Across China: ASEAN students embrace opportunities at Chinese vocational schools

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NANNING, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- In a bustling train carriage, Dita Efrilia, a young Indonesian woman, is busy noting down the technology being explained by Chinese technicians and translating the details for Indonesian staff.

Efrilia works as a translator on trains running on the newly operational Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway. After graduating in 2019 with a degree in electrical automation from Liuzhou City Vocational College in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Efrilia was employed by a Chinese constructor of this railway in Indonesia.

China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are each other's largest trading partners. In recent years, close economic and trade cooperation has led to increasingly frequent exchanges of students and other personnel between the two sides.

Vocational education has become a new highlight of China-ASEAN cooperation, with more and more students from ASEAN countries coming to China for technical studies.

"Studying in China helped me find a job after returning to Indonesia, and many of my colleagues in Indonesia also have experience of studying in China," Efrilia said.

Thiphachanh Sengsouvanh, a student at Liuzhou Vocational & Technical College, is currently learning Chinese in preparation for courses in modern communication technologies like analog and digital electronics, optical transmission, and 5G mobile communication.

"I am quite interested in communication technology. China is advanced in this area. After studying abroad, I plan to seek a technical position in the banking sector in Laos," she said.

Chinese enterprises overseas have also teamed up with universities to cultivate talent that are tailored to their needs.

Guangxi LiuGong Machinery Co., Ltd., a Liuzhou-based Chinese company in the construction and engineering machinery field, has since August 2022 collaborated with Liuzhou Vocational & Technical College and Jakarta Institute of Technology in Indonesia to offer technical training to Indonesian students.

Wei Linhua, director of the international exchange department at Liuzhou Vocational & Technical College, said that around 100 Southeast Asian students have received training so far. Graduates who perform well and pass assessments are employed by Liugong's subsidiaries and dealers in Thailand and Indonesia.

"This tripartite cooperation not only cultivates talent for companies but also promotes youth employment in ASEAN countries and enhances the influence of Chinese vocational education in the region," Wei said.

According to the education department of Guangxi, the region has 24 vocational schools engaged in overseas educational, training, or technical services, and these schools have set up 28 overseas training bases, cultivating over 10,000 technical workers annually for enterprises.

This has made Guangxi a preferred destination for many ASEAN students, who have accounted for about 60 percent of its international students in recent years, said Luo Yaoguang, an official with the regional education department. Enditem

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