Factors for successful cooperation in vocational training with People’s Republic of China – a comparison of state, civil society and private sector concepts 

The research project "Factors for successful vocational training cooperation with the People's Republic of China" (efach) aims to close a long-standing gap in vocational education and training (VET) research.

For the first time, it will be investigated whether success factors of international VET cooperation identified in previous research, arranged into a key factor model, also apply to cooperation beyond development cooperation in the private sector and in China. The model comprises three components, namely influences that arise from the vocational training system, from programme design and implementation, and from the participating funding agencies and their cooperation. These components may vary, both in their composition and in their weighting.

Apart from further developing the success factor model into an empirically verified causal model, the following questions will be pursued in particular:

  • Which general core factors decisively shape the success of vocational training cooperation in China?

  • Are these factors just as valid for private-sector concepts as for governmental or civil-society concepts?

  • Are there any differences between project types (project level and duration)?

This three-year research project is implemented in cooperation with the Central Institute for Vocational & Technical Education (CIVTE, Beijing) and the Chinese-German Institute for Vocational Education and Training at Tongji University (CDIBB, Shanghai).

At the beginning, as many governmental, civil society and private-sector projects of Sino-German vocational training cooperation as possible were recorded and categorised. Currently, with the support of the responsible organisations, further information is gathered on selected projects that are particularly typical for vocational training cooperation within the framework of a case study design – by analysing existing data and documents, conducting qualitative guideline interviews with project experts and, if necessary, by visiting the projects on-site. The second year, this information will be supplemented by partially standardized online surveys of selected stakeholder groups. After data analysis, results and examples of best practice will be presented and published for the first time at conferences in Bonn and Shanghai for interested vocational training researchers and practitioners. Projects and individuals will be anonymized unless otherwise agreed (e.g. to cite them as examples of best practice).

The results are addressed to all those responsible for managing vocational training projects in Germany and China. This includes the ministries involved in the reissue and revision of their funding programmes, theimplementing organisations in government, civil society and private sector and their cooperation in the form of bilateral exchanges. But they also affect the actors within the various projects who are able to identify the weaknesses of certain types of cooperation at an early stage and eliminate them through targeted measures based on best practice examples.


Project details and contact


April 2019 – März 2022


Funding reference number



Contact persons

Saarbrücken Frau Selina Röhrig
Shanghai Herr Shan Zhu 
Beijing Frau Yiwen Wang


Project management

Saarbrücken Herr Prof. Dr. Reinhard Stockmann, Herr Adj. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Meyer
Shanghai Herr Prof. Dr. Jiping Wang
Beijing Herr Yizhi Tang


Cooperating institutions (national and international):

Saarbrücken Chair of Sociology at Saarland University / Center for Evaluation (CEval)
Shanghai Chinese-German Institute for Vocational Training at Tongji University (CDIBB)
Beijing Central Institute for Vocational & Technical Education (CIVTE)