PLOVDIV University of Bulgaria and Shenzhen Polytechnic inaugurated the first Bulgaria-China vocational education center (VEC) in Plovdiv on Monday in a bid to boost cooperation, disseminate culture, and train talents.
In the framework of this VEC, the two universities can share best practices and information on the latest research and developments achieved, and organize lectures and laboratory courses, said Prof. Zapryan Kozludzhov, rector of Plovdiv University.
The VEC will also encourage student and staff exchanges “in order to gain better understanding of each other and benefit from our strengths,” Kozludzhov told the ceremony, attended by Angel Hristozov, chairman of the Bulgarian-Chinese Business Development Association.
Meanwhile, Kozludzhov said he hopes the new center will enhance the international dimensions of the two universities and contribute to their overall improvement.
Prof. Jia Xingdong, president of Shenzhen Polytechnic, said Plovdiv University is one of Shenzhen Polytechnic’s main partners in Europe and in countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The establishment of the VEC marks a new era for cooperation between the two institutions, Jia said.
“I believe, with joint efforts and support from the society, the center will play a key role in boosting cooperation, disseminating culture, training talents and enhancing Sino-Bulgarian friendship,” Jia said.
“The center will also serve as a bridge in education and cultural exchanges to enhance understanding and friendship among people in the two countries,” Jia said.
Founded in 1962, Plovdiv University, named in honor of Bulgarian historian Paisii Hilendarski, is the largest institution of higher education in southern Bulgaria and the third-largest Bulgarian university.
Plovdiv is the second-largest city in Bulgaria, with 341,567 city inhabitants as of 2015, and 675,586 in the greater metropolitan area. It is an important economic, transport, cultural and educational center.
Shenzhen Polytechnic is an educational institute located in Xili, Nanshan District. Founded in 1993, it is a senior academy offering full-time courses, focusing on production, construction, management and services.
Vocational education is an important part of China’s educational system and developing a skilled labor force, according to a Xinhua News Agency report last year. The number of students at vocational high schools across China reached 22.5 million in 2015, with 13.9 million at vocational colleges. (Xinhua)