New Sino-German VET Association

Jiangsu ranks second in GDP among Chinese provinces and takes position 2×2 on the G8x8 chess board. In 2015, the province produced 7,011.6 billion RMB worth of goods and services, contributing 9.7 percent to the total GDP of China. Depending on the exchange rate, this was almost as much as the GDP of Australia.

In Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Center for Open and Distance Education (OPEN) are preparing to establish a new Sino-German association for vocational education. The founders will inaugurate the association during the exhibition “Education Plus” which takes place in Nanjing from 19 to 21 October 2017. Different from previously established Sino-German associations on VET cooperation, this new association is focussing on vocational training with enterprises similar to the German “dual system”. Objectives of the association are:

  • Establish a benchmark of vocational education in China by localizing German curricula into the Chinese system.
  • Explore methods of developing vocational talents that are highly demanded by industry.
  • Research German philosophy of skills transfer in vocational education.
  • Apply the German quality assurance mechanism in China.
  • Set up a Qualification Assessment Center based on German qualification standards.
  • Train teachers by working closely with member enterprises and schools.
  • Develop a significant number of senior managers to apply German learning techniques in Chinese colleges.
  • Reduce the gap between vocational college graduates and industry needs.
  • Provide German employers in China with qualified workers.

A number of Chinese and German institutions and enterprises already declared their strong interest in joining the association.

For more details on the assocation, contact liw@mail.open.com.cn.

For more details on the exhibition Education Plus, see our related article.

Image source: National Center for Open and Distance Education (OPEN)

Financial Center Hessen

Hessen ranks fourth in GDP among the German laender, and is positioned at the 4×4 slot within the G8x8. In 2016, it achieved a GDP of 269.4 billion € and a share of 8.6 percent of the German total. Its GDP was higher than that of Israel and Hong Kong, but slightly lower than that of Egypt.

Frankfurt is the seat of the European Central Bank and the German Bundesbank. It is the location of a major stock exchange in Europe. Frankfurt is not the capital, but the largest city in the state of Hessen, which has distinguished itself as an attractive location for foreign direct investment.

No other German territorial state receives as much foreign investment relative to the number of jobs. Hessen is one of Germany’s and Europe’s most attractive locations for international investors.

The federal state has used Hessen’s central location in Germany to build a transportation infrastructure that is unparalleled in Europe. The Rhine-Main area in particular occupies a top position in Europe for its status as an international hub for air, road and rail traffic.

For more information, try https://english.hessen.de/economy.

OPEN Delegation @ Dual University of Baden-Wuerttemberg

Baden-Wuerttemberg ranks third among German states, placing it at the 4×3 field of the G8x8 chess board. Its GDP of 476.8 billion € contributed 15.2 percent to the German total. 

A delegation of the Chinese National Center for Open and Distance Education visited the Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (Dual University DHBW) in Stuttgart on 28 June 2017. Prof. Harald Stuhler received the group, head of vehicle systems engineering studies at DHBW.

With 3.5 million registered students, the National Center for Open and Distance Education is one of the largest education institutions worldwide. It is specialized on online education and is cooperating with all notable universities of China. The Center is a joint venture of the electronics giant TCL with the Chinese Ministry of Education. The Center has recently started to establish a vocational education programme similar to the German dual system through its subsidiary I-Vocedu.

Simon Zhao, CEO of Open Education, headed the delegation. Other members were Wu Shujun, Director of the Vocational Education Center, Mark Ma, Vice General Manager, and Tina Jin, Vice President of Shenzhen TCL Education Technology Co., Ltd.

The visit to Germany was organized by the former China Project Director of BMW AG, Klaus-Juergen Brix, who is now advisor of I-Vocedu in Shenzhen. Further participants were Oliver Schindler, CEO of ITW Schindler GmbH, and the former programme director of GIZ in China, Helmut Schoenleber.

30 Years of Shandong – Bayern

Both Shandong and Bayern (Bavaria) belong to the G8x8, the most productive places on earth. Shandong ranks third among Chinese provinces, taking the 2×3 spot on the chessboard, and ctontributes 8.7 percent to the national GDP. Bayern ranks second among the German laender, is located on field 4×2, and produced 18.1 percent of the German GDP.

Shandong and Bavaria have been sister province and state for 30 years and achieved good results in various fields. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of their sister relations, minister-president of Bayern (Bavaria) Horst Seehofer visited the provincial capital Jinan. He met the provincial party secretary Liu Jiayi on 11 May 2017.

Liu welcomed the visit of Seehofer and his delegation. He said Shandong is a leading province in economy, culture and resources in China. Now it is stepping up efforts to transfer the old energy into the new one. Furthermore, it promotes supply-side structural reform to realize economic transformation and development. Bavaria is an economic powerhouse of Germany, also a highland of research and technology. So there is great potential for cooperation between the territories.

