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B. An overview of Chinese Education
 
  Source:www.studyinchina.net.cn

Can you tell me something about the Chinese 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 12 or 13 for 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 is 15 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 is less 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.

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."

How is higher education structured in China?

Higher education is provided by institutions of various types including general universities, technical universities, specialized institutions and teacher-training colleges, etc. And modeling on the US, Chinese higher education provides three levels of study.

University level first stage: Undergraduate

The Chinese higher education system comprises 4-year undergraduate programs in universities, specialized institutes and academies, which lead to a Bachelor's Degree (Xueshi), while studies at medical colleges and some polytechnic institutes require 5 years.

University level second stage: Postgraduate

Students can obtain a Master's Degree (Shuoshi) after generally two or three years of successful study following the Bachelor's degree, research and the submission of a thesis. Students are required to study courses in the first half of the program period. They can only enter the dissertation preparation stage if they have completed all required courses and obtained the required minimum of credits.

University level third stage: Doctorate

Doctoral degree (Boshi) program can be completed in a minimum of three years following the Master's degree. Students must have been recommended by at least two associate professors or professors who are specialists in the field. A dissertation must be presented which must prove that the candidate’s academic ability to undertake independent research and has made a significant contribution to the field. Honorary Doctor's degree is conferred by a college or university with the approval of the Degree Committee of the State Council to the outstanding scholars.

How is teaching practiced in Chinese universities?

Teaching in Chinese universities is strictly implemented according to teaching plans and teaching programs. Teaching in universities usually includes classroom lecture, classroom discussion, experiment class, exercise doing, and guidance class. In line with classroom teaching, other teaching forms are also organized, such as on-the-spot teaching, visits, practice teaching, and social investigations, in a bid to reinforce the effect of classroom teaching, and improve students, ability of doing practical work and using the knowledge they have learned. Libraries and reference rooms are open to students both at the university or department level, creating good conditions for students, study and research. Universities and colleges are well equipped with modernized teaching facilities to make sure all teaching plans should be realized.

What is the general situation of international students’ education in China?

The education of International students in People’s Republic of China began in the 1950s, and has witnessed great development in recent years. Statistics show that in 2007 Chinese universities and colleges hosted all together 195,503 international students from l88 countries to study. Chinese universities provide both diploma education and non-diploma education, with the former including senior and junior undergraduate students, Master Degree Students, and Ph.D Students, and the latter including trainees and research scholars.

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