From 4-12th May, 2017, at the invitation of China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co., Ltd (CNMC) in Zambia-China Economic & Trade Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ), the University of Zambia (UNZA), the University of South Africa (UNISA), and other relevant institutions, a delegation of five people headed by vice president of the OUC Liu Chen visited Zambia and South Africa.

With the proposal of the "Belt and Road" strategy, and the promulgation and implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan for OUC Reform and Construction, the Ministry of Education (MOE) is relying on the nonferrous metal industry to implement its pilot efforts towards "vocational education going global". Under this context, the delegation aims to conduct a field investigation that will feed the mind and provide a basis for the OUC to build overseas study centres on the basis of the overseas business layout of China-funded enterprises.

In Zambia, the delegation visited CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines PLC, CNMC-Luanshya Copper Mines PLC Luanshya Craft Training School, NFC Africa Mining PLC., and Chambishi Copper Smelter Limited. Through meetings with the senior management of the affiliated enterprises under China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co., Ltd (CNMC) and giving questionnaires to the staff of the enterprises, the tutors, and the students, the OUC gained an understanding of the enterprises, their training status, and their training needs. They have statement of intent of preliminary cooperation on how to improve the professional skills of the local staff, their Chinese language level, and the overall management level.

The delegation meets with Chinese and foreign management personnel from Chambishi Copper Smelter Limited.

The delegation visits NFC Africa Mining PLC.

Founded in 1983, China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Co., Ltd. (CNMC) is a large-scale enterprise under the management of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. CNMC is listed on the "Fortune 500" and ranks 386th on the 2016 Fortune Global 500. Its major business areas include the development of nonferrous metal mineral resources, construction engineering, and related trade and technological services. Its business covers more than 80 countries and regions, with around 20,000 overseas employees. It is a pioneer of the "Going Global" strategy. Over the past decade, it has yielded substantial results in Zambia in the fields of copper mining and smelting development. The MOE aims to maintain the pace of the non-ferrous metal industry by speeding up the "Going Global" strategy for education, in particular, overseas vocational education oriented towards developing countries through the implementation of the "Going Global" strategy. This is an important means of enhancing national soft power, but also a solution for Chinese enterprises to address the talent bottleneck in their overseas development. CNMC hoped that through this visit, the OUC and CNMC could carry out in-depth pilot work by leveraging the OUC's school operation capabilities in the aspects of teaching Chinese as a foreign language and vocational education, among others.

Luanshya Craft Training School of CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines PLC is a private school run by a mining company that was acquired by CNMC. The school is a registered full-time secondary vocational and technical school certified by the Administrative Department of Vocational Education in Zambia. It is qualified to enrol high school graduates who have passed the unified national examination. At present, the school has more than 220 students. Both the students and teachers have a strong desire to learn Chinese.

A photo of the delegation and the teacher/student representatives of CNMC-Luanshya Copper Mines PLC Luanshya Craft Training School.

At the University of Zambia Confucius Institute the delegation learned about the local demand for Chinese learning, the promotion of the Chinese language, and the problems facing the Institute. The experience helped to shed some light on the OUC's experience of promoting Chinese language and culture in Africa.

The delegation visits the Confucius Institute, University of Zambia

At the University of South Africa, the delegation met with president of the university Mandla Makhanya, and vice presidents Ms. Liana Griesel, Dr. Marcia Socikwa, Prof. Gugu Moche, and Prof. Lessing Labuschangne, as well as the deans of the Language Education Department, Distance Learning Course Development, the Human Resources Department, and the leaders of the Administrative Department. Following the talks, the leaders of both sides clearly stated that in the future, they will carry out cooperation and exchanges in the spheres of open and distance education research, teacher/researcher exchanges, language learning, and technical exchanges.

Vice president of the OUC Liu Chen presents a copy of Study on the University of South Africa (published by the OUC) to t Mandla Makhanya, the president of UNISA.

The delegation meets with teachers and leaders from the Language Education School of UNISA.

In the afternoon of the same day, the delegation went to the Chinese Embassy to meet Education Counsellor Director Song Bo. Song Bo introduced the status of education in South Africa and spoke highly of the OUC's intention of expanding its interests in countries involved in the "Belt and Road" strategy. He said that this move was in line with the national strategy and that he had high expectations for the inter-school cooperation between the OUC and UNISA.

Vice president of the OUC Liu Chen is talking with Education Counsellor Director Song Bo.

The delegation meets Education Counsellor Director Song Bo.

By Cao Xiaoyan, OUC
Photographer Wang Shuo