Training abroad gets stricter supervision
As China plans to send additional professionals abroad to upgrade their education and training, authorities are now confronted with the challenge of ensuring the overseas programmes are effective and worth the time and money.
Wei Dawei, senior official with the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, said his team is strengthening its efforts to regulate the market and solve problems before they get out of hand.
As the nation implements a strategy to build up an abundance of new professionals in government, enterprises, more and more experts in various fields must be sent overseas for training in the next few years.
The plan has caught the eyes of many countries, including the United States, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Singapore, which have designed training programmes and wish to attract Chinese.
In the conference on international exchange of professionals which ended on Monday in Nanjing in East China's Jiangsu Province, foreign agencies providing training services already outnumber the organizations who want to introduce foreign professionals to China.
To regulate the prospering market, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs has established rules on the qualifications for agencies and their training programmes.
"At least one third of a training course should be involved in providing lessons to trainees, and another one third of time should be devoted to discussion and visits closely related to the profession," said Wei Dawei, who is in charge of the field.
And the training programme should be restricted to one country, with trainees not taken to more than three cities, Wei said.
However, some training programmes have not stuck to the rules, according to the official.
"A number of training service agencies are not focusing on the training itself, but organizing trips for trainees instead," Wei said.
To fix the problem, the administration will organize more evaluations for trainees and the agencies, Wei said.
In addition, there are unauthorized foreign training agencies which are providing services in the market and individuals who act as go-betweens, and who often provide misleading information, he said.
"We will weed out the unqualified from the market," he said.
Statistics showed that China sends 40,000 professionals to be trained abroad each year, including about 6,000 governmental officials and more than 20,000 professionals in certain fields.
In the two-day conference on international exchanges of professionals this year, 300 co-operation agreements on training abroad have been made, according to Liu Yongzhi, spokesman for the administration.
The conference has attracted 5,000 people from 28 countries and regions in the world.