Educational System in China

Chinese educational system is divided into four parts, namely, basic education, secondary vocational and technical education, higher education and adult education.

Basic education composes preschool education, elementary and secondary education. The schooling of elementary education (primary school) in China is six years. Secondary education which consists of junior and senior middle school usually lasts three years. Moreover, some schools provide an integrated curriculum of nine years which combines primary education and junior middle school.

Higher education is the education of high level for fostering junior college students, undergraduates, and postgraduates. The schooling of junior colleges is two to three years, and that of universities is generally four years, except medical courses which need five years for graduation. Moreover, some engineering institutes require 5 years for students’ graduation. Postgraduates usually need two to three years to accomplish their study, and doctoral candidates need another 3 years.

The language barrier can be a very real obstacle to breaching China’s increasingly prominent national university system. While world-class institutions like Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Fudan University are the crown jewel in the eye of every Chinese national student, most classes are generally taught in Mandarin, which makes enrollment a challenge for international students not studying Chinese. However many of these schools to reach out with international programs to attract foreign students, and some subject areas, such as international business, are often taught in English.

The Chinese school year typically is divided into semesters lasting from September-January and February-July. Chinese summers can be exceptionally hot and muggy in the big cities, so plan accordingly!

Development of Education

Since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, great importance has been attached to education by the Chinese government. Laws were established so as to guarantee everyone’s right of being educated, especially ethnic minority groups, children, women and the disabled. After fifty years’ hard work, education in China has experienced a significant step forward.

Nine-year compulsory education is being put into effect in stages in a planned way. The elementary education in China has been basically popularized in areas covering 91 percent of the country’s population. Meanwhile higher education, vocational and technical education, adult education of various forms and national education have developed rapidly. The education system of multi-level, multi-form and a wide range of disciplines preliminarily come into being. International educational communication and cooperation have been extensively carried out in China in recent years.

Study in China: Everything You Need to Know

Thinking about a higher education in China? Here is an essential guide to studying in Chinese Universities.

China’s Ministry of Education (MOE) will make further efforts to optimize the environment for international students, improve management and to upgrade education quality, by adhering to the National Outline for Medium and Long Term Educational Reform and Development as well as the Study in China Plan, aiming at attracting 500,000 international students by 2020 so as to make China Asia’s biggest host country for international students.

International students should find increasing levels of investment in tertiary education to be a compelling reason to study in China.

In 2012, China reached its target of spending 4% of GDP on education. And it is currently investing US$250 billion a year in “human capital” (source: New York Times), which includes the subsidy of education for young people moving from rural to urban areas, in an effort to lessen the gap between the educated elite and rural laborers.

China has 39 institutions ranked in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, including six new entries, and substantially more of the country’s universities are included in the QS Asia University Rankings 2018.

With the growing global status of China within a trade, tourism, and education, study in China is seeing huge increases in popularity. According to ICEF Monitor, 442,773 international students studied in China in 2016 (an increase of 11% from the previous year), while more than nine million students take the national university entrance examination every year, making China home to one of the largest education systems in the world.

By 2020, the Chinese government aims to have 500,000 international students enrolled in Chinese higher education, and it seems on track to reach its target. To support this goal, a growing number of international scholarships are being offered across the country. For a selection of these scholarship opportunities, see this article.

Chinese educational system is divided into four parts, namely, basic education, secondary vocational and technical education, higher education and adult education.

Basic education composes preschool education, elementary and secondary education. The schooling of elementary education (primary school) in China is six years. Secondary education which consists of junior and senior middle school usually lasts three years. Moreover, some schools provide an integrated curriculum of nine years which combines primary education and junior middle school.

Higher education is the education of high level for fostering junior college students, undergraduates, and postgraduates. The schooling of junior colleges is two to three years, and that of universities is generally four years, except for medical courses which need five years for graduation. Moreover, some engineering institutes require 5 years for students’ graduation. Postgraduates usually need two to three years to accomplish their study, and doctoral candidates need another 3 years.

Academia in China varies greatly across the country. Although large investments have been made regarding infrastructure, teaching quality and materials can fall short as you move away from the major cities. Generally, popular universities that are most attractive to international students won’t be too dissimilar to Western universities, even in the way they look.

Entry requirements for international students are relatively lax compared with those for Chinese students. The notoriously tough GaoKao entrance exam takes over the lives of Chinese students going to university with a once-a-year shot at passing the rigorous two-day assessment of knowledge accumulation and application. This exam is so important that the country effectively enters a period of shut-down, with all building and construction works halted, car horns banned and police dispersed to ensure any distractions are kept to a minimum.

For international Students, however, the process is much simpler. Some higher ranking Universities Such as Peking University and Tsinghua University will implement their own entrance exams but these would be more in-line with a British entrance exam. Others will offer a place with no testing Required.

Depending on the linguistic medium of your chosen course, you could also be asked to take a test known as HanyuShuiping Kaoshi (HSK) to rank your Chinese language skills. For courses delivered in Mandarin, you may be required to achieve as high a level as five (out of six). However, for subjects delivered in English, this won’t be necessary.

Course structures are similar to those of UK universities: each subject is split into modules worth credits. A mix of mandatory and vocational modules are on offer allowing students to follow a path closely suited to their future career aspirations. Foreign students will also be asked to take mandatory language lessons alongside their studies regardless of the language in their lectures.

Since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, great importance has been attached to education by the Chinese government. Laws were established so as to guarantee everyone’s right of being educated, especially ethnic minority groups, children, women and the disabled. After fifty years’ hard work, education in China has experienced a significant step forward.

Nine-year compulsory education is being put into effect in stages in a planned way. The elementary education in China has been basically popularized in areas covering 91 percent of the country’s population. Meanwhile higher education, vocational and technical education, adult education of various forms and national education have developed rapidly. The education system of multi-level, multi-form and a wide range of disciplines preliminarily come into being. International educational communication and cooperation have been extensively carried out in China in recent years.

Higher education in China has soared in quality in recent years, with an increasing number of universities and colleges appearing among the top-ranked in the world. Today, there are more students in China than in any other country: 36.5 million were enrolled at the last count in 2015, and that number is rising every year.

China has about 3,000 higher education institutions. Most of these are public universities, which include many of the country’s best and most generously funded institutions in Beijing, Shanghai, and the great cities of eastern China. However, the number of private universities has soared in recent years, to about 800 (up from 20 in 1997), so there are plenty of options for academics and professional staff looking to further their careers in China.

The Chinese higher education system is divided into two sectors: “regular” higher education and “adult” higher education. Some 90 percent of colleges and universities are in the regular higher education sector, along with more than 70 percent of undergraduate students. This sector includes 446 private institutions, 274 independent colleges (quasi-private) and seven Chinese-foreign co-operative initiatives, set up as joint partnerships between Chinese and foreign education systems.

It should be noted that not all Chinese institutions offer degrees. While 1,202 regular higher education institutions do give degrees, many others give graduation certificates for more practical and occupational skills.

Adult higher education institutions follow the same curriculum as regular institutions, but their teaching format is often more flexible and diverse, including such methods as distance-learning and part-time study.

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