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SQA - CSCSE Round Table 5 December 2017

SQA - CSCSE Round Table

SQA hosted a round table discussion with representatives of the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE), the British Council, the Scottish Government, and partner universities from across Scotland, to discuss the opportunities for UK skills-based qualifications to support vocational education in China.

The meeting was part of a wider programme of education themed events supporting the visit to the UK by China’s Vice-Premier, Madam Liu Yangdong.

Delegates at the meeting, heard from SQA Chief Executive, Dr Janet Brown, who chaired the event and spoke about the importance of transnational higher education, and in particular the role SQA diploma qualifications have played in supporting Chinese learners. Since 2005, over 34,000 students have completed an SQA diploma, with approximately 60% progressing on to years 2 or 3 of a degree course at university – the majority of which have chosen an institution in the UK.

In her speech, Dr Brown said: “Our qualifications are designed to assess applied knowledge, understanding and skills.  So, for example, they are not just about the content of the business environment, they are about how to do business.  They are not just about the content of accountancy but how to do it. We also recognise that, as a pathway to degree study, our qualifications enable students to develop the fundamental skills required in higher education.”

Dr Brown continued, “SQA now has 35 centres delivering our qualifications throughout China, across 13 provinces including: Beijing, Shanghai, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Fujian, Guizhou, and Guangdong.  We have strong relationships with all our Chinese partners, and by working closely with CSCSE we have provided training and capacity development to ensure Chinese universities meet our quality assurance requirements in 15 different subjects, resulting in 52 Chinese universities successfully teaching and assessing our qualifications to our robust standards.”

Carma Elliot, Director, China, British Council / Minister Culture and Education British Embassy Beijing, talked about the unique partnership between SQA and CSCSE, and highlighted the continuing opportunities for SQA to look at how British Council, the Foreign Office, and Scottish Development International can work together to do more with CSCSE, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Ms Elliot continued: “There are currently eleven thousand candidates enrolled in the SQA diploma programme. It is safe to say that the SQA diploma is a successful cooperative education programme between organizations from China and UK. The success of the SQA diploma should be attributed to the good partnership between CSCSE and SQA. The programme itself has been widely recognized in terms of its education quality and training mode by Chinese government, universities, students and parents as well as international bodies.”

Concluding the session, Dr Brown added: “I believe we share a desire to establish meaningful partnerships. We know we can learn from each other. We know we achieve more together.  We know joined-up thinking and working makes sense!