Education in China

Education is highly important in China

Education is one of the most important things in one’s life in China. The significance of good education as a means of enhancing a person’s worth and the person’s contribution to society has both historical roots and a central role in the government agenda: The current strategy of rejuvenating China puts science, technology and education as China’s priorities.

International exchanges and cooperation have had and are having a major influence on the quality of education in China. However, the rise of Chinese Higher Education Institutions in Global Rankings demonstrates that China is building a noteworthy role in global higher education. Improvements in reputation and rankings of its Higher Education Institutions are inspiring an increasing number of students to study in their home country.

Education system in China

China has the largest education system in the world. With almost 260 million students and over 15 million teachers in about 514,000 schools, excluding graduate education institutions, China’s education system is not only immense but diverse. Education is state-run, with little involvement of private providers in the school sector, and increasingly decentralized.

China’s Law on Compulsory Education stipulates that all children aged six, regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, family financial status, and religion, are equally entitled to nine years of free, compulsory education, including six years of primary education and three years of junior secondary education.

Vocational education and higher education

In recent years, China has invested significantly in its vocational education in order to develop adequate capacity for large-scale training of technicians and skillful workers, serving the country’s economic and social development. In 2018, there were a total of 11,700 vocational education institutions in the country, with almost 27 million registered students. One specific emphasis has been the development of cooperation between vocational training providers and companies. Vocational education graduates have become a valuable resource for SMEs and for regional industries striving to higher-end manufacturing and services.

Higher education sector comprises two thousand universities and colleges, with more than six million students. The system includes Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees, as well as non-degree programs, and is also open to foreign students in China.

China has been the biggest source country of international students for several years. According to a recent Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) report, in 2017 more than 600,000 Chinese students chose to pursue higher education in a foreign country. With Chinese students’ growing demand for a more diverse educational experience, colleges and universities around the world are also establishing their presence in China.