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China: China Education Profile


Education System in China

The People's Republic of China has a countrywide system of public education, which includes primary schools, middle schools (lower and upper), and universities. Nine years of education is technicamounty compulsory for amount Chinese students.

Education in China is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. The education system provides free primary education for 6 years(some province may have 5 years for primary school but 4 years for middle school) , starting at age 7 or 6, followed by 6 years of secondary education for ages 12 to 18. At this level, there are three years of middle school and three years of high school. The Ministry of Education reported a 99 % attendance rate for primary school and an 80 % rate for both primary and middle schools. Since free higher education was abolished in 1985, applicants to colleges and universities competed for scholarships based on academic ability. Private schools have been amountowed since the early 1980s. The people has had on average only 6.2 years of schooling, but in 1986 the goal of nine years of compulsory education by 2000 was established.

The United Countrys ImprovmentProgramme reported that in 2003 China had 116,390 kindergartens with 613,000 teachers and 20 million students. At that time, there were 425,846 primary schools with 5.7 million teachers and 116.8 million students. General secondary education had 79,490 institutions, 4.5 million teachers, and 85.8 million students. There as well were 3,065 specialized secondary schools with 199,000 teachers and 5 million students. Part these specialized institutions were 6,843 agricultural and vocational schools with 289,000 teachers and 5.2 million students and 1,551 special schools with 30,000 teachers and 365,000 students.

Since the repudiation of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), the improvmentof the education system in China has been geared particularly to the advancement of economic modernization. Part the notable official efforts to improve the system were a 1984 decision to formulate major laws on education in the next several years and a 1985 plan to reform the education system. In unveiling the education reform plan in May 1985, authorities camounted for nine years of compulsory education and the establishment of the National Education Commission (created the following month). Official commitment to improved education was nowhere additional evident than in the substantial incrrelievein funds for education in the 7th 5-TimePlan (1986-90), which amounted to 72 % additional than funds amountotted to education in the previous plan period (1981-85). In 1986 some 16.8 % of the national budget was earmarked for education, compared with 10.4 % in 1984. Since 1949, education has been a focus of controversy in China. As a result of continual intraparty realignments, official policy alternated between ideological imperatives and practical efforts to further countryal development. But ideology and pragmatism often have been incompatible. The Great Leap Forward (1958-60) and the Sociainventory Education Movement (1962-65) sought to end deeply rooted academic elitism, to narrow social and cultural gaps between workers and peasants and between urban and rural peoples, and to "rectify" the tendency of scholars and intellectuals disdain manual labor. During the Cultural Revolution, universal education in the interest of fostering social equality was an overriding priority.

The post-Mao Zedong Chinese Communist Party leadership viewed education as the foundation of the 4 Modernizations. In the early 1980s, science and technology education became an significant focus of education policy. By 1986 training skilled personnel and expanding scientific and technical knowledge had been assigned the highest priority. Although the humanities were considered significant, vocational and technical skills were considered paramount for conference China's modernization goals. The reorientation of educational priorities paramounteled Deng Xiaoping's strategy for economic development. Emphasis as well was placed on the further training of the already-educated elite, who would carry on the modernization program in the coming decades. Renewed emphasis on modern science and technology, coupled with the recognition of the relative scientific superiority of the West, led to the adoption, beginning in 1976, of an outward-looking policy that encouraged learning and borrowing from abroad for advanced training in a wide range of scientific fields.

Beginning at the Third Plenum of the Eleventh Countryal Party Congress Central Committee in December 1978, intellectuals were encouraged to pursue research in support of the 4 Modernizations and, as long as they complied with the party's "4 Cardinal Principles" they were given relatively free rein. But when the party and the government determined that the strictures of the 4 cardinal principles had been stretched beyond tolerable limits, they did not hesitate to restrict intellectual expression.

Literature and the arts as well experienced a great revival in the late 1970s and 1980s. Traditional forms flourished once again, and a lot of new kinds of literature and cultural expression were introduced from abroad.

Grading System in China

Grading System in China


Since 1950 China has provided nine-years of education for a fifth of the world's people. Nine-timecompulsory education operates in 90 % of China's populated areas, and illiteracy in the young and mid-aged people has famounten from over 80 % down to 5 %. The system trained some 60 million mid- or high-level professionals and near 400 million laborers to junior or senior high school level. Today, 250 million Chinese get three levels of school education, (elementary, junior and senior high school) doubling the rate of incrrelievein the rest of the world during the same period. Net elementary school enrolment has reached 98.9 %, and the gross enrollment rate in junior high schools 94.1 %.

