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Guangzhou officials learn about Taiwan's vocational education programs

Education officials from the city of Guangzhou headed to Taiwan last week to find out more about local vocational training programs. Their first stop last Tuesday was National Taiwan Normal University.

The delegation of officials talked with NTNU Vice President Cheng Chih-fu (鄭志富) and former Minister of Education Wu Ching-ji (吳清基), who emphasized NTNU's course offerings in a variety of vocational fields including fine arts, the humanities, and teaching Chinese.

Wu, who has also served as the head of the education ministry's vocational division, said that the idea that vocational schools are "second-rate" to regular universities is out of date. "Vocational education is necessary to meet the needs of students with precise occupational and practical aptitudes," he said, "and it is definitely not a second choice."

Such an educational system has been seen as the key to reshaping Taiwan economic landscape, from the labor-intensive industries of old to the knowledge-intensive industries of tomorrow.