Vocational school for geriatric care in China based on the German model

German Education Center • Possibility of practical deployment in Germany

Chinese women in white coats stand in a row and draw syringes

The percentage of old people in China's population is increasing continuously. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing, by 2014 their numbers will total 329 million. Especially in the towns and cities, the number of young family members who can take care of their parents and grandparents is decreasing. While up until now it has been taken for granted that adult children will look after relatives in need of care in their own homes, this model is increasingly reaching its limits.

The Chinese government is increasingly promoting as part of various political policies and programmes the construction of retirement homes and care facilities, the development and expansion of the pension system, and new approaches to the training of geriatric care professionals. It is also increasingly basing its activities on the German model of geriatric care training, which is considered exemplary in terms of its design.

This is where the German Education Center with its "Elderly-Care China" project comes in. Its goal is to establish at Anhui Medical College in Hefei a vocational school for geriatric care based on the German model. New models for German-Chinese training as geriatric nurses will be offered at the Sino-German Elderly-Care School. Here - unlike in the rest of China - the practical component of the training will be much larger, and theory and practice more closely linked. In addition, trainees will be given German lessons, which is obligatory for assignments in Germany. The package is intended to open up better career prospects for young Chinese men and women in a future-proof occupational field and to optimally prepare them for professional life.

The German Education Center was founded in 2014 as a subsidiary of the Chinesisches Zentrum, Hannover e. V. The Chinesisches Zentrum promotes the development and maintenance of economic, cultural and scientific contacts between Germany and China. The sponsor of the Chinesisches Zentrum is a non-profit organization whose members come from the fields of business and education in both countries. The association was established in 1997 when a framework agreement was signed between the State Government of Lower Saxony and the Government of the People's Republic of China. The German Education Center primarily focuses on the education and training of Chinese in China.

Chinese women in white coats stand in a row and draw syringes

Since its foundation, the Chinesisches Zentrum has developed numerous activities in the field of training and continuing education. These include training Chinese specialists and executives in Germany and projects for the initial training of Chinese citizens as automotive mechatronics engineers and for the establishment of an academy of continuing education in China.

The German participation in the project for geriatric-care training is far-reaching, with German and Chinese experts developing training curricula together. In addition, special e-learning courses have been developed by the German partner institute Ingenium for teaching purposes. Both Chinese and German teachers will carry out block teaching at the Anhui Medical College. After passing their examination, trainees will receive a final examination certificate from their college, the ultimate aim being to be able to award them a German qualification.

The aspiring professionals can if they wish, after their three-year training course, spend one year in Germany gathering extensive practical experience in nursing homes and completing additional theoretical courses. Should they then decide to work in Germany, this could help alleviate the shortage of skilled workers in the field in the country.

The project will run until February 2018. Until then, two classes per year with 30 trainees each are planned. After initial funding from the develoPPP.de programme (in cooperation with DEG - Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), the project should subsequently finance itself through tuition fees.

The Chinesisches Zentrum has already received enquiries regarding expanding the pilot project. The Chinese partners are not only interested in new training projects, but also in joint university care degree programmes. 


This sucess story was first published in the iMOVE publication Developing Skills for Employability with German Partners • 8 Success Stories from the Health and Geriatric Care Sector. The brochure was published in 2015.

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Status July 2020: The German Education Center (Chinesisches Zentrum) no longer exists.

dozens of Chinese women in white coats sit in a training room, a Chinese woman treats a dummy in a hospital bed