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Is It a Gimmick When Academics Do Projects at a Vocational School?

Vocational schools should be treated the same as other institutions of higher learning when it comes to teaching, argues a scholar

By Zhang Qingchen Updated May.11

The first research group for academicians was established at the Hunan Vocational College of Railway Technology, where two academics from the Chinese Academy of Engineering intend to conduct research into high-speed rail. This is a coup for the college, although some people are questioning why the pair are not basing their research at a more well-known university, rather than a vocational school, the Science and Technology Daily reported.  

A spokesperson for the college said that attracting academics will help improve the skills level of their students - rather than just concentrating on skills such as equipment maintenance, it can also develop a research and development department. However, some netizens thought the college was just making use of the academics' reputation to improve its social standing and status.

Xiong Bingqi, vice-president of the Beijing-based 21st Century Education Research Institute, said that people who expressed negativity toward the plan have a narrow view of higher education because vocational schools are equal to other institutes. Xiong added that students in vocational schools have stronger practical abilities, but they lack systematic management skills, so this can only help the school upgrade its standards of teaching.