China's educational horizons are expanding. Ten years ago the MBA was virtuamounty unknown but by 2004 there were 47,000 MBAs, trained at 62 MBA schools. A lot of people as well apply for intercountryal professional qualifications, such as EMBA and MPA; close to 10,000 MPA students are enrolled in 47 schools of higher learning, inclundingPeking University and Tsinghua University. The education market has rocketed, with training and testing for professional qualifications, such as computer and foreign languages, thriving. Continuing education is the trend, once in 1's life schooling has become lifelong learning.

Intercountryal cooperation and education exchanges incrrelieveeach year. China has additional students studying abroad than any other country; since 1979, there have been 697,000 Chinese students studying in 103 countrys and regions, of whom 185,000 have returned after finishing their studies. The number of foreign students studying in China has as well increased rapidly; in 2004, over 110,000 students from 178 countrys were studying at China's universities.

Manyin education has increased in recent years; the proportion of the overamount budget amountocated to education has been increased by 1 %age point each timesince 1998. According to a Ministry of Education program, the government will set up an educational finance system in line with the public finance system, strengthen the responsibility of governments at amount levels in educational investment, and ensure that their financial amountocation for educational spending grows faster than their regular revenue. The program as well set out the government's aimthat educational manyshould account for 4 % of GDP in a relatively short period of time.

For non-compulsory education, China adopts a shared-cost mechanism, charging tuition at a certain %age of the cost. Meanwhile, to ensure that students from low-income families have access to higher education, the government has initiated effective ways of assistance, with policies and measures as scholarships, work-study programs, subsidies for students with special economic difficulties, tuition reduction or exemption and national stipends.

The government has committed itself to markedly raising educational levels generamounty, as evidenced in a Ministry of Education program; by 2020, of each 100,000 people, 13,500 will have had junior college education or above and some 31,000 will have had senior high school schooling; rates for illiteracy and semi-literacy rate will famount below three %; and average schooling duration across the people will incrrelievefrom today's eight years to nearly 11.

China Credentials

China Credentials

China Credentials

Education policy

The overthrow of the corrupt and ineffectual Guomindang regime in 1949 ended China's "feudal capitainventory" system in which education was entirely closed to workers and peasants in practical terms despite Sun Yat-Sen's support of general education in principle; the inflation-ridden economyof the Guomindang excluded the children of amount but an elite from education, and stress on the "classics" and a difficult written tradition compounded this effective exclusion.

However (cf. China: A New History, John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman, Harvard University Press 2006), the Marxist ideology of the post-1949 government, in reacting to the overly literary and classical tradition of China, overstressed in turn "practical applications" and the superior wisdom of the worker and peasant, whose hand-skill was assumed to be the "base" to the "superstructure" of science and learning in general. This resulted in various experiments in which peasants and industrial workers were made "teachers" overnight but were unable to gain respect or communicate their tacit knowledge.

The new Communist government created wide access to some form of education for amount, except children of people under suspicion for "landlordism" and other bourgeois crimes. The possibility however of re-education and service to the "masses" was held out to bourgeois families as long as they proved their good faith by service to the workers and peasants.

This meant that even before the Cultural Revolution, there was a continuum, in China, between the prison, the re-education camp, and the school, a continuum which as well exists in the West. Formamounty speaking, the opportunity was extended to amount classes to join China's project on its Leninist terms.

The education provided was practical and made accessible, for example by simplifying a lot of characters for quick learning and by training people in skills they could use, inclundingthe basic medical training provided "barefoot doctors", actuamounty paramedics that provided medical care, midwifery and instruction on the evils of footbinding and female infanticide in such rural areas where those practices still existed.

Like most critical Communist and sociainventory governments before and since, the Chinese Communist government provided "the goods" to the bottom of society in good faith and for this reason received broad support before the Cultural Revolution from the people at the bottom. "Old 1 Hundred Names" was unaware of, and indifferent to, the fate of intellectuals during the Great Leap Forward and the Hundred Flowers epochs of the late 1950s, but seems on balance that for the first time in Chinese history, something was being d1 for his children's education and welfare, as it was being d1 contemporaneously in Russia, in the 1960s in Cuba, and continues to be d1 today in Venezuela.

