On 28 May 2018, the signing of a strategic-cooperation agreement between the Open University of China (OUC) and the China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA) was held at the Wukesong campus of the OUC.

The leaders attending the ceremony were Wang Zhoubo, deputy head of the Publicity and Education Department; Peng Yi, head of the Staff Education Division of the Publicity and Education Department of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions; OUC president Yang Zhijian and vice president Liu Chen; and CCFA president Pei Liang and vice secretary-general Guo Yujin. As top representatives of their respective organizations, Yang Zhijian and Pei Liang signed the agreement.

The agreement initiates the cooperation of the organisations in the construction of a learning-oriented society and industry , the exploration of new approaches to skills development, and specifically the enhancement of skills education in the chain-store & franchise industry.

Yang Zhijian indicated that the agreement is a step in the OUC’s implementation of the spirit of the 19th National Party Congress, toward improving national living standards, and promoting the “Action Plan of Realising Dreams of Further Education” jointly launched by the Ministry of Education and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, which show the government’s concern for all social groups, migrant workers and industrial workers in particular. This cooperation is not only necessary for creating an education industry, but also helps the OUC realise its own educational mission. It is hoped that both parties will promote the integration of industry and education and cooperation among enterprises and colleges, and work together for their mutual benefit.

Pei Liang said that the CCFA has been promoting industrial development for years, especially in terms of enhancing skills. The CCFA has played an important training role, including research and textbook publication, skills certification, and the training of teachers and other professionals. It has also set up a skills competition, promoted exchanges among enterprises and universities, and constructed an online-learning platform. He pointed out that CCFA membership includes 60 million employees in need of educational improvement, and that the goal of keeping and training talent can be met through cooperation with the OUC, thus improving overall skills training in the industry.

Wang Zhoubo indicated that the OUC was right in deciding to carry out the “Action Plan of Realising Dreams of Further Education · McDonald Project”. Two years of hard work have led to progress in spite of the difficulties faced by the plan. Overall it has helped migrant workers, the younger generation in particular, improve their education, following the directions of the State Council to implement the System of Lifelong Vocational Skills Training.

In line with the objectives of the agreement, the parties will give play to their respective advantages to undertake training for industries and enterprises, introduce national vocational-qualification, skills, professional-competence and other high-quality training certificates, and realise the accumulation and transfer of both non-degree and degree-programme credits through the OUC “credit bank”. Meanwhile, technical experts and teaching resources are made full use of through the OUC’s educational network and public-service platform, enabling sharing of resources and providing diversified on-the-job education and training. In addition, the OUC’s construction of full-time and part-time teacher teams with dual qualifications can be enhanced by employing instructors with high levels of both practical and theoretical background in production, operations and management.

The signing ceremony was chaired by Guo Qingchun, dean of the OUC Experimental School, and members of relevant departments of the OUC and CCFA, as well as the Xinhua News Agency, China National Radio, Economic Daily, People’s Network and other news media were present.

By Yuan Wenwu , OUC