Wide Bay TAFE director Trevor Schwenke offers Chinese delegates Xue Jianping, Yao Bin and Chen Zhihai an insight into what happens at TAFE.
Wide Bay TAFE director Trevor Schwenke offers Chinese delegates Xue Jianping, Yao Bin and Chen Zhihai an insight into what happens at TAFE. Alistair Brightman

Education path to link to China

WHETHER it was welding or hair styling the Chinese delegation which toured the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE yesterday got a good idea of what happens at the Hervey Bay campus.

The director of human resources at Leshan Municipal Government was joined by representatives of the city’s vocational and technical college as the first steps of a farseeing education connection between Hervey Bay and its Chinese sister city were taken.

“They are very keen to get started,” TAFE director Trevor Schwenke said after a co-operation agreement was signed.

The two-plus-one plan will bring Leshan’s vocational and technical students to a Wide Bay TAFE campus for their final year after they have completed two years of training in China.

A link to the Fraser Coast campus of USQ has also been targeted.

“We hope students might decide to continue their tertiary studies here and do business, nursing or accounting degrees at the university or find employment that will deepen their experience of Australian life,” Wide Bay TAFE’s international manager Braden Graham said.

Mr Schwenke described the project as “a pathway to university”.

“There could also be an option to drop back from university if someone had completed part of a course but needed to take up a job. You could get your university work mapped to a TAFE diploma.

“It’s all about integrated pathways.”

Mayor Mick Kruger officially welcomed the delegation from the province of Sichuan to Hervey Bay, after the signing ceremony in Urraween yesterday.

A tour of the campus took the delegation through a series of lecture halls and workshops left empty by holiday season.

They were told about the 1000-plus computers and laptops used on site, about the safeguards in place in the metal fabrication section and about the hive of activity the hairdressing salon usually is.

“It’s a very progressive area run by people who are very entrepreneurial,” Mr Schwenke said.

“It’s about creating partnerships with the industry and making sure it’s industry standard.”



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