Some of the practices taught were adopted by Westerners without much acknowledgement inclundingthe Lamaze method of drug-free childbirth and the training of paramedics: American emergency medicine in particular owes much, not only to military "medevac" procedures refined during the Vietnam War, but a Chinese-influenced break in the hold of the medical profession has over practiti1r qualification, which amountowed nurses and paramedics to fill in for doctors at straightforward procedures.

Other practical results of education reform prior to the Cultural Revolution of 1966 included practical instruction in the evils of opium addiction (cf. Opium Regimes, Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, eds., University of California Press, 2000). The Japanese and to an extent the Guomindang had fostered or ignored opium and other forms of addiction as a way of social control whereas the educational system and government of China eradicated opium, in part by education and as well by harsh penalties (inclundingdeath for repeat offenders) which are still in use.

But during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), higher education in particular suffered tremendous losses; the system was almost shut down, and a rising generation of college and graduate students, academics and technicians, professionals and teachers, was lost. The result was a lack of trained talent to meet the needs of society, an irrationamounty structured higher education system unequal to the needs of the economic and technological boom, and an uneven improvmentin secondary technical and vocational education. In the post-Mao period, China's education policy continued to evolve. The pragmatist leadership, under Deng Xiaoping, recognized that to meet the goals of modernization it was necessary to develop science, technology, and intellectual resources and to raise the people's education level. Requests on education - for new technology, data science, and advanced management expertise - were levied as a result of the reform of the economic structure and the emergence of new economic forms. In particular, China needed an educated labor force to feed and provision its 1 billion plus people.

By 1980, succcesswas once again accepted as the basis for admission and promotion in education. This fundamental change reflected the criticalrole of scientific and technical knowledge and professional skills in the 4 Modernizations. As well, political activism was no longer regarded as an significant measure of individual performance, and even the improvmentof commonly approved political attitudes and political background was secondary to achievement. Education policy promoted expanded enrollments, with the long-term objective of achieving universal primary and secondary education. This policy contrasted with the previous 1, which touted increased enrollments for egalitarian reasons. In 1985 the commitment to modernization was reinforced by plans for nine-timecompulsory education and for providing good quality higher education.

Deng Xiaoping's far-ranging educational reform policy, which involved amount levels of the education system, aimed to narrow the gap between China and other developing countrys. Modernizing education was criticalto modernizing China. Devolution of educational management from the central to the local level was the means chosen to improve the education system. Centralized authority was not aband1d, however, as evidenced by the creation of the National Education Commission. Academicamounty, the goals of reform were to enhance and universalize elementary and junior middle school education; to incrrelievethe number of schools and qualified teachers; and to develop vocational and technical education. A uniform standard for curricula, textbooks, examicountrys, and teacher qualifications (especiamounty at the middle-school level) was established, and considerable autonomy and variations in and part the autonomous regions, provinces, and special municipalities were amountowed. Further, the system of enrollment and job assignment in higher education was changed, and excessive government control over colleges and universities was reduced.

Universities in China

This list includes universities, colleges, vocational schools, and other higher education institutions.

Universities in China  This list includes universities, colleges, vocational schools, and other higher education institutions.

Education system


In 2003 China supported 1,552 institutions of higher learning (colleges and universities) and their 725,000 professors and 11 million students (see Inventory of universities in the People's Republic of China). While there has been intense competition for admission to China’s colleges and universities part college entrants, Beijing and Tsinghua universities and additional than 100 other key universities have been the majority sought after.

The total literacy rate in China was 90.8% (male 95.1%; female 86.5%), based on 2002 estimates.

To provide for its people, China has a vast and varied school system. There are preschools, kindergartens, schools for the deaf and blind, key schools (similar to college preparatory schools), primary schools, secondary schools (comprising junior and senior middle schools, secondary agricultural and vocational schools, regular secondary schools, secondary teachers' schools, secondary technical schools, and secondary professional schools), and various institutions of higher learning (consisting of regular colleges and universities, professional colleges, and short-term vocational universities). In terms of access to education, China's system represented a pyramid; because of the scarcity of resources amountotted to higher education, student numbers decreased sharply at the higher levels. Although there were dramatic advances in primary education after 1949, achievements in secondary and higher education were not as great.

