Perhaps it is more a question of translation than an academic one, but I think it cannot be wrong to get opinions from people here because the question has a relation with higher education anyway.

A China-based college is officially named (translated into English, to be exact) Guangxi Vocational and Technical College of Communications (广西交通职业技术学院 in Chinese), and the business of that college mainly focuses on knowledge, skills, training, majors or programs in strong and close connection with transport (or transportation) which includes roads and bridges engineering, auto engineering, navigation, traffic control, etc. Guangxi is the name of the place where this college is situated.

So the name in English doesn’t sound so clearly defined or even confusing because communications might contain the meaning of transport, but the word is now more related to telecommunication, media outlets, broadcasting, performing arts, etc.

Technical and Vocational College does not seem a common name found in mainstream higher education of English-speaking countries. Polytechnic can be the substitute, can it?

My alternative for the above name in English is Guangxi Transport Polytechnic. Does it sound acceptable to native ears?

  • In the UK, an HE college generally cannot award degrees (they award A Levels, BTECs, NVQs etc- mostly vocational qualifications), whereas polytechnics were all converted to universities and therefore now award degrees. I would suggest "Guangxi College of Transportation". – astronat Jul 13 '17 at 6:32
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    Bear in mind that if you use an unofficial denomination, people might not recognize it. Moreover, if you are an employee of said institute, your administration may want you to use the official denomination, whether you like it or not. – Massimo Ortolano Jul 13 '17 at 9:22
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question is unrelated to academia. An institution should know how to represent itself in English. – Fred Douglis Jul 13 '17 at 19:09
  • I very much doubt that any native speaker of English would assume that "communication" meant "transport" rather than "communication". – David Richerby Jul 13 '17 at 21:01
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    I'm saying ask the institution, not us. – Fred Douglis Jul 14 '17 at 4:08

Interesting question- here in the UK, we don't use the term polytechnic anymore with technical and vocational training being pursued in further education colleges as opposed to higher education universities.

So, if you were speaking to someone from the UK, it would be appropriate to say:

Guangxi College of Transport.

Does that help?

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  • Thanks. Does it mean that the word "polytechnic" does not have the implication that this school is an institute of higher education? It is merely a school for secondary-level vocational training without diploma or degree? – NanningYouth Jul 13 '17 at 13:01
  • The term polytechnic is no longer used in the UK. All polytechnics were rebranded as universities and provide higher education degrees and postgraduate qualifications. Further education colleges are probably the closest thing to polytechnics now, offering vocational training in a range of subjects that can lead to higher education university degrees. – Derek Jul 13 '17 at 13:24

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