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China Introduces “Vocational Education and Training PISA” Developed at the University of Bremen

A test procedure developed by the TVET Research Group at the University of Bremen (I:BB) is now being introduced nationwide in China. The Chinese Ministry of Education regards the COMET method – also known as “Vocational Education and Training PISA” – as a key quality assurance project.

The I:BB research group deals, among other things, with internationally comparative technical vocational education and training (TVET) research and the development of competence diagnostics in vocational education. The “Competence Diagnostic in Vocational Training” (COMET) method was developed by Professor Felix Rauner in 2007. In a longitudinal study, it examines the competences acquired by trainees in their second and third years of training. This led to the development of the international COMET research network, which also includes Chinese partners.

Pilot Project in Three Provinces

From 2017 to 2018, a representative pilot project based on the COMET method was carried out in China in vocational higher education institutions (HEI) in eastern, central, and western China, at three to five HEIs in each of the provinces of Zhejiang, Hubei, and Yunnan, with courses in toolmaking, nursing, horticultural engineering, and logistics management.

The project was led by Professor Zhao of Peking Normal University – a former doctoral student of Professor Rauner – and Professor Tang of the Chinese central institute for vocational education and training. The test results are extremely convincing for everyone involved. In the final report, the test procedure was praised and the high significance especially for the students, trainers, and lecturers was emphasized.

Comprehensive Introduction

On the basis of the results of this pilot project, the Ministry of Education will introduce the COMET method in China with the following steps:

•    In the future, the accreditation of vocational education and training programs will publish the rating results and the reports on the quality of the degree courses. This is also intended to raise the profile of vocational education and training in society.

•    The evaluation results are to be used to steer vocational education and training, which is intended to enable vocational HEIs in particular to support local economic and social developments.

•    Exemplary vocational degree courses will be selected as examples of the development of teaching and learning methods based on the COMET competence model. The reflection on the test results is intended to help identify the need for innovation at vocational HEIs and to integrate it into the quality development of the degree programs.

The Chinese project consortium played a special role in the international COMET research network set up by I:BB over the past decade. The Chinese partners always took part in the internationally comparative COMET projects of the University of Bremen – with the intention of appropriating the “Vocational Education and Training PISA” method and carrying out basic research in the field of competence diagnostics themselves.

“This Would Be Good Even for Germany”

In Germany, pilot projects were carried out by the Federal States of Bremen, Hesse, and North Rhine-Westphalia, and in Europe with a network for a project in the field of nursing training. “I would welcome it if not only China and other international partner institutions were to introduce COMET – the only method to date for carrying out internationally comparative competence diagnostics projects in vocational education and training,” said Professor Felix Rauner, initiator and head of this international research and development network. “This would be good even for Germany, the country where this method was developed.”

Additional Information:


Honorary Professor Felix Rauner
TVET Research Group
University of Bremen
Tel.: +49 421 218-62631
E-mail: raunerprotect me ?!uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de



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A test procedure for vocational training research developed at the University of Bremen is now being rolled out nationwide in China.