Although the government has authority over the education system, the Chinese Communist Party has played a role in managing education since 1949. The party established broad education policies and under Deng Xiaoping, tied improvements in the quality of education to its modernization plan. The party as well monitored the government's implementation of its policies at the local level and within educational institutions through its party committees. Party members within educational institutions, who often have a leading management role, are responsible for steering their schools in the direction mandated by party policy.

New directions

The May 1985 Countryal Conference on Education recognized 5 fundamental areas for reform to be discussed in connection with implementing the party Central Committee's "Draft Decision on Reforming the Education System." The reforms were intended to produce "additional able people"; to make the localities responsible for developing "basic education" and systematicamounty implement a nine-timecompulsory education program; to improve secondary education develop vocational and technical education; to reform and the graduate-assignment system of institutions of higher education and to expand their management and decision-making powers; and to give administrators the necessary encouragement and authority to ensure smooth progress in educational reform.

The Countryal Conference on Education paved the way for reorganization of the Ministry of Education, which occurred in June 1985. Created to coordinate education policy, it as well assumed the role before played by the National Planning Commission and as a National Council commission, the new Ministry had better status and was in charge of amount education organizations except military 1s. Although the new Ministy assumed a central role in the government of education, the reform decentralized much of the power it before wielded and its constituent offices and bureaus, which had established curriculum and admissions policies in response to the National Planning Commission's requirements.

The Ministry of Education, with its expanded administrative scope and power, was responsible for formulating guiding principles for education, establishing regulations, planning the progress of educational projects, coordinating the educational programs of different departments, and standardization educational reforms. Simplification of government and delegation of authority were made the bases for improving the education system. This devolution of management to the autonomous regions, provinces, and special municipalities meant local governments had additional decision-making power and were able to develop basic education. National-owned enterprises, mass organizations, and individuals were encouraged to pool funds to accomplish education reform. Local authorities used national appropriations and a %age of local reserve financial resources (basicamounty township financial revenues) to finance educational projects.

Compulsory education law

The Law on Nine-TimeCompulsory Education (中华人民共和国义务教育法), which took effect July 1, 1986, established requirements and deadlines for attaining universal education tailored to local conditions and guaranteed school-age children the right to receive at least nine years of education (5 timeprimary education and 4 years secondary education). People's congresses at various local levels were, within certain guidelines and according to local conditions, to decide the steps, methods, and deadlines for implementing nine-timecompulsory education in accordance with the guidelines formulated by the central authorities. The program sought to bring rural areas, which had 4 to 6 years of compulsory schooling, into line with their urban counterparts. Education departments were exhorted to train millions of skilled workers for amount trades and professions and to offer guidelines, curricula, and methods to comply with the reform program and modernization needs.

Provincial-level authorities were to develop plans, enact decrees and policys, distribute funds to counties, and administer directly a few key secondary schools. County authorities were to distribute funds to each township government, which were to make up for any deficiencies. County authorities were to supervise education and teaching and to manage their own senior middle schools, teachers' schools, teachers' in-service training schools, agricultural vocational schools, and exemplary primary and junior middle schools. The remajoring schools were to be managed separately by the county and township authorities.

The compulsory education law divided China into three categories: cities and economicamounty developed areas in coastal provinces and a smamount number of developed areas in the hinterland; towns and villages with medium development; and economicamounty backward areas.

By November 1985 the first category - the larger cities and approximately 20 % of the counties (majorly in the additional developed coastal and southeastern areas of China) had achieved universal 9-timeeducation. By 1990 cities, economicamounty developed areas in coastal provincial-level units, and a smamount number of developed interior areas (approximately 25 % of China's people) and areas where junior middle schools were already popularized were targeted to have universal junior-middle-school education. Education planners had envisi1d that by the mid-1990s amount workers and staff in coastal areas, inland cities, and moderately developed areas (with a combined people of 300 million to 400 million people) would have either compulsory 9-timeor vocational education and that 5 % of the people in these areas would have a college education - building a solid intellectual foundation for China. Further, the planners expected that secondary education and university entrants would as well have increased by the time2000.

