"We can not follow the conventional path of talent cultivation; we should have better modes of education and training. This mode must be different from that in traditional universities and even all the universities in the world. We need to do research to figure out the talents that the society urgently needs. Our education must keep in pace with the social changes, the restructuring and upgrading of industries, and the status quo of economy and society," Li Shufu, Chairman of Geely Holding Group made such requirements at Geely's 2014 annual working conference on integration of industry and education on March 14.
On the morning, the leaders of Geely Holding Group, Beijing Geely University, Sanya University, Zhejiang Automotive Engineering Institute and Hunan Geely Automotive Vocational College gathered in Hangzhou, summarizing their work experience on integration of industry and education in 2013 and discussing how to improve and innovate Geely's mode of educating and training talents. The leaders of these universities respectively reviewed their work on integration of industry and education over the past year and briefed on their work plans for 2014. Vice President of Geely Holding Group and Director of Zhejiang Automotive Engineering Institute Wei Mei, along with other school representatives, had an in-depth discussion on the key points of and difficulties faced with the integration of industry and education, how to effectively improve the cultivation work for"GM1000" trainees, and how to push forward this program in 2014, and reached consensus on many issues.
"GM1000", a talent cultivation plan of Geely, was initiated in July, 2010 with the aim of cultivating high-potential reserve talents who can benefit Geely's global development. With the general principles of high integration (culture recognition), high efficiency (outstanding performance) and rapid growth (potential), the program aims to foster the talents qualified for Geely's requirements of expertise in its future development. After the two-year joint cultivation by Geely Group, Beijing Geely University and Sanya College, the trainees can finally be graduates recognized by Geely, and then work for Geely upon their graduation. The program of "GM 1000", which has been highly concerned by the industry since it was put into practice, is not only Geely's plan for reserving strategic talents, but also a bold attempt towards China's higher education reform. The first graduates of "GM1000" have started their career and won wide praise for their performances.
At the conference, Li Shufu made a conclusive speech, putting forward a series of requirements on the integration of industry and education.
Li Shufu said, the issue of integration of industry and education is what China attaches great importance to and has always been committed to. However, Geely seems to make a very "stupid" effort since most budget is invested into those conventional universities rather than "grass-root" universities. This issue is worthy of questioning and further pondering, as it is a practical problem. It is necessary for us to make the society and enterprise and the teachers and students, understand what we are doing- we are not making money. This point bears on Geely's pubic image and brand. Previously, Geely came up with the idea for the sheer reason that it was unable to recruit enough people qualified for the work; but now Geely is engaged in the matter out of a sense of social responsibility. The private universities, with the sense of duty and mission, should shoulder the responsibility to turn our ideal into reality and finally achieve self-improvements. Despite of the insufficient budget from the government, we should still persist in the integration of the industry and education and the cultivation of talents, so as to make contributions to the realization of the "Chinese Dream", which requires the improvements of the nation's innovation with the premise of the cultivation of innovative talents. Since both the schools and enterprises need innovative talents and creative thinking, the fundamental purpose of the integration of industry and education lies in how to connect the demands of the schools and enterprises and to foster talents that can meet the requirements of market competition, social development and the realization of the "Chinese Dream".
Li Shufu emphasized the importance to follow the rule of talent-educating. He pointed out that in fact, many talents in Geely didn't specialize in automobiles or management at first. It is significant for us to find out the law of talent education and cultivation about where the expertise and competence stem from. We need to take our ideas and Geely's core value and ideals rooted in the students' mind and beliefs. With a lofty ideal and infinite pursuit, Geely targets to change the status quo of Chinese automobile industry and Chinese education. Geely boasts an ambition to make the trace of Chinese cars cover all over the world, to actively participate in the competition of global automobile industry and finally to connect the whole world with its ideal. And those are the positive energy Geely wants to convey and deliver.
Li Shufu believes that it is unfeasible to foster talents in a conventional training method. He said that we need to reflect on how to make appropriate talents go to schools, the enterprises and the society and how to keep communication open and work down to earth. They should recognize Geely's values, and we should follow a better education mode of talent cultivation, which differs from those conventional universities, or even all the universities around the world. Unlike those unrealistic universities that are slow-reactive to market needs, we should pay attention to those scarcest talents who can keep in pace with the social changes, the restructuring and upgrading of industries, and the status quo of economy and society, rather than those unrealistic or passive towards market conditions. We must apply innovative thinking on the issue about how to bring the enterprises and entrepreneurial talents to the campus, and how to link the school with the society, especially with those innovative start-up businesses.
At last, Li Shufu requested to strengthen the building of teaching staff. He pointed out that, comparing with those universities that get policies support from the state, the private universities are in inferior status under current environment. We must be good at gathering and making good use of talents, and stand at the forefront of innovation. The enterprises and universities should conduct deeper cooperation and Geely has the potential in this regard. For example, the firm can make Geely University undertake more car project or instruct Sanya University to carry out the project near the Southeast Asia. School teachers and enterprise mentors should pay great attention to the practice in the process of "GM1000" program. A thorough study on the role played by the enterprises and schools needs to be conducted and tangible efforts must be made to cultivate elites.