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The EU and China: The Race for Talent: The Relevance and Responsiveness of Education and Training

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A Joint Study of the European Commission and China’s Ministry of Education

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Abstract This paper presents the main findings of an EU-China joint study that examines the ‘race for talent’ from the crucial perspective of the relevance and responsiveness of education and training systems in the EU and China. Relevance and responsiveness are explored in a comparative perspective as important, though not the only, aspects of the quality of education by investigating the differences in socio-economic and cultural realities in Europe and China. Specifically, the study explores similarities and differences in the profiles of college graduates in Europe and China against employers’ real expectations and needs. The study also analyses the strategies and measures that education systems, institutions and employers are putting in place to bring into better alignment the relationship between education and the world of work. The study is based on a qualitative and exploratory research design that combined primary data collection from 162 interviews (half in Europe and half in China) and the use of existing research literature in China and Europe. All interviewees had direct experience of education and training systems in Europe and China (through studying, teaching or program design) or work experience involving European and Chinese graduates. The study was one of the outcomes of the 2009 high-level policy dialogue between the European Commission Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC) and the Chinese Ministry of Education. The research of this study was carried out by a joint taskforce with one team based at the Institute of Education Tsinghua University in China and the other team at GHK Consulting in Europe.

Affiliations: 1: Tsinghua University ; 2: GHK Consulting


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