South China Representative:
Senoir Advisor on Internalization
Nanshan District Education Bureau
July Activity – Presentation Dialogues APCDA Western United States region. Topic: Connecting the Earth’s Biosphere to Career Education Using SDGs
August Activity – Participated in China Regional Group of the System Dynamics Society. This post-conference regional group presented the overall outlook on careers related to computer modeling, design thinking and modeling, and regional environmental concerns of climate change and depleted biodiversity. More to come on this subject!
South China Perspective on Chinese International Students
by Dr. Elisabeth Montgomery
For the past four years, disappointed Chinese students seeking secondary education abroad have faced many challenges from the Trump administration denying visas, which they contested. With Trump’s departure and the advent of the new Biden administration, there is some restored hope. Today, F1 visa applications eased, and Biden added advantages for students majoring in STEM to access green cards upon graduation. Biden also made clear the pandemic requirements of vaccines and entry will protect international students’ health. Still, the levels of Chinese student influx may remain low until the administration gains more headway in the pandemic and global careers initiate more certainty.
Looking ahead to 2022, students will be going abroad for international college study even while the pandemic remains a real threat throughout the world. It is an opportunity for college career counselors to make adjustments that encourage international students to seek more career services on campus.
Students from the South China region heading abroad for college may ask, "how can I trust that the career services provided by my college or university can answer my questions, solve my problems, and keep me focused on my dreams?"
Chinese students comprise the most significant number of international college students globally, and they comprise 34% of all international students in the United States. USA career counselors must focus on how to assist this vital group best.
One recent career research study by Sage Publishing reveals insights into how Chinese students in the United States feel disconnected from many career counseling services provided on college campuses. Yue Li, Nancy Goodrich Mitts, and Susan C. Whiston (2021) outline how expectations about career services proved difficult for overseas Chinese students for various reasons.
The study found students view some of the main difficulties in seeking career services as cultural differences. Chinese students may be used to working out their academic issues among family and friends. Some students have an indifferent attitude about revealing personal struggles to others or perceived strangers.
In general, Chinese students seeking career counseling services want “outcome-driven activities." They may seek services specific to their problems, which may be cultural - such as choosing a career not accepted by their family.
The student perceptions that steer them away from career counseling also relate to time and cost. Many students are at different phases of their stay abroad. Some even need the most help when they decide to return to China to find employment.
Chinese students may also perceive a lack of intimacy from college counselors. Student comments show reactions to “superficial encouragement” from career counselors about how well they can manage when, in reality, they do not feel that way. The Chinse student may question, "does my career counselor build interactions that allow for a deep relationship and trust?
Chinese students' cultural expectations of test-taking as "the answer" do not meet their goals when taking specific career assessments. In the study, many students felt counselors might even “lead them astray.”
Career counseling service providers can precisely adjust services to target the needs of Chinese international students coming for the first time, already in the country, or planning their return to mainland China in a few years.
USA career counselors can assess any lack of use of the career assistance services provided on their campuses. Specifically, career services can target Chinese students in several ways to build culturally sensitive relationships built on trust by applying practical career-building goals that give confidence that the services are competent and able to meet their needs. One way is to manage step by step, first, for the many entering the country and a new socio-environment in the USA. Second, expand practical career opportunities while students are studying. And third, grasp the challenges of re-entry to their home country after studying and working in the USA.
The global student population adds nearly US$40billion to the USA's economy. Chinese students bring foreign exchanges, including social, cultural, economic, and technological transfers from their home country, which helps Americans build their global careers.
My report reflects a theme near and dear to my heart – veganism – and its growth in South China. By now, you all may know that Industrialized reproduction and slaughter of meat from animal food production is one of the most polluting factors in all the world. The rise in new plant-based foods offers excellent opportunities for future jobs through our region and all of the Asia Pacific.
South China Career Education: Impacts on Political, Social, and Economic Stability
Traditionally, China undergoes changes in government management all over the country as the new five-year plan (2021 -2025) begins. These changes include renewing mayors and those in government legislator positions. In most cases, government managers that have served in roles for five years will be promoted, changed, or retired. For South China, the five-year plan creates opportunities to set and meet rigorous environmental and climate change targets.
