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New Taipei City Government VET delegation visits Australia

Sixteen people from 13 secondary schools in Taiwan’s vocational education and training (VET) sector and from the secondary education sector in New Taipei City travelled to Australia in October for a study tour of vocational education and training in two different parts of Australia. They visited Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, and Canberra, the capital city of Australia, in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) between October 6 and 15.

New Taipei City is the most populous city in Taiwan that provides vocational training opportunities. The delegation was led by Mr. Wang Hung-Hsiang, Chief of the Secondary Education Division of the New Taipei City Department of Education.

Their study tour was fully organized by the Education Division at TECO in Australia which undertook liaison with the Queensland Government Department of Education and Training and the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate.

The delegation visited a variety of government schools and institutions, and met with representatives of the education and training sector in Queensland and in the Australian Capital Territory with mutual interests in VET, internships, and secondary school provision of VET. Andy Bi, Director of the Education Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia accompanied the delegation.

In the ACT, the ACT Education and Training Directorate hosted a meeting with the delegation and explained VET in Australia, and how it is implemented in secondary schools. Dr. Kaaren Blom, Senior Manager of the Directorate’s Teaching Policy and Practice Section explained vocational education and training in the ACT, which the Directorate looks after. Dr Justin Graf from the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Education and Training spoke about Australia’s vocational education and training, and Australia’s VET ‘skills for growth’ reform agenda. Ms. Josephine Anderson, a senior manager in the Curriculum section explained how international education operates in Australia.

At Canberra Institute of Technology, the largest vocational education provider in the ACT, Ms. Jayne Miller spoke about the training programs it provides. The delegation found this extremely interesting and thought some aspects of how Canberra Institute of Technology works could be applied in Taiwan’s educational context. They also very much welcomed an opportunity to experience the culinary creations of the hospitality and hotel management staff and students at the restaurant there.

The participants were impressed by all the institutions they visited and commented favorably about the flexibility of the educational pathways and the various training provided in Australia, and they will follow-up potential collaborations between institutions in New Taipei City and in Australia. These include:

  • establishing a sister-school partnership between Hsin Tien Senior High School and Gungahlin College–a senior secondary school in the ACT that includes Australian School-based Apprenticeships in its programs–for the two schools to undertake exchanges of teachers and students
  • having Taiwan’s VET students visit Australia

The Education Division at TECO in Australia will continue to liaise with schools, colleges and universities in the various sectors to identify opportunities for educational exchange.

Director Andy Bi of TECO in Australia with the delegation on a visit to the ACT Government Education and Training Directorate, in the Australian Capital Territory