Study on professional education in China

Analysis of western companies' expectations on Chinese graduates

With the aim of optimizing the education system in China, SEDLÁK & PARTNER International Consulting Group founded the ECNU-S&P Research Center of Smart Education together with ECNU (East China Normal University), the second largest pedagogical university in China, based in Shanghai . As part of the Smart Education China initiative, an analysis of the professional qualifications of university graduates in China was carried out. The extent to which Chinese university graduates meet the current requirements of Western companies was examined. For the ECNU-S&P Research Center, the study forms the basis for the development of a practical model for the innovation of the educational culture in China. The German-Chinese Business Association supported the implementation of the study.

The key findings from the study at a glance

Recruiting professionally qualified young people is a major challenge for companies. Companies often have to cut back on their preferred qualification. In particular, hiring suitable young people in the technical areas as well as in the area of research and development is proving difficult. The main reasons given are insufficient methodical and professional knowledge of the applicants as well as a lack of practical experience.

The fluctuation currently prevalent in China’s labor market makes personnel development difficult. “Job hopping” has become a new “popular sport” in China. The competition for the few talents drives up salaries and makes it difficult for companies to recruit and retain employees.[1] The employees are aware of the scarcity of qualified junior staff and use them for career opportunities and salary jumps due to a change of employer.

[1] See: Dettmer, I. (2017). HRM, Qualifizierung und Rekrutierung in China: Das Mismatch-Problem dargestellt am Beispiel der Hotellerie. BoD–Books on Demand.

The results of the present study show that an evolution towards holistic quality education must take place. Diverse, changing market requirements require skills that enable flexible and lifelong learning for the entire company and for every single young or experienced employee. In addition, the availability of information is constantly increasing. At the same time, the half-life of knowledge decreases. Chinese companies and their employees are challenged to continuously update what they have learned and to develop their skills. A mere transfer of knowledge and the questioning of this knowledge in exams do not contribute to the sustainable development of the desired knowledge economy. Skills for acquiring and evaluating knowledge must be promoted. Exam formation hinders China’s path to knowledge economy by stealing all creativity and initiative from students through constant memorization.[1] The graduates lack central social, personal and methodological skills in order to be able to constantly adapt to a changing world.

[1] See: Dettmer, I. (2017). HRM, Qualifizierung und Rekrutierung in China: Das Mismatch-Problem dargestellt am Beispiel der Hotellerie. BoD–Books on Demand.

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    About the educational initiative „Smart Education China“

    The Smart Education China initiative is the second project of the ECNU-S&P Research Center. The ECNU-S&P Research Center for ICT-Enabled Systemic Changes and Innovations was founded in 2013 in a cooperation between ECNU and SEDLÁK & PARTNER. The aim of the project is to improve the Chinese education system in the long term by enabling teachers to act as coaches and thus enable students to develop their practical skills.

    In the future, schools in China will be based on a system that takes equality, quality and innovation into account to the same extent.

    Smart Education China

    Equality

    Every student has the same opportunities to study

    Quality

    From a grading system to a comprehensive feedback system

    Innovation

    From pure knowledge transfer to hands-on competence training

    „The essence of Smart Education China is to create intelligent environments using innovatove technologies. In this way, pedagogical methods can support personalized learning opportunities and promote learners and thus talents with a better value orientation, higher quality of thinking and greater ability to act.“

    (Zhu Zhiting, 2012)

    SEDLÁK & PARTNER contributors in the study

    Robert A. Sedlák

    Guest Prof.
    Robert A. Sedlák

    Boris Wesemann

    Boris Wesemann

    Emily Lu

    Emily Lu

    Yiqing Zhang

    Yiqing Zhang