Minister Cristina Uriarte promotes Vocational Training and Basque universities in China
During her current official trip to the Chinese cities of Beijing and Tianjin, the Basque Government’s Minister for Education, Linguistic Policy and Culture, Cristina Uriarte, has held several meetings on education with institutional representatives.
At the Tianjin university complex, the minister met with representatives of the main vocational training centre in northern China (AFZ). The centre currently trains over 9,000 students and has a close relationship with the Basque Country through its associated centre CSMC. After over 10 years of working together, last October, and through the Elgoibar Machine Tool Institute (IMH), the AFZ students embarked on a cycle of the “Advanced Technical Diploma in Machine Tool Production Programme” for the first time. The cycle is regulated and directly linked to Basque Vocational Training, from the structure of the educational model to the curriculum material, and including the training of the centre’s academic staff.
Cristina Uriarte has endorsed the agreement, together with Tianjin VT managers, members of the IMH and directors from the Association of Machine Tool Manufacturers (AFM). This initiative envisages work placements in Chinese companies for a group of young Basque from the IMH each year and that Basque ompanies located in the Asian countries will have the opportunity to be able to contract skilled workers. The Minister wanted to stress “the importance of continuing to export the Basque VT brand to all those places that are firmly committed to training. One of the priorities of the Basque VT Strategy 2015 is to foster outreach agreements abroad and which will in turn help to consolidate relations, to pass on and receive expertise with those places that are attractive for its full potential".
Tianjin Science and Technology University
In addition to fostering relations around Vocational Training, the minister held a meeting with representatives of Tianjin Science and Technology university.
At the meeting, the Basque Government sought to consolidate the Basque university system’s links – that already has different relations in place with different Tianjin universities -, by exporting the Basque higher education model, and establishing new lines of cooperation with Basque universities, particularly regarding technical subjects and technology transfer. Uriarte wanted to highlight “the willingness of the representatives of Tianjin Science and Technology University to continue building a mutually beneficial relationship. Its representative has given positive feedback on the projects that they have shared with the Basque Country so far and has expressed their interest in continuing with that collaboration. I am sure that this meeting will be an impetus for the Basque Countries to be able to participate in new academic plans with this and with other universities of the city of Tianjin”.
Tianjin City Council
In order to learn more about the training and academic transformation taking place in Tianjin, Minister Uriarte also met with the heads of education of the autonomous city of Tianjin. The city has an equivalent status to a province - with capacity to legislate on educational areas as well - and which has set itself the target of becoming one of the main academic centres of the country and of the whole of Asia.
As the result of the city's firm commitment to higher education, the autonomous city of Tianjin has embarked on an ambitious project in recent years, with the construction of a new campus that will be home to different universities, with a capacity for 200,000 students, together with the implementation of high-level training programmes and to drive scientific research. The municipal representatives told the minister that they wanted to consolidate the current links and expand those collaboration agreements throughout the educational structure of the city.