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Overview of Education in China

Higher education in China is very well developed and systematic. It has the largest education system in the world. China has a compulsory law mandating a minimum of 9 years of education for Chinese citizens. China undergraduate and graduate education is very organised.

Overview

China is the world’s most populous nation. According to the UNESCO institute of statistics, it had a population of 1347565000 for the year 2011.China has a very high literacy rate of 98.9% for youth between 15 and 24 years of age. Gross enrolment ratio (GER) of 24% is prevalent in tertiary or higher educational institutions for the year 2011.  Of this, the male GER was 23% and the female GER was 26%.

The amount of government investment in public education expenditure amounted to 4% of the GDP by the year 2012. The proportion was 3.48% of the GDP in 2008. Increased public education expenditure will be incurred in fields such as rural and compulsory education. China has the world’s biggest higher education system.  China has a good teacher development system. Teaching is a well respected professional in China.

The development of degree and graduate education in China is prolific in recent years. China’s higher education institutions had about 30 million students enrolled within them in the March 2010, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This is a massive increase of around 8 million from the year 2005. This signals an increase of approximately 35%. In the year 2010, China’s gross enrolment ratio grew by 6% from 2005. The total number of teachers in higher educational institutions increased by 27% from the year 2005 to 2010.

Degree/Undergraduate Education

The undergraduate higher education system in China consists of a 4 year program in universities, academies and specialized institutes. This 4 year program is called Xueshi. The Xueshi course at some medical colleges and polytechnic institutes lasts for duration of 5 years.

Postgraduate and Doctorate Education

Postgraduate education in China is attained following two to three years of study after having obtained an undergraduate degree. The master’s degree (Shuoshi) also requires the conduction of research and thesis. After completing the required courses, students need to perform dissertation research. They can complete the master’s program only after having obtained certain number of credits.

Doctoral degree programs (Boshi) can be completed in a minimum of 3 years after the master’s degree has been attained. Students can only obtain a doctorate following recommendations from 2 assistant professors or professors. A dissertation must be declared satisfactory for the doctoral degree to be attained. The Degree Committee of the State Council confers an Honorary Doctorate by a college or university to scholars who are academically brilliant.

Statistics Pertaining to Higher Education

According to the report provided by the Minister of Education in 2006, there were over 3,000 higher educational institutions in the world. A total of 25.4 million students were enrolled in these institutions. Over 1,867 regular higher educational institutions reported an enrolment of over 17.4 million.

There were 444 institutions for adults with a total number of 5.2 million students enrolled here, along with 994 private institutions. Over 2.8 million undergraduate students were enrolled in distance education programs, according to this report.

Popular Courses Studied Globally

According to the China's University and College Admission System (CUCAS) which is the official online portal for international students for higher educational institutions in China,
  • The most popular courses studied in China include the Mandarin language, calligraphy, cultural studies and Chinese martial arts.
  • Other Chinese degree programs which are also popular among international students include engineering, economics, science, medicine, trade, MBA and finance. Many universities have degree programs in English so that international students are not at a disadvantage.
  • Academic qualifications given by Chinese universities are internationally recognised.
  • The Chinese government has signed an agreement about mutual recognition with over 65 nations and regions across the world including the British, French and American. China has assigned such as agreement with . Subjects such as history, sports, and philosophy as well as Chinese folk arts are ideal for those who want to excel in humanities and art. Mainstream subjects such as engineering, science, medicine and mathematics along with economics, finance, trade, management and business are also popular choices for students who opt for studies in Chinese universities and colleges.

China as a Study Destination

International students from across the globe can opt for studies in China. In 2012, over 320,000 students from above 180 countries came to China to study for either degree or non-degree programs, according to CUCAS.  China’s universities and colleges offer Chinese as well as English medium programs. 
There are two types of universities in China namely comprehensive and professional universities.
  •  Comprehensive universities comprise a wide range of disciplines and they are ideal for those who want to specialise in scientific research.
  •  Professional universities are reserved for proficiency in certain academic disciplines.

Statistics demonstrate that the ratio of foreign students in China's most Beijing University and Qinghua University is 2.4% and 2% of the total enrolment respectively. China has a well developed management system for international students as per the Ministry of Education as well as local governments and universities. Special organisations are also present to design teaching programs for students from all over the world.

Conclusion

China has the best technical education colleges and universities in the world. International students from across the globe visit these universities for getting quality education. The Chinese higher educational system is two tiered involving undergraduate as well as graduate courses and degree programs.
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