This paper explores the evolution of China’s national policies issued by the Ministry of Education for its higher vocational education (HVE) across different stages over the two decades in 21st century. In the bigger context of market economy that demands HVE to play its role in promoting human capital, the intents of HVE policies issued at each of the three important stages are analyzed in detail. Then primary major progresses of the sector are charted out, and challenges and prospects are discussed. The paper identifies important strategies through which national HVE policies intend to improve the sector’s overall quality to generate human power, including expanding size for the whole HVE sector, transferring responsibility to provincial and local governments to improve efficiency, enhancing teacher quality, increasing program coverage, increasing praxis elements, completing assessment scheme, selecting model institutes to create impetus for growth, adopting the strategy of group schooling to mobilize more resources to the sector, promoting international cooperation, instituting a credit system and so on. The primary progresses of HVE due to the series of policies are mainly manifest in size growth, structure completion, and raising social recognition. Challenges and concerns, however, remain to be resolved in terms of the sector’s ability to generate sufficient qualified manpower.
Higher Vocational Education, China, National Policy, Policy Evolution, Policy Intent
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