On October 13, 2016, "Conference Promoting Pilot Work of Accumulation and Transfer of Higher Vocational Education Learning Outcomes" was held at the Open University of China (OUC) in Beijing.

The pilot work of accumulation and transfer of higher vocational education learning outcomes is the special task of Action Plan for Innovation and Development of Higher Vocational Education (2015-2018) launched by MOE. This conference is the second conference held following the pilot launch conference. It is designed to further implement the tasks specified by the Action Plan and the pilot implementation plan through communication, discussion, and work deployment to promote the in-depth development of the pilot work.

At the conference, discussions were held on the working thoughts and relevant working deployment for the pilot programme, as well as the regulations and requirements for joining the mutual recognition alliance of learning outcomes. There were also discussions on the relevant problems in the pilot work. Vice president of the OUC and leader of the pilot work team Li Linshu presided over the conference. Deputy director of Higher Vocational Development Division of Department of Vocational and Adult Education of MOE Ren Zhanying attended the conference and delivered a speech.

He analysed the necessity and importance of doing well in the pilot work. First, higher vocational education is facing the challenges of enrollment reduction and diversification of enrollment sources. In such a situation, the traditional teaching model is not able to meet the practical needs. He said that we have to think of a new way to judge and recognise the learning outcomes brought by different types of students. Second, the application of information technology makes information resources available to everyone, enabling them to learn anywhere and anytime. How to recognise and accumulate these learning outcomes is an issue for consideration. Third, most higher vocational colleges who used to focus on degree education now mainly encompass three service areas, namely degree education, social training, and technical services. With reforms and changes in population structure, the service areas may increase to five areas, including degree education, social training, technical services, lifelong learning, and community education. We must explore how to transfer the learning outcomes among these different service areas.

In view of the understanding for the four principles in Opinions on Promoting the Credit Accreditation and Transfer of Higher Education launched by MOE, Ren Zhanying put forward four requirements for the pilot work. First, adhere to the learner-centric principle. The key is learning how to adhere to and implement it, and making value-added judgments in a convenient and efficient manner. Second, adhere to higher colleges as the main body. This actually defines the scope of the implementation of the pilot or implementation path. However, to do a good job in the accumulation and transfer of learning outcomes, its operation feasibility and quality must be considered. Third, adhere to the substantial equivalence principle. The possibility of the quality and operational feasibility of credit accreditation should be considered. Fourth, adhere to the regulations and implement it in an orderly manner. We should not only have a reliable top design, but also have a pilot for implementation. That is, the pilot should start from the campus, and then gradually extended to inter-colleges and outside colleges, even the whole social training, so as to promote the construction of lifelong learning and a learning society.

Executive deputy director of the Credit Bank of the OUC (Learning Outcomes Accreditation Centre) and deputy team leader of the pilot work team Yan Xiaoping gave a detailed introduction on the pilot work promotion in four aspects: what is the pilot work, how to do well in the pilot work, what services the credit bank can provide, and work arrangement for the pilot. He said that the pilot should adhere to the principle of “autonomy, voluntary participation, integration, suitability, universality, and quality assurance”.

At the conference, related issues concerning joining the alliance of the mutual recognition of learning outcomes were also brought up. Executive deputy director of the Office of MOE National Industry Vocational Education Teaching Steering Committee and deputy team leader of the pilot work group Wang Guochuan presided over and summarised the conference. The pilot units had a full discussion on the issues on a voluntary basis based on their needs, clarified the disciplines, courses, and non-academic certificates involved in the pilot, and laid a sound foundation for working together to promote the pilot work.

The participants of conference included 18 universities/colleges (Liaoning Equipment Manufacturing Vocational and Technical College, Changchun Vocational Institute of Technology, Beijing Polytechnic College, Tianjin Light Industry Vocational Technical College, Hebei Construction Material Vocational and Technical College, Xinyang Vocational and Technical College, Jiangsu Food & Pharmaceutical Science College, Jiangxi Engineering Vocational College, Shandong Institute of Commerce and Technology, Binzhou Polytechnic, Hubei Science and Technology College, Wuhan Vocational College of Software and Engineering, Hunan Network Engineering Vocational College, Shunde Polytechnic, Xiamen City University, Chongqing Technology and Business Institute, Ningxia Polytechnic, Jiangnan University), leaders from the industry units of China Machinery Industry Education Centre and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing and heads of each teaching affairs department of the OUC and relevant teaching management departments.

By Li Fujia, OUC