsored by Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education, the Research Institute of Vocational and Technical Education Center of the Ministry of Education, and Guangdong Department of Education, and hosted by Shenzhen Polytechnic. The conference was composed of eight sections, namely the opening ceremony, keynote speeches, policy dialogues, leading-edge dialogues, school-enterprise dialogues, dialogues with the president, exhibition of cultural and educative achievements, and the closing ceremony.

Serve "Belt and Road" and Give full play to the role of vocational education

Lu Xin stressed in her speech that vocational education must play its role in the construction of the “Belt and Road” Initiative

The opening ceremony was held on the morning of May 11 in the concert hall. Lu Xin delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. She said that the key to advancing the construction of the "Belt and Road Initiative" lies in education, and we must give full play to the role of vocational education. Vocational education is an important part of national education and human resources development and an important path for young people to open their doors to success. Vocational education bears an important responsibility of cultivating diverse talents, passing on technical skills, and promoting employment and entrepreneurship. Lu Xin believed that Shenzhen is at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up, and is a model of innovation and development. Shenzhen Polytechnic is a model for cultivating high-quality technical and skilled talents in China. It is a China model that delivers first-line technical and skilled talents to the real economy and modern service industries. She also stated that China is willing to strengthen vocational education cooperation with various countries and actively promote the construction of "Belt and Road" for TVET services. China will also continue to draw on good experiences and good practices for vocational education and improve the quality and level of Chinese vocational education in the world. We will continue to play a constructive role in the development of vocational education and make new contributions to vocational education entering into a new high in countries around the world.

Marielza Oliveira made a speech.

Xing Feng made a speech.

Wu You made a speech.

In her speech, Marielza Oliveira emphasized the importance of vocational education in serving the development of countries along the "Belt and Road". She stated that UNESCO will continue to expect that China will play a more important role in vocational education, especially in countries along the “Belt and Road” and deepen cooperation with countries along the “One Belt and One Road” to share information and create a more beautiful future for the world. In his speech, Xing Feng hoped everyone will use the conference as a platform to explore ways to strengthen exchanges and cooperation. He also hoped that vocational schools in Guangdong Province will take this as an opportunity to conscientiously learn from the advanced experience of domestic and foreign sister universities and continue to improve their own level of education, and better serve the construction of the "Belt and Road" Initiative. He said that the Provincial Department of Education will continue to actively promote the cooperation and development of the “Belt One Road” Vocational Education, actively establish a dialogue and exchange platform, and make greater contributions to the creation of a vocational education community in countries and regions along the Belt and Road. Wu You said that Shenzhen has played a role as an open and leading special economic zone in recent years by taking the initiative to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and achieving fruitful results in promoting industrial cooperation and the internationalization of education. In terms of vocational education, Shenzhen’s efforts in participation in the Belt and Road Initiative have also been intensified. Shenzhen is actively promoting cooperation and exchanges in vocational education between China and foreign countries, introducing international high-level talents and teams, and striving to enhance the ability to train international technical and skilled personnel. He hoped that vocational education and R&D institutions at home and abroad will cooperate and exchange with Shenzhen.

Marielza Oliveira, Xing Feng, Chen Qiuming and Jia Nan jointly unveiled the Asia-Africa Research and Training Center of the UNESCO Vocational Education Program.

At the opening ceremony, the unveiling ceremony for the Asia-Africa Research and Training Center of the UNESCO Vocational Education Program was held. After its establishment, the center will rely on the advantages of Shenzhen’s modern technology industry and the school running experience of Shenzhen Polytechnic, carry out targeted vocational education research and training programs that meet the actual needs of the region in Asia and Africa, and support Asian and African countries to improve the quality of vocational education, and promote the and promote the sustainable development of vocational education in related countries.

Pursuing development: Keynote speeches explore the future of vocational education

The advent of a new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial revolutions has brought unprecedented new demands on vocational education. How vocational education can meet challenges and seize new opportunities for development has become a topic of common concern among the international vocational education community.

Wang Yangnan presided over keynote speeches.

In the keynote speech section hosted by Wang Yangnan, Ge Weiwei, Deputy Inspector of the Division of Vocational Education and Adult Education of the Chinese Ministry of Education, Peter Norman Greenwood, Consultant of the UNESCO Centre for Vocational Education, and Xu Qinhua, Director of the Belt and Road Research Center of the National Institute of Strategies and Development of Renmin University of China respectively delivered wonderful speeches. They presented professional interpretation and in-depth analysis on the ideas for future development of vocational education in China, a series of action plans put forward by the UNESCO on vocational and technical education and training, as well as opportunities and challenges brought by the “Belt and Road Initiative” for vocational education in China.

Weiwei Ge Weiwei made the keynote speech titled "Adhere to Reform and Opening up and Strive to Do a Good Job in Vocational Education with Chinese Characteristics".

Peter Greenwood made a keynote speech titled "Transform Technical Vocational Education and Training for Sustainable Development".

Xu Qinhua made the keynote speech titled "Belt and Road Initiative: Opportunities and Challenges".