“I hope this anniversary will be a new start for both sides. We should deepen strategic cooperation, broaden investment scale and cooperative areas and strengthen project docking. This way we will achieve a win-win cooperation,” said Liu Jiayi.

“Both our economies are vigorous,” said Seehofer. “What impressed me deeply is the love of the people here for their homeland.” Seehofer said he wishes the final implementation of the cooperative projects and more substantial cooperative fruits to benefit the two peoples.

According to both sides, the meeting was productive. They achieved good progress in the cooperation, docking Germany’s “Industry 4.0” and China’s “Made in China 2025”.

The Speaker of Bavarian State Parliament Barbara Stamm and Shandong leaders Yu Xiaoming and Wang Shujian attended the meeting.

History of the Partnership

In 1985, then minister-president of Bavaria Franz Josef Strauss led a business delegation to Shandong. This marked a prelude to the friendly relationship between the two territories. Then vice governor Ma Shizhong and Strauss signed a joint declaration on developing sister province-state relations on 9 July 1987. They opened a new chapter of friendly exchange and cooperation between the two sides. In 2010, Shandong party chief Jiang Yikang and minister-president Seehofer signed an agreement on establishing a strategic partnership in Munich. This lifted the relation between the two parties to a new level.

By 2014, they developed a number of sister city and cooperative relations even between TV stations. They set up economic and trade representative offices in each other’s province and state. The Provincial People’s Congress signed an agreement with the State Parliament on a fixed exchange relation. Various branches of the government established relations and developed fruitful cooperation and exchanges in all fields.

Previous provincial leaders, including Liang Buting, Zhao Zhihao, and Jiang Chunyun, have led delegations to visit Bavaria. Franz Josef Strauss and Edmund Stoiber have visited Shandong in 1985, 1995 and 2003 successively. The precious two speakers of the State Parliament John Paume and Alos Guleck have also paid a visit to their partner province in 2000 and 2008. Horst Seehofer visited in April 2010.

Bavaria is one of the most powerful regions in economy that shares sister province-state relations with Shandong. Both sides valued the economic and trade cooperation at the beginning of their relationship. The Free State, largest and second populous in Germany, is source of one third of total German investment in Shandong. Bavaria has invested over 20 projects in the province, involving about one billion dollars as foreign capital.

Projects

The Bavarian state government provided great support by training 1200 talents in railway, aviation, finance, telecom, communication, and metereology. It also helped to complete these joint projects:

  • Beer Technical Center established at Shandong Polytechnic University
  • Telecom Technical Center established at Shandong Telecommunication School
  • Land Consolidation Village Renewal Project of Zhanglou Village in Qingzhou City completed in 1988
  • Weichai Vocational Training Center built in Weifang City in 1989
  • Dual System Agricultural Vocational Education Center built in Pingdu City in 1990
  • Vocational Teacher Training Center built in Qingzhou City in 1998
  • Sino-German Rural Development Research Center jointly established in 2003

All this could not be completed without the support and participation of various Bavaria partners:

  • Ministry of the Interior
  • Technical University of Munich
  • Ministry of Education and Culture, Science and Art
  • Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
  • Dillingen Academy for Teacher Training
  • Hanns Seidel Foundation

The Bavarian state government invested over 10 million € for the construction of these projects. It also dispatched long-term and short-term experts, over 100 people in total.

The province and the free state achieved remarkable results in higher education. A number of universities established friendly interschool exchange relations. They conducted fruitful exchanges and activities.

The Shandong-Bavaria Educational Cooperation Programme Commission plays an important role in the educational cooperation between both sides. The  partners established this commission in 1993. In 2007, they even founded the Sino-German Center for Cooperation of Universities for the further all-around cooperation of universities of Shandong and Bavaria.

Image © dpa / Sven Hoppe. Information Source: www.shandong-bayern.com

G7 Summit at Bayern Schloss Elmau

Bayern ranks second in GDP among the German states (Bundeslaender), placing it on the 4.2 field of the G8x8 chess board. Its 2016 GDP of 568.0 billion € was equivalent to 18.1 percent of the German total. This was more than the national GDP of Argentina or Sweden. 

The 41st G7 summit was held in Schloss Elmau, Bayern (Bavaria), Germany on 7 and 8 June 2015. The Leaders’ Declaration may be found at https://www.g7germany.de/.

Group photo of the G7:

  • Tusk (European Council President),
  • Abe (Japan),
  • Harper (Canada),
  • Obama (USA),
  • Merkel (Germany),
  • Hollande (France),
  • Cameron (UK),
  • Renzi (Italy) and
  • Juncker (European Commission).

Image Source: Bundesregierung/Gottschalk.