Caixin
Sep 16, 2022 08:37 PM
CHINA

Tech School Enrollment Shrinks Despite Efforts to Boost Skilled Workforce

A vocational high school student learns to disassemble and test an car engine on May 11 in Lishui, East China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo: VCG
A vocational high school student learns to disassemble and test an car engine on May 11 in Lishui, East China’s Zhejiang Province. Photo: VCG

China’s education system is facing a shrinking enrollment in secondary vocational schools and rising college admissions, defying the government’s push to elevate vocational education in order to turn out more skilled workers, according to a recent report by the Ministry of Education.

The number of students enrolled in secondary vocational schools dropped to 4.9 million last year, more than 1.5 million fewer than in 2020, according to the annual report (link in Chinese) on national education development published Wednesday. The closely watched diversion rate — the secondary vocational school enrollment divided by the sum of that number and the general high school enrollment — slid to 35% in 2021, the first time on record it fell below 40%, according to the report.

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