China / Society

Colleges encouraged to become vocational schools

By Luo Wangshu ( Updated: 2014-06-26 16:55

Education authorities are encouraging undergraduate colleges that are both willing and able to transform into senior vocational schools, in a response to the central government's call for better vocational education.

"Policies should be drafted as soon as possible to support the transformation of colleges that are both willing to and have the possibility to become senior vocational schools," said Lu Xin, deputy education minister, at a news conference on Thursday.

Some media reported that about 600 undergraduate colleges would convert to senior vocational schools.

However, Ge Daokai, director of the vocational and adult education division of the Ministry of Education, denied that number on Thursday, saying the reports were "inaccurate".

Details of the transformations will be released in the future, Ge said.

Ge said such transformations don't need to apply to the entire school, as some skill-oriented majors could become vocational education while other subjects remain as they are.

The State Council released a decision in June to promote the development of modern vocational education.

President Xi Jinping spoke on vocational education on June 23, emphasizing its strategic status and importance.

Premier Li Keqiang attended the National Vocational Education Conference on June 23, where he said vocational education should serve the purpose of upgrading the country's industrial structure.

Figures show that in 2013, China had 13,600 vocational schools at which 10.16 million students enrolled last year, making a total of 29.33 million students attending vocational schools.

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