Social Outcomes of COVD19 Take Root with Cross-Border Impact Ventures
Examples include China’s Dao Foods/Hong Kong’s Queen Green, and Macau’s Meatless Monday community vegan movement to push for urban sustainable food resources and expanding job opportunities. During the 2020 COVID19 pandemic, the Chinese government called for the country to reduce meat consumption by 50% due to research coming in from SARS virus center reports with links to illegitimate "wet markets" for almost two decades. These virus outbreaks among animals, with COVID19 the worst by far, resulted in the nationwide extermination of hundreds of millions of animals annually since 2014, primarily pigs and chickens. While Chinese Buddhists have long been mainly vegetarian, the new Chinese vegans (no meat, fish, dairy) are a relatively new market and set to pass 12 billion in 2023. Many Millennials and GenZ now look forward to the tastes of plant-based foods. Due to improved processing methods and a wide range of choices, plant-based foods provide many exciting flavors for customers.
Dao Foods stands out as a significant cross-border (Canada-USA-China) company with a unique venture program for job creation. Across Pacific Rim countries, Dao Foods provides the products and trains and funds entrepreneurs in plant-based meat start-ups. Vegan boot camps in China and incubator/mentorships in Plant-Based Clean Meats (PBCM) ride the wave of vegan food. China's magnificent food industry is challenged to win the vegan taste competition. The cross-border impact venture aims to disrupt global meat and dairy markets to rein in China's environmental impact. Since 2018, thousands of employees at the MGM Casino in Macau eat vegan every week on "Meatless Monday." Interest in veganism spawned new developments in organic and laboratory-made proteins. This move to veganism translates to a boost in careers in the urban and vertical gardening permacultures, among other plant-based agricultural markets. Marketing, national forums, and publishing translate to jobs in the vegan industry ecosystem, such as UX/Ui jobs. PBCM is an industry proudly supported by young people for its economic, social, and environmental capital.
Since 2018, thousands of employees at the MGM Casino in Macau eat vegan every week on "Meatless Monday." South China's interest in veganism spawned new developments in organic and laboratory-designed proteins. This interest in veganism translates to a boost in careers in urban and vertical gardening: health, new farms for harvesting, permaculture, among other plant-based food markets.
Marketing, national forums, and publishing translate to jobs in these industries that young people proudly support their economic, social, and environmental capital.
Despite a robust 18.5 percent growth, the South China economy is returning slowly after COVID19. The pandemic, which required enormous mobilization and adjustments in manufacturing to produce PPE for the country, is not over. Although mainland Chinese students returned to classrooms in May 2020, families felt their students missed out on the career education plans. The government implemented compulsory education until grade 9 and new high school college testing rules. South China career professionals are finding new ways to hold virtual internships for students to gain valuable work knowledge for making career decisions.
Internships and "externships," although down regionally by 30 percent this year, expanded eligibility so that college students were able to partake in workplace vegan programs with Dao Foods. Opportunities for UX/UI Design and marketing research emerged in the vegan food industry, which is a disruption to traditional Chinese social and cultural food preferences. Roughly 4-5 percent of the population or 50-70,000,000 people claim to be vegan in China! These numbers are expected to double by the end of 2021.
The Country/Area Council Report for Southern China includes more in-depth coverage about vocational career education advancement. In October, we reviewed high school vocational initiatives. Our report looks at these initiatives in institutions of higher education. Vocational college and all other Universities and Colleges lead to a robust digital future upskilling with hybrid courses in specialized industry and certifications integrated into all significant Chinese colleges and universities. In 2019, the Chinese Ministry of Education adopted a blend of academic credentials and vocational certificates for its colleges and universities. With record numbers of college graduates in China, more pressure for jobs well paying emerged when many industries came to rely on technology instead of employees.
Significant Developments in Chinese Colleges and Universities – The ‘1+X' Education Initiative is Underway.
Since April 2020, China’s National Centre for Educational Technology (NCET) launched new projects on ‘Upskilling and Certifying the Digital Skills of Chinese Vocational College Students' based on global industry standards within science and technology and public and private universities and colleges.
To manage and change China's profound cultural perceptions that vocational skills training is not as esteemed as regular college and university degrees, the government education departments prepared 1+X programs for higher education institutions. This new hybrid education of general degrees and micro-credentials or skills accreditations allows for the associate and BA degrees in addition to essential credentials that address job-delivering, specific workplace needs. These industry credentials earned during undergraduate and graduate school provide more distinction among human resource managers.