Titled "Adhere to Reform and Opening up and Do a Good Job in Vocational Education with Chinese Characteristics", Ge Weiwei’s keynote speech elaborated on the importance of vocational education in the "Belt and Road" Initiative in terms of the main progress of the reform and development of vocational education in China, the main achievements of the "Belt and Road" international cooperation and the thinking on the next step of vocational education. He emphasized on enhanced discussions and cooperation to solve new issues that constrict the development of vocational education and make contributions to a community of human destiny. Peter Greenwood's "Transform Technology Vocational Education and Training for Sustainable Development: UNESCO and the Belt and Road Initiative" was an analysis of the background of vocational education from a global perspective and illustrated the development program 2018 – 2020 of UNESCO Center of International Vocational Education, described the complementary and mutual relations between UNESCO Center for International Vocational Education and China's "Belt and Road" Initiative. He proposed to establish a new vocational education system, develop a new vocational education model, and bring more opportunities for students, and provide better resources to meet their future development. Xu Qinhua, with his keynote speech titled “Belt and Road Initiative: Opportunities and Challenges”, started from the views of countries around the world on China’s “Belt and Road” Initiative, combined actual cases and discussed the influences of the “Silk Road” on the world in terms of politics, economy, culture, etc. He emphasized on the importance of international cooperation, addressed the fact that enormous challenges faced by the transformation of higher education in the world presents the demand for “Belt and Road” talents, and highlighted the necessity of development of vocational education in the “Belt and Road” construction.

Reach consensus with sound mechanisms, policies and dialogues

Analysis of vocational education systems based on policies and dialogues

In the policy-based dialogues section, six foreign education officials and experts, including Nuon Vansoeurn, Deputy Director of Vocational Training Division of Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Katherine Vickers, minister-counsellor of Education and Training Department of Australian Government (Education and Research), Dato' Amir bin Md. Noor, former Director of Community College Education Division of Malaysian Ministry of Education, Saykham Phanthavong, Representative of Deputy Director of Vocational and Technical Education Division of Laos Ministry of Education and Sports, Hussein Mtoro, analyzed the current vocational education systems and shared their opinions. They presented their insights and shared the characteristics and advantages of their respective vocational education policies. In order to promote youth employment, eradicate poverty, and promote economic and social development, various countries have separately formulated vocational education policies that are suitable for their own development and have their own characteristics. Many officials stated that strengthening policy communication and economic cooperation is an important guarantee for promoting the common development of the “Belt and Road” vocational education. Therefore, it is necessary to initiate dialogues and exchanges between bilateral and multilateral vocational education policies, bring together the wisdom of all parties and consensus on vocational education cooperation.

Follow the trend and identify the development direction through cutting edge dialogues

Yu Zhongwen chaired the cutting edge dialogues section.

 

Future development of vocational education was discussed in cutting edge dialogues

In the cutting dialogues section presided over by Yu Zhongwen, seven guests including Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Vocational and Technical Education, Chen Qiuming, Secretary of the Party Committee of Shenzhen Polytechnic, Zeng Jiali, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Vocational Training Council, Jessie Harman, Vice President of Australian Federal University, and Chen Xiaoming, Director of China National Machinery Industry Education Development Center Director Chen Xiaoming, Oliver Diehl, Vocational Education Expert of Ministry of Education and Research of German Federal, Shen Zhiyong, Chief Data Scientist of Baidu Cloud, and Zhao Lingzhi, Business Director of Ping An International Smart City Technology Co., Ltd., discussed the future development trend of vocational education from the perspective of technology frontiers, industry frontiers and education frontiers.

Chen Qiuming made a speech entitled “How to Transform Higher Vocational Education under the Background of Artificial Intelligence”.

With the keynote speech titled “How to Transform Higher Vocational Education under the Background of Artificial Intelligence”, starting from the fact that three technical and industrial revolutions resulted in the transition and upgrade of vocational education, Chen Qiuming pointed out that vocational education will not find the direction for its development until it is closely associated with social and economic development. He argued that vocational colleges should implement the “six fusions” to cultivate innovative technical talents and transform into a cradle for technical and technical talents who adapt to the smart age, a cradle for entrepreneurs, a technology R&D centers for small and medium-sized enterprises, and a school for lifelong education of citizens, so that they can meet the needs of artificial intelligence and industrial upgrades for talents, and provide technical and technical personnel to countries and regions along the “Belt and Road”.

After decades of development, China’s vocational education has made tremendous achievements and made tremendous contributions to China’s reform and opening up as well as the rise of the economy. It is our responsibility and obligation to contribute to the development of vocational education in countries along the “Belt and Road”. At the same time, the “Belt and Road” initiative has set new requirements for personnel training in vocational education in countries along the Belt and Road, and provided important opportunities for promoting international cooperation and exchange of vocational education. This conference has built an important platform for mutual learning, and resource sharing between governments, industries, enterprises, international organizations, and vocational colleges at home and abroad, created a new model for regional and even international vocational education cooperation, dialogues and exchanges. It has also cleared up the thinking and reached a consensus on how vocational education will play a role in the construction of the Belt and Road and how to go global with high-quality production, how the vocational schools in the countries along the Belt and Road should cooperate to serve the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative.