China Education System Overview
Compared to other countries in the world, China’s educational system in terms of population size is regarded as one of the world’s largest. As such the government of China administers to a very large extent the quality and curricula of these schools from primary to secondary and even university.
Figure 1: Educational System in China
The figure above shows the different stages of the educational system in China: from kindergarten (pre-school) all the way to graduate programs, both masters and doctoral degrees (higher education). University education in China is highly coveted as most students terminate their education at junior middle school.
The Chinese educational system has witnessed a metamorphosis from the early days of foreign influences to newer reforms and adoption of modern educational policies in most schools at all levels. An academic year in Chinese schools has fall and spring semesters with the school year extending from September to July. The major teaching language is Mandarin with the option of English for English-speaking international students and some other languages for other students.
Education in China
Education in China has basic (pre-school and primary)education, middle(middle and secondary) education, and higher education. The law instituted by the government mandate all children to have at least 9 years of education i.e. 3 years of pre-school education, 3 years of primary school education and 3 of middle school education. Basic education also known as early years is the introductory phase where children are initially exposed to learning through play and interaction.
To attain secondary education, a student has two options: go the usual route of attending an academic secondary school for 6 years or get a technical secondary education for 2-4 years depending on interest acquired and training obtained. In the academic secondary education,there are 3 years of junior middle school and another 3 years of senior middle schools. Junior middle school graduates can graduate to the senior middle school or apply to a technical middle school for two to four years of training. For admission into the university, senior middle school graduates sit for an education entrance exam that qualifies them for entry.
Higher education can be universities that offer undergraduate degrees for academic or business purposes as well as colleges that offer diploma or certificate courses for either academic or vocational purposes. After undergraduate studies, students may then pursue postgraduate and doctoral programs in universities with these programs.
There is also adult education that is aimed at promoting literacy in impoverished communities that desperately need education through special adult schools.
Schools in China
Schools in China have educational standards imposed by the system and the government. From pre-schools to universities, there are many options to choose from.
Universities in China are either public or private. The Public universities are government funded and are more open to both Chinese nationals and international students. Private universities, on the other hand, are owned by private entities who are driven by profit and rely mostly on the tuition and accommodation fees that students are charged.
Top Public and Private Universities in China
The top public and private universities are located in certain provinces in China that are regarded as the major developmental hubs like Shanghai, Beijing,and Shenzhen. These universities like Peking University (the highest ranking university and a member of the C9 league), Tsinghua University, Nanjing University and many others.
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