6 December 2017

New Zealand shares vocational expertise with China

New Zealand ITPs’ expertise in vocational education was in the spotlight at a forum in Tianjin, China last month.

China vocational

Representatives from five New Zealand ITPs provided insights on vocational education and training at the fifth Sino-New Zealand Modern Vocational Education Development Forum in Tianjin, a major port city of 15.5 million people south-east of Beijing.

Under the theme of “Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” the forum aimed to grow the discussion on research and policy between New Zealand and Chinese officials and institutions in vocational education and training.

It also sought to support the delivery of New Zealand vocational training qualifications in China.

The forum was supported by ENZ and the Tianjin Education Commission. It was organised by Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College of China and Waikato Institute of Technology of New Zealand. 

Adele Bryant, ENZ Regional Director North Asia, said Tianjin is leading China in vocational education and training, and is an important region for New Zealand providers to connect with. 

“Tianjin has a large number of top vocational education colleges, and receives strong policy support from both national and local government,” said Adele. 

“It will also be taking China’s vocational training to the world through the Luban workshops, with plans for 10 to be sited offshore by 2020. Institutions from this region are keen to learn from New Zealand’s vocational providers.”    

Representatives from Waikato Institute of Technology, Universal College of Learning, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Wellington Institute of Technology and Otago Polytechnic participated in the forum. They offered their insights on instilling students with innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset, and discussed micro-credentials and models of delivering New Zealand qualifications offshore.

Tony O’Brien, Director of the Sino-NZ Model Programme, said a highlight was the involvement of three Otago Polytechnic students who travelled to Tianjin, having won Student Entrepreneurship Scholarships.

The students participated in a start-up business model workshop held alongside the forum, working with Chinese students to develop a business model in less than two days, which they then presented to the forum.

He said another highlight was the participation of several Chinese teachers who completed the Train the Trainer Programme in New Zealand.

“The teachers presented on how they have learned to use the Model Programme quality framework to develop their courses in China to enhance the entrepreneurial mind-set of their students,” said Tony. 

The New Zealand-China Vocational Education and Training Model Programme was launched almost five years ago when the Strategic Education Partnership between China and New Zealand was signed during then Prime Minister John Key’s visit to China in April 2013.

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