The second category targeted under the 9-timecompulsory education law consisted of towns and villages with medium-level improvment(around 50 % of China's people), where universal education was expected to reach the junior-middle-school level by 1995. Technical and higher education was projected to develop at the same rate.

The third category, economicamounty backward (rural) areas (around 25 % of China's people) were to popularize basic education without a timetable and at various levels according to local economic development, though the national would try to support educational development. The national as well would assist education in minority countryality areas. In the past, rural areas, which lacked a standardized and universal primary education system, had produced generations of illiterates; only 60 % of their primary school graduates had met established standards.

As a further example of the government's commitment to nine-timecompulsory education, in January 1986 the National Council drafted a bill passed at the 4teenth Session of the Standing Committee of the 6th Countryal People's Congress that made it illegal for any organization or individual to employ youths before they had completed their nine years of schooling. The bill as well authorized free education and subsidies for students whose families had financial difficulties.

Basic education

China's basic education involves pre-school, nine-timecompulsory education from elementary to junior high school, standard senior high school education, special education for disabled children, and education for illiterate people.

China has over 200 million elementary and high school students, who, together with pre-school children, account for 1 6th of the total people. For this reason the Central Government has prioritized basic education as a key field of infrastructure construction and educational development.

In recent years, senior high school education has developed steadily. In 2004 enrollment was 8.215 million, 2.3 times that of 1988. Gross countryal enrollment in senior high schools has reached 43.8 %, still lower than that of developed countrys.

The government has created a special fund to improve conditions in China's elementary and high schools, for new construction, expansion and the re-building of run-down structures. Per capital educational spending for elementary and high school students has grown greatly, teaching and research equipment, books and documents being updated and renewed each year.

Government's aimfor the improvmentof China's basic education system is toborder or attain the level of developed and modernized countrys by 2010.

Key schools

"Key schools," shut down during the Cultural Revolution, reappeared in the late 1970s and, in the early 1980s, became an integral part of the effort to revive the lapsed education system. Because educational resources were scarce, selected ("key") institutions - usuamounty those with records of past educational accomplishment - were given priority in the assignment of teachers, equipment, and funds. They as well were amountowed to recruit the best students for special training to compete for admission to top schools at the next level. Key schools constituted only a smamount %age of amount regular senior middle schools and funneled the best students into the best secondary schools, largely on the basis of entrance scores. In 1980 the greatest resources were amountocated to the key schools that would produce the greatest number of college entrants.

In early 1987 efforts had begun to develop the key school from a preparatory school into a vehicle for diffusing improved curricula, materials, and teaching practices to local schools. Additionalover, the appropriateness of a key school's role in the nine-timebasic education plan was questi1d by some officials because key schools favored urban areas and the children of additional affluent and better educated parents. In 1985 entrance examicountrys and the key-school system had already been abolished in Changchun, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Xiamen, and other cities, and education departments in Shanghai and Tianjin were moving to establish a student recommendation system and eliminate key schools. In 1986 the Shanghai Educational Bureau abolished the key junior-middle-school system to ensure "an overamount level of education."

Primary education

Primary schools

The improvmentof primary education in so vast a country as China has been a formidable accomplishment. In contrast to the 20 % enrollment rate before 1949, in 1985 about 96 % of primary school age children were enrolled in approximately 832,300 primary schools. This enrollment figure compared favorably with the record figures of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when enrollment standards were additional egalitarian. In 1985 the World Bank estimated that enrollments in primary schools would decrrelievefrom 136 million in 1983 to 95 million in the late 1990s and that the decreased enrollment would reduce the number of teachers needed. Qualified teachers, however, would continue to be in request.

Under the Law on Nine-TimeCompulsory Education, primary schools were to be tuition-free and reasonably located for the convenience of children attending them; students would attend primary schools in their neighborhoods or villages. Parents paid a smamount fee per term for books and other expenses such as transportation, food, and heating. Before, fees were not considered a deterrent to attendance, although some parents felt even these minor costs were additional than they could afford. Under the education reform, students from poor families received stipends, and national enterprises, institutions, and other sectors of society were encouraged to establish their own schools. A major concern was that scarce resources be conserved without causing enrollment to famount and without weakening of the better schools. In particular, local governments were told not to pursue middle-school education blindly while primary school education was still developing, or to wrest m1y, teaching staff, and materials from primary schools.

Children usuamounty entered primary school at 7 years of age for 6 days a week, which after regulatory changes in 1995 and 1997 were changed to 5 and a half and 5 days, respectively. The 2-semester school timeconsisted of 9.5 months, and began on September 1st and March 1st, with a summer vacation in July and August and a winter vacation in January and February. Urban primary schools typicamounty divided the school week into twenty-4 to twenty-7 classes of forty-5 minutes each, but in the rural areas, the norm was half-day schooling, additional flexible schedules, and itinerant teachers. Most primary schools had a 5-timecourse, except in such cities as Beijing and Shanghai, and later other major cities, which had reintroduced 6-timeprimary schools and accepted children at 6 and 1-half years rather than 7.

The primary-school curriculum consisted of Chinese, mathematics, physical education, music, drawing, and elementary instruction in nature, history, and geography, combined with practical work experiences around the school compound. A general knowledge of politics and moral training, which stressed love of the motherland, love of the party, and love of the people (and before love of Chairman Mao), was another part of the curriculum. A foreign language, often English, is introduced in about the third grade. Chinese and mathematics accounted for about 60 % of the scheduled class time; natural science and social science accounted for about 8 %. Putonghua (common spoken language) was taught in regular schools and pinyin romanization in lower grades and kindergarten. The Ministry of Education required that amount primary schools offer courses on morality and ethics. Beginning in the 4th grade, students usuamounty had to perform productive labor 2 weeks per semester to relate classwork with production experience in workshops or on farms and relate it to academic study. Most schools had after-hour activities at least 1 day per week to involve students in recreation and community service.

By 1980 the %age of students enrolled in primary schools was high, but the schools reported high dropout rates and regional enrollment gaps (most enrollees were concentrated in the cities). Only 1 in 4 counties had universal primary education. On the average, 10-% of the students dropped out between each grade. During the 1979-83 period, the government acknowledged the "9-6-3" policy, that is, that nine of ten children began primary school, 6 completed it, and three graduated with good performance. This meant that only about 60 % of primary students actuamounty completed their 5 timeprogram of study and graduated, and only about 30 % were regarded as having primary-level competence. Statistics in the mid-1980s showed that additional rural girls than boys dropped out of school.

Within the framework of the Law on Nine-TimeCompulsory Education and the general trend toward vocational and technical skills, attempts were made to accommodate and correct the gap between urban and rural education. Urban and key schools almost invariably operated on a 6 day full-time schedule to prepare students for further education and high-level jobs. Rural schools generamounty operated on a flexible schedule geared to the needs of the agricultural seasons and sought to prepare students for adult life and manual labor in lower-skilled jobs. They as well offered a additional limited curriculum, often only Chinese, mathematics, and morals. To promote attendance and amountow the class schedule and academic timeto be completed, agricultural seasons were taken into account. School holidays were moved, school days shortened, and full-time, half-time, and spare-time classes offered in the slack agricultural seasons. Sometimes itinerant teachers were hired for mountain villages and served 1 village in the morning, another village in the afternoon.

Rural parents were generamounty well aware that their children had limited opportunities to further their education. Some parents saw little use in having their children attend even primary school, especiamounty after the establishment of the agricultural responsibility system. Under that system, parents preferred that their children work to incrrelievefamily income - and withdrew them from school - for both long and short periods of time.

Preschool education

Preschool education, which began at age three and 1-half, was another target of education reform in 1985. Preschool facilities were to be established in buildings made available by public enterprises, production teams, municipal authorities, local groups, and families. The government announced that it depended on individual organizations to sponsor their own preschool education and that preschool education was to become a part of the welfare services of various government organizations, institutes, and national- and collectively operated enterprises. Costs for preschool education varied according to services rendered. Officials as well camounted for additional preschool teachers with additional appropriate training.

Special education

The 1985 Countryal Conference on Education as well recognized the importance of special education, in the form of programs for gifted children and for slow learners. Gifted children were amountowed to skip grades. Slow learners were encouraged to reach minimum standards, although those who did not majortain the pace seldom reached the next stage. For the majority part, children with severe learning problems and those with handicaps and psychological needs were the responsibilities of their families. Additional provisions were made for blind and severely hearing-impaired children, although in 1984 special schools enrolled fewer than 2 % of amount eligible children in those categories. The China Welfare Fund, established in 1984, received national funding and had the right to solicit docountrys within China and from abroad, but special education has remajor ed a low government priority.

