To implement the Action Plan for the Innovation and Development of Higher Vocational Education (2015-2018) and excel in the work of "learning outcomes accreditation and transfer pilot of higher vocational education", the OUC organized a seminar on learning outcomes accreditation and transfer pilot of higher vocational education in Beijing on July 4, 2016. The seminar focused on the thoughts and measures of the pilot work, as well as the related issues.

The OUC was entrusted by the Ministry of Education to carry out the pilot work. The OUC will make full use of the achievements of "Study and Practice of the Accreditation, Accumulation, and Transfer System of National Continuing Education Learning Outcomes" set up by Department of Vocational and Adult Education under the Ministry of Education. The OUC will cooperate with higher vocational colleges, related industries, enterprises, ordinary undergraduate colleges, adult colleges and universities, and community education institutions to carry out the accreditation, accumulation, and transfer of learning outcomes, promote credit system reforms for vocational colleges, explore the credit-based accumulation and transfer system of learning outcomes, and fortify the bridge for talent growth. The pilot work includes: building of mutual recognition alliance for learning outcomes; formulation and application of accreditation units (standard); resource sharing and the mutual recognition of credits; network platform construction, etc.

The participants included: Director of the Higher Vocational Development Division of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education under the Ministry of Education Lin Yu, Deputy Director Ren Zhanying, Director of the Education Development Centre of Mechanical Industry Chen Xiaoming, Director of the Training Department of the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing Guo Zhaoming, Party Secretary of the Shandong Institute of Commerce and Technology Ma Guangshui, President of Shunde Polytechnic Xia Wei, Vice President of Zhejiang Institute of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering Wang Jianlin, and other pilot leadership group members and pilot working group members, as well as leaders of 15 higher vocational colleges attended the seminar. President of the OUC and team leader of the pilot work leading group Yang Zhijian, Vice President of the OUC and team leader of the pilot working group Li Linshu, and Vice President of the OUC Liu Chen attended the seminar. The seminar was presided over by Li Linshu.

Yang Zhijian extended a warm welcome to the participating experts and college representatives. He said that the government and society have both attached great importance to the construction of a credit bank, which was mentioned in the Thirteenth Five - Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development of the People's Republic of China and relevant documents for the 3rd, 4th, & 5th Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee. The MOE also attached great importance to the work and would formulate specific guidance, encourage colleges/universities and industry institutions to get involved in the construction of the credit bank, and promote its construction. He pointed out that under the guidance of the Department of Vocational and Adult Education under the Ministry of Education, the seminar organized by the OUC is of great significance. The credit bank work is not derivative, but is a new innovation. There is no pre-defined blueprint to follow. The OUC is working with higher vocational colleges, conventional universities, industries, enterprises, and community education agencies to pool resources and forge ahead together to jointly promote pilot work in this effort.

Ren Zhanying pointed out that the basic social conditions have taken shape for the accumulation and transfer of learning outcomes, such as students with diversified backgrounds applying to vocational colleges. Some students are selected from the non-college entrance examination, some are enrolled independently, some are five-year college students, some are equipped with great technical skills, some are on-the-job trained, etc. The diversity of students pushes the OUC to carry out the accumulation and transfer of learning outcomes. The demand for certified skilled labourers is diverse and growing, turning the single ordinary university model into a more diversified model, that is, those students who are equipped with some expertise can be defined as “skilled”. Vocational students have won an increasingly higher recognition within the social talent market. In the end, in view of the present situation of higher vocational colleges, he pointed out that the pilot project should take quality as the lifeline and strive to build a brand and reputation. He stressed that the essence of the project lies in quality, not quantity. The agencies should keep ideological recognition, insist on quality standards, and push the pilot project towards success.

Executive Deputy Director of the Credit Bank (Learning Outcomes Accreditation Centre) Yan Xiaoping introduced the construction process of the Credit Bank of the OUC from three aspects: theory research achievements of the credit bank, infrastructure development, and related practical application. Executive Deputy Director of the Action and Guide Committee Office of the MOE Wang Guochuan introduced the preparation work for the accumulation and transfer pilot work of higher vocational education, pilot work plan, related materials, and working thoughts for pilot project promotion.

At the seminar, the participants had a heated group discussion on the following topics: work plan for the accumulation and transfer of learning outcomes of higher vocational education, project guidance, project evaluation and establishment measures, project management approach, and the follow-up pilot implementation. The participants agreed that the pilot work was of great significance, providing a good solution for the building of the vocational education bridge, promoting the implementation of the credit system, and having an important impact on the construction of the lifelong education system. They all agreed that they would cooperate with relevant agencies to support the pilot work. At the same time, they also put forward some issues that needed to be addressed, such as the credit bank platform, learning outcome accreditation, school autonomy, sub-centre tasks, quality assurance, etc.

Lin Yu stressed that we should understand the credit accumulation and transfer system on three levels. First, the credit accumulation and transfer system can promote the fairness of the education system, and it is a set of systems reliant on quality. Second, the credit accumulation and transfer system is a means of resources integration. Third, the credit accumulation and transfer system is an attempt on the basis of respecting the current schooling system. Its fundamental purpose is to promote the flow of students across the education system in an orderly and equitable manner. To be specific in terms of the development of the pilot, he pointed out, first of all, that the participating units should give full play to their own autonomy and characteristics, calling for an inter-university consortium and multilateral negotiation mechanism, avoiding top-down administration restrictions, and adhere to the principle of openness. Second, during the pilot work, the higher vocational colleges should play a model role in transformation, shifting their role from "parents arranged"-type education managers into an "education opportunity provider" model. Third, the OUC should play two roles in the project: (1) providing the platform and supporting the pilot by relying on past experience in the construction of the credit banks; (2) providing open and shared professional resources to the higher vocational colleges and universities. He also stressed that the credit accumulation and transfer system construction of higher vocational education should be flexible to a certain extent, but with strict standards. In this way, it can achieve the close connection of learning outcomes at different levels, supporting the flow of students in an orderly manner, and reduce the waste of resources caused by repeating learning in different agencies.

By Credit Bank, OUC