South China GREEN STEAM (Environmental Science-Tech-Engineering-Arts-Math)
In China, government leadership acknowledges climate change as a significant threat and the restoration of damaged environments as an existential threat to long term economic prosperity and regime survival. However, there is still a mixed track record on sustainability and environmental systems and strategies. The transformation of China into green technologies, smart grid, electric transportation technologies, an ecological packaging revolution, and even green digital finance alliances led by individual companies and significant industries supports the government. Since 2015, the government-supported eco-industrial parks (EIPs), green industry demonstration bases (GIDBs), and more recently, with a global model, circular economy pilot cities (CEPCs). All initiatives create a strong locus for future jobs with graduates from China's colleges and universities.
Example: Shenzhen. PR China
One of the most modern cities in the world, Shenzhen developed rapidly over the past forty years. Recently the city became the first large city (14 million) worldwide to switch to all 16,00 electric buses and 22,000 taxis. The goal is for all buses, taxis, and cars to be electric vehicles by 2035. To connect to the exciting roll-out of electric technology, see The City with 16,000 Electric Buses & 22,000 Electric Taxis - Fully Charged Show
The Country/Area Council Report for Southern China includes an update and announcements on regional career opportunities. It also covers the push for a national vocational career education week to include a broader spectrum of Chinese citizens.
Update: The Greater Bay Area (GBA)
Since 2019, the GBA Plan includes the consolidation of Guangdong Province (Guangzhou and Shenzhen) and the South China Sea Special Autonomous Regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macau-Zhuhai. Recently, the Chinese government published Circular 2020 – 95, a document outlining how to implement the comprehensive regional plan's goals. Circular 95 defines objectives and highlights how to build the regional powerhouse. Specifically, Circular 95 calls for a massive investment in Banking, Capital Markets, Green Tech/FinTech, Risk Mgt. and a move toward a complete China Banking Digital Currency (CBDC).
Objective 1. Cultivate a GBA Mindset. The main emphasis is attracting talented professionals and investments in the region.
Objective 2. Attract Entrepreneurship. A key feature is to attract recent graduates and adults throughout China and the Asia Pacific to apply for assistance to grow businesses in the region.
Objective 3. A new GBA Identity card will allow employees and workers to move freely between the main GBA cities intending to maximize the scale's efficiencies in all commerce.
Objective 4. The Greater Bay Area (GBA) will build a wide-ranging regional “platform” for Traditional Chinese medicines. http://www.gov.cn/xinwen/2020-10/22/content_5553451.htm. By 2022, the GBA will establish a cooperative medical system among Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macao, and Dawan District Chinese medicine industry. This cooperation will lead to building many high-level Chinese medicine hospitals. By 2025, the Chinese medical platform will build several international schools of Chinese medical science. The objective is to promote technology through replicable innovations as significant scientific research, especially promoting cancer cures and other well-known brands into the international market.
Vocational School Expansion and Development.
To meet the talent demands of Chinese economic development, the Ministry of Education in Beijing implemented a nation-wide, virtual "Vocational Week Events." The focus on vocational schools is designed to partner with industry to provide career related workshops.* The South China regional industries seeking to employ and train young people in the growth and development of the vital GBA industries include a wide range of innovative technologies, front-line jobs for pandemic relief, and a range of entrepreneurship advantages. http://www.moe.gov.cn/srcsite/A07/s7055/202010/t20201016_495053.html
The number of Guangdong's Vocational School students in 2018 was 867,300. The number of Guangdong's Vocational College students in 2018 is 829,900. The COVID-19 recovery act Reported Chinese New College Graduate's Employment in the 3rd Quarter to be at a growing rate now that the virus remains contained.
*To launch the Vocational Education Week, the Education Departments of all Chinese provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government (Education Commission), Propaganda Department of the Party Committee, Net-a-Post Office, Human Resources and Social Security Office (Bureau), Industry and Information Technology Department, Agricultural and Rural (Agriculture and Livestock) Office (Bureau, Commission), SASAC, General Trade Union, League Committee, The Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, the Industrial and Information Technology Bureau, the Agricultural and Rural Bureau, and the General Trade Union, among other relevant units will participate in the national Vocational School Expansion and Development Week-long Event.
