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An Overview of Chinese Education

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Survey of China's education

The Chinese government has placed priority on developing education, putting forward the strategy of revitalizing the country through science and education, making constant efforts to deepen the reform of educational system, and implementing the nine-year compulsory education. Governments at all levels are increasing investment in education and encourage people to run education through different channels and in different forms.

"Education must meet the needs of the modernization drive, the world and the future", put forward by Deng Xiaoping, is the direction of China's educational development, and also the guiding principle to promote education reform and construction.

School education Structure

School education of the People's Republic of China includes preschool, primary school, secondary school, high school, university and college, as well as graduate school education. The following is school age and fixed school terms at different levels:

Kindergartens take children above three years old with a term of three school years;

Primary schools and secondary schools take six school years and three school years, five school years and four school years, or just nine-year-through schooling. Most areas practice the six-year and three-year school-year terms. Therefore, primary school term is six or five years, and secondary school term is three or four years; school age for primary schools is six or seven years old, and 12or13for secondary schools;

School age for common high schools is 15 or 16, with a term of three school years, Secondary professional schools are divided into two types: school age for the first type that takes junior middle school graduates is 15 or 16, usually with a term of four school years but with some exceptions of three-year schooling; school age for the second type that takes high school graduates is no more than 22, with a two-year term of schooling; secondary vocational schools usually provide three or four years of schooling; technical schools provide three years of schooling; school age for vocational high schools is15 or 16, with a term of two or three school Years, or even four years in some places;

The schooling time of full-time universities is four or five school years (seven or eight years in some medical universities), schooling term of professional schools of higher education and vocational technical schools of higher education is two or three years;

Graduate education is divided into Master degree and Ph.D degree. The school age for Master degree students than 40, with a tem of two or three school years; school age for Ph.D Students is no more than 45,usually with three years of schooling;
The schooling term of various adult schools follows the practice of similar full-time schools. Adult secondary schools usually have the same schooling term as full-time schools of same nature; part-time or spare-time adult schools have one year more schooling term than full-time schools of same nature. The schooling time of undergraduates in adult schools of higher learning is four or five years, while education at professional schools of high education takes many forms, usually with a term of two to four school years.

The Law of the People's Republic of China on Compulsory Education stipulates that the state should implement the nine-year compulsory education system, namely, education at primary and secondary stages is compulsory. "Children of six years old, despite gender, nationality, and race, must go to school to receive free education. And areas where conditions are yet to be ready could postpone the school age to seven years old, which the state, society and families must guarantee."

Higher Education in China

The institutions to implement higher education include universities, colleges, and professional schools of higher education. Schools of higher learning undertake teaching, scientific research, and social services.

Chinese universities are divided into several categories: some directly under the Ministry of Education, others run by provincial, autonomous regional, and municipal governments, still others run by local center cities, as well as by communities. Chinese universities and independent colleges are equal institutions of higher learning.

China has established a very strict enrollment examination system to guarantee the quality of enrolled university students. Only those students who have received high school graduation certificates can go to college after passing the national entrance exam.
China's full-time institutions of higher learning have two semesters in a school year (three semesters in some colleges). The first semester begins in early September, while the second in mid-February. One semester usually lasts about 20 weeks,with students having fives days of study every week. Besides winter and summer vacations, students also have one day off on New Year's Day, and three days off respectively during the Spring Festival, on International Labor Day and National Day. There are no other holidays during the whole semester.

China's academic degree system

China's academic degrees include bachelor's', master's', and doctorate's degrees. Disciplines include philosophy, economics, law (including politics, sociology, ethnology, etc.), mathematics, pedagogy (including sports science), literature (including linguistics ,arts science, library science), history, natural science, engineering science, medicine, management science, and military science.

Bachelor's degree is conferred to undergraduates of universities and colleges who have finished all requirements in teaching plans, reporting goods academic records in curricular subject studies and graduation theses.

Master's degree is conferred to postgraduates of universities, colleges, and research institutes who have passed all examinations of subject studies including graduation defence.

Doctor's degree is conferred to Ph-D Students of universities, colleges, and research institutes who have passed all examinations of subject studies and graduation oral examinations.