Top liquor brand to deliver Moutai masters at own university

Updated 2017-07-05 09:30:05 Xinhua

Getting drunk has long been a rite of passage for students across the world, and for attendees at a new university it is likely to be easier than ever.

One month after this year's college entrance exams, Luo Sha, 19, applied to the recently-founded Moutai University in her hometown.

Luo, from Renhuai city where Moutai Group is located, said she chose the university as she was nurtured by the liquor culture of Moutai from childhood.

Kweichow Moutai, a distilled Chinese liquor produced in southwest China's Guizhou Province, is considered the country's national liquor and is often served on official occasions such as state banquets, not to mention many dinner tables throughout the nation.

"Backed up by the renowned state-owned enterprise, the university is very attractive," Luo said.

"Kweichow Moutai Group now has nearly 30,000 personnel, but only 4,000 of them have bachelor's degrees or above, while only 1,200 people have received higher education in brewing or related majors," said Feng Xiaolun, president of Moutai University. "They are far from enough to meet the company's demand for skilled talent in the industry."

"We have to train the graduates we recruit every year. A shortage of professionals has become a problem for the further development of Moutai Group," Feng said.

To change the situation, Moutai Group decided to set up a university to cultivate liquor-making talent, and China's Ministry of Education has approved its establishment.

Moutai Group has invested 1.88 billion yuan (276.6 million U.S. dollars) in the university since 2012, decided to pour 1 percent of its annual sales into the university for talent cultivation. The university will be a private non-profit higher education institution.

So far, the university has recruited 376 lecturers and professors. Meanwhile, Moutai Group will invite 39 senior professionals, such as national brewmasters, national liquor tasting judges and senior wine-making engineers from the company to serve as practice instructors at the university.

The university will initially offer five majors: wine-making, viticulture and ecological engineering, food quality and safety, resource recycling sciences and marketing in 2017 for 600 students from Guizhou.

It will start to enroll college students nationwide in 2018.

The waste water produced in the process of liquor production should be disposed up to standard before discharge, said Mu Biao, 64, director of the resource recycling sciences department of Moutai University.

"It is very essential to cultivate professionals and launch research on liquor making for the purposes of environmental protection and the sustainable development of the company," Mu said.

The university has its own advantages, for example, all the factories owned by Moutai Group can serve as practical training bases for the students of Moutai University.

In 2016, the value of industrial output of China's white liquor industry surpassed 550 billion yuan, but the export volume accounted for less than two per 1,000.

Feng said China needs more professionals to help domestic liquor products to go global.

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