Over the past few months our members set the goal to increase APCDA awareness in the country area. We studied the membership drive in Japan and learned from the methodology our colleagues developed. After reviewing general marketing principles and program in China, we collected and analyzed data from relevant public and private schools, universities, education and career services training.
During our research and meetings with career service providers and educators, it became apparent that webinars in both English and Chinese will be highly appreciated. We are experimenting with the idea to meet the growing needs of the regional/country area of South China.
Regional Webinar in the Works!
South China region members plan to hold an APCDA webinar on the topic of Career Education in Chinese Public Schools. We will include Macau, SAR and Hong Kong, among other members in our online forum.
NOTE: I left China on 1/18/20 and have not been able to return due to COVID19, rather I have been working remotely “sheltering in place” in the San Francisco, Bay Area. At this juncture, there is still COVID19 uncertainty, so we remain virtual for now.
Elisabeth Montgomery, Ph.D. and Claire Ouyang, Ph.D. co-authored a Through COVID article.
During this quarter, before the pandemic spread beyond China's borders, I had the opportunity to meet with Macau council member Dr. Claire Ouyang and exchange ideas on career research theory and practice. Face-to-face meetings help educate, validate, and motivate each other. South China members are looking forward to a time when the borders are open again between mainland China and the region.
The Evolving Pandemic:
South China is at the forefront of the pandemic containment, working closely with Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea for response policy, supplies, and new responses as the virus COVID-19 progresses. For these reasons, the K-12 career symposium we hoped to hold for public schools postponed this event until fall or early 2021. We will keep you posted!
Shenzhen, Nanshan District – Xili (University Town) community. South China University Education Group – Experimental School No. 2 Administration and teachers successfully held its first year of job shadows for grades 7-8. The week-long event took place just before the holidays (January 13 – 17), and parent, student, and employer data is currently in analysis for a final report. This program initiates grades 1-9 career activities in public schools. Parents in grades 1 -9 assisted with finding the Job Shadow placements for students in their crucial seminal career program. One hundred and sixty middle school students grade 7-8 attended job shadows for 1-5 days. 60+ employers reported highly successful enrichment programs with students.
Shenzhen, Nanshan District. Yucai Education Group Shekou representative Ms. Zhou Lili has been consulting and providing courses to Yucai students, Nanshan school parents, and teachers. Ms. Zhou designed a year-long course, including two semesters divided into three parts; first, "what is a career?“ second, "self-awareness," and third, "how to know the work world." The fourth part is about how to plan or design your career. She held eight lectures in different Nanshan schools with over 300 parents attended the speeches: "Plan Your Child’s Education by Visualizing the Future.“ For teachers, Lily held three training sessions with over 100 teachers on the topic: "Life Like Summer Flowers."
NASA and Space Jobs:
Additionally, I attended an online seminar with NASA on the 20th anniversary of the International Space Station. Much of the conversation centered on the skills, attitudes, and psychology of extreme jobs with isolation factors, and emergent conditions. The two-day event included an overview of the capabilities of the future based on twenty years of the study of humans in space. Skills of the future include prediction modeling, isolation confinement/close environments psychology, physics-informed AI (complexity, completeness, and noisiness). NASA also emphasized skills in risk reduction modeling, space robotics, automated chemistry, and lunar excavation – to name a few! One of the ways NASA hopes the general public can assist with the goals of the international space station is to generate social media information to share the findings and accelerate understanding of the coming future of space odyssey.
Other Career News from the South China Region:
Regional News Articles Jobs/Career News Synopsis
Workplace job shadow partnerships with middle school teachers and South China industries give students practical skills needed for work. Parents support these measures. – Dr. Elisabeth Montgomery, at Beijing Bank in Shenzhen.
Teacher, parent, and student career workshops bridge the knowledge gap as schools begin implementing vital career programs – Lily Zhou
Job Shadow students learn coding and marketing in an entrepreneurial setting at Shekou Entrepreneurship Street at InterLangua Software.
Reporting from South China for the APCDA, over the past few months, we were planning, implementing career programs, proposal writing, and coordinating school-based development for careers in Chinese public schools, primarily in Shenzhen's Nanshan District. We also made connections with two other Shenzhen city districts – BaoAn and Futien, to compare career programs.
