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A Chance to Edexcel

A Chance to Edexcel
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Edexcel became part of Pearson about five years ago. Can you briefly outline Edexcel’s presence in China?

As you say, Edexcel is part of Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, which also includes world class publishing for education like Longman and Heinemann, some great educational software and digital platforms, and our group of English language schools, Wall Street English.
Edexcel is the UK’s largest awarding body; we offer academic and vocational qualifications to schools, colleges, employers and other places of learning in the UK and internationally.

Edexcel has been operating in China for 13 years. Through more than a decade of developing, promoting and adapting qualifications, we have established partnerships with over 80 Chinese schools, colleges, universities and training centres all over the country.

What are the biggest business challenges you face in China?

China is an enormous market with great regional variety. The biggest challenge is to have enough market intelligence in the more remote regions to identify the underlying customer needs and business opportunities.
For example, China’s Guangdong Province has a relatively open business environment and realistic approach to education. It is also the biggest market for our Business & Technician Education Council (BTEC) qualifications. We’ve managed to get all the regional centres to form a BTEC Alliance that meets biannually to share experiences and plan events. However, replicating that success in north China has been challenging; our centres are smaller and geographically more spread out.

There is a general perception that students in China are not equipped with the skills they need for the workplace upon leaving university. What do you think is the best way to remedy this problem and fill the HR gap?

For a long time, vocational education was considered a backup plan for Chinese students who failed to achieve academic excellence. However, many international experts now believe there is an urgent need to reintroduce and emphasise the value of vocational and skills education.   At Pearson we certainly advocate combining the highest standards of academia with learning that can be applied to situations –helping people “to do” as well as “to think.”
In July, China’s Ministry of Education signed a framework agreement with the UK’s Further Education Minister John Hayes to deepen UK-China cooperation in vocational skills and education. We applaud this effort, and are committed to supporting it through the promotion of our BTEC program in China. Currently, over 50 Chinese colleges offer BTEC qualifications.

In August, the British Ambassador to China, Sebastian Wood held an awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of Chinese BTEC students. We are also holding a series of events to enable our students to interact directly with employers. Our first, in Guangdong Province in December, will most likely feature big-name companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Colgate and China Mobile.

At Pearson we are inspired by this joint effort of governments, educators and employers.  We know how crucial it is to the long-term success of both the British and Chinese economies to give people of all ages the skills to help them succeed in life.  Pearson can provide the best resources to make that happen.


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