With the internship period is coming, Zhu Jun, a senior high school student in the numerical control major at Jinyun Secondary Vocational School in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, is full of hope for the future. Not long ago, he signed an agreement with three parties, meaning that he can be both employed and go to college.

This agreement was signed between Jinyun Secondary Vocational School, Zhejiang Junhong Industrial Machinery Co. Ltd., and Lishui Radio & TV University (Lishui RTVU). Based on the agreement, after graduating Zhu Jun will work for Zhejiang Junhong Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd. In addition to receiving regular pay, the company will offer 3,300 RMB per year for him to study at Lishui RTVU. Three years later, Zhu Jun will receive a junior college diploma from Lishui RTVU.

Since the new “school-enterprise-university” cooperation project was launched, nearly 50% of 1,200 senior high students from Jinyun Secondary Vocational School have applied for the programme.

Ye Yunhan, principal of Jinyun Secondary Vocational School, said, “At present, secondary vocational school students complete their higher education through the integrated higher education programme of secondary vocational school with higher vocational college. However, some of their families cannot afford the tuition, so they choose to go into employment right after graduating from secondary vocational school but they still have a strong desire to study further if there were no economic concerns.”

As for the enterprises, they are very interested in these cooperations. He Xiaofeng, general manager of Zhejiang Junhong Industrial Machinery Co., Ltd. told the reporter that the percentage of employees with junior college degrees in traditional manufacturing enterprises like theirs was less than 10%. In the new era of industrial transformation and upgrade, the company urgently requires high quality personnel. “The company has 10,000 RMB each year as a training budget. Secondary vocational school students have a good educational background and they are young enough. The money invested in them is worthwhile and is will help to cultivate backbone professionals for the enterprises.”

Relying on the training advantages of the RTVU system, Lishui RTVU offers both online learning and face-to-face instruction to students for 50% of the credits. Through online learning students can study theoretical courses developed by the Open University of China and then can pass the exams after studying the courses on their own. Face-to-face instruction is given by the enterprises during off hours by teachers assigned to enterprises.

Yang Yunfeng, president of Lishui RTVU said, “In consideration of the background and different practical posts of the secondary vocational school students, we have employed experts in the fields to teach and customise course packages for each class. This will make students interested in learning and help them apply what they’ve learned in real life.”

So far, 515 students from 12 majors have signed the agreements. According to Lishui Education Bureau, if the pilot “school-enterprise-university” cooperation project is successful at Jinyun Secondary Vocational school School, it will be promoted across the whole city.

By Jiang Yifeng,China Education Daily