We submitted a funding proposal to the Nanshan District Education Bureau to host a South China Middle School Career Symposium in June 2020.
In December, we are working on programs with Chinese parents, administrators, and business industry groups to design school-based Job Data Banks for job shadows and internships aimed at middle school students grades 7-9. These activities include research components to present at the APCDA India conference in March.
Dr. Elisabeth P. Montgomery is a renowned Educational Innovator in Shenzhen, China and one of three Designers of YuCai High School, International Department, (www.ycid.org). For nearly two decades Dr. Montgomery has lived and worked in Shenzhen, China, just over the mainland border with Hong Kong. Her current position is Senior Advisor on Internationalization for the Nanshan District Education Bureau, public school Inspector, and Foreign Vice Principal at the South China University of Science and Technology (SUSTECH) Education Group in Shenzhen. She also is International advisor in China and Latin America.
Dr. Montgomery's SPECIALIZATIONS include:
Dr. Montgomery's APCDA Lifetime Membership is based on her desire to fully develop the indigenous career and innovation theories with practical applications in China with a focus on businesses, teachers, students, and parents (grade 1 through 12). For Montgomery, happenstance or career opportunity and the foundation of relationships can create a "happy accident" known in China as the cause and effect or yuan fen. Yuen Fen, as a career concept developed by Dr. Jin Shu Ren among many other colleagues in Asia, recently had a profound influence on Dr. Montgomery.
APCDA 2019 Conference Presentation:
Designing for Change in Shenzhen's Nanshan: Parents Take the Lead on Career Exploration in Chinese Elementary Schools. Parents, Teachers, and Students Working Towards A Prolific Industry 4.0 Model
Dr. Montgomery is the first foreigner to hold high-level public-school district posts and positions in China. Currently she is charged with training one thousand English teachers in the Great Books Shared Inquiry methodology to increase higher order thinking and activities in the language classrooms. To develop "teachers as leaders" she established a progressive annual Dragon & Eagle Dialogues - a day of relevant conversations between local Chinese and international school students grade 1-12, which teachers lead as part of their Great Books practicum.
For six years, Dr. Montgomery served as the first foreign Principal in China running an experimental Great Books/Shared Inquiry Academy founded as an international department within a Chinese public school. Montgomery and her team also designed high school career practices and techniques including job shadowing programs and job internships for Chinese students before college placement in international universities. She also developed the first Nanshan grades 1-12 career education curricula in the Nanshan school district and has since trained the public-school career counselors and teachers.
Additionally, in 1999 and the early 2000s, Dr. Montgomery conducted cross-cultural training classes for Chinese government officials at Shenzhen Manager Training College for business and education leaders headed to America to study our professional customs and philosophies in universities. In 2009, one of Montgomery's former students, Liu Gen Ping, became the Director of the Shenzhen Yucai Education Group. Liu later became head of the Nanshan Education Bureau and requested Montgomery's assistance to change the classroom stance of teachers from teacher centered to a student-oriented environment.
Building on Past Experiences - Career Counseling through Job Creation
Prior to arriving in Shenzhen, Dr. Montgomery had worked for 18 years in the field of youth employment, career counseling, and social entrepreneurship. Her essential work in careers and job creation started at Jane Addams Center (JAC) Hull House in Chicago. While at JAC, Dr. Montgomery established not only youth employment services but also enterprise development programs based on social entrepreneurship; she put disenfranchised young people, including serious youth offenders, to work.
Social Entrepreneurship: JAC's Youth Department did more than offer jobs. They set up a non-profit business incubator, the Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC), as an umbrella for their for-profit companies. The JARC used targeted industry training programs to supply local hospitals, mechanics and tool-and-die manufacturers with qualified workers.
Dr. Montgomery's EDUCATION SUMMARY:
Publications: Wang, Y. and R. Prem (2010) Thirty Years of China's Economic Reform, Chapter Four: Contemporary Entrepreneurs in South China - A discussion of their individual values. R. Littrell and E. P. Montgomery, Nova Science Publishers.
Associations: Systems Dynamics Society, The Long Now Foundation, Roots & Shoots International (Jane Goodall), NCDA and APCDA.
Awards: In addition to numerous local and district awards for education and training. Dr. Montgomery is the recipient of the . . .