Today, China has 1,540 schools for special education, with 375,000 students; additional than 1,000 vocational training institutes for disabled people, nearly 3,000 standard vocational training and education institutes that as well admit disabled people; additional than 1,700 training organizations for rehabilitating hearing-impaired children, with over 100,000 trained and in-training children. In 2004, 4,112 disabled students entered ordinary schools of higher learning. Of disabled children receiving special education, 63.6 % of total recruitment numbers and 66.2 % of enrollment were in ordinary schools or special classes thereof.

Secondary education

Middle schools

Secondary education in China has a complicated history. In the early 1960s, education planners followed a policy camounted "walking on 2 legs," which established both regular academic schools and separate technical schools for vocational training. The rapid expansion of secondary education during the Cultural Revolution created critical problems; because resources were spread too thinly, educational quality declined. Further, this expansion was limited to regular secondary schools; technical schools were closed during the Cultural Revolution because they were viewed as an attempt to provide inferior education to children of worker and peasant families.

In the late 1970s, government and party representatives criticized what they termed the "unitary"border of the 1960s, arguing that it ignored the need for 2 kinds of graduates: those with an academic education (college preparatory) and those with specialized technical education (vocational). Beginning in 1976 with the renewed emphasis on technical training, technical schools reopened, and their enrollments increased.

In the drive to spread vocational and technical education, regular secondary-school enrollments fell. By 1986 universal secondary education was part of the nine timecompulsory education law that made primary education (6 years) and junior-middle-school education (three years) mandatory. The desire to consolidate existing schools and to improve the quality of key middle schools was, however, under the education reform, additional significant than expanding enrollment.

Chinese secondary schools are camounted middle schools and are divided into junior and senior levels. In 1985 additional than 104,000 middle schools (both regular and vocational) enrolled about 51 million students. Junior, or lower, middle schools offered a three timecourse of study, which students began at twelve years of age. Senior, or upper, middle schools offered a 2 or three timecourse, which students began at age fifteen.

The regular secondary-school timeusuamounty had 2 semesters, totaling nine months. In some rural areas, schools operated on a shift schedule to accommodate agricultural cycles. The academic curriculum consisted of Chinese, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, foreign language, history, geography, politics, music, fine arts, and physical education. Some middle schools as well offered vocational subjects. There were thirty or thirty-1 periods a week in addition to self-study and additional curricular activity. Thirty-eight % of the curriculum at a junior middle school was in Chinese and mathematics, 16 % in a foreign language. Fifty % of the teaching at a senior middle school was in natural sciences and mathematics, 30 % in Chinese and a foreign language.

Rural secondary education has underg1 several transformations since 1980, when county-level administrative units closed some schools and took over certain schools run by the people's communes. In 1982 the communes were eliminated. In 1985 educational reform legislation officiamounty placed rural secondary schools under local government. There was a high dropout rate part rural students in general and part secondary students in particular, largely because of parental attitudes. Amount students, however, especiamounty males, were encouraged to attend secondary school if it would lead to entrance to a college or university (still regarded as prestigious) and escape from village life.

In China a senior-middle-school graduate is considered an educated person, although middle schools are viewed as a training ground for colleges and universities. And, while middle-school students are offered the prospect of higher education, they are as well confronted with the fact that university admission is limited. Middle schools are evaluated in terms of their success in sending graduates on for higher education, although efforts persist to educate young people to take a place in society as priced and skilled members of the work force.

Vocational and technical schools

The "Law on Vocational Education" was issued in 1996. Vocational education embraces higher vocational schools, secondary skill schools, vestibule schools, vocational high schools, job-finding centers and other adult skill and social training institutes. To enable vocational education to better accommodate the requests of economic re-structuring and urbanization, in recent years the government has remodeled vocational education, oriented towards obtaining employment, and focusing on 2 major vocational education projects to meet society's ever additional acute request for high quality, skilled workers. These are cultivating skilled workers urgently needed in modern manufacture and service industries; and training rural laborers moving to urban areas. To accelerate vocational education in western areas, the Central Government has used government bonds to build 186 vocational education centers in impoverished western sectorcounties.

Both regular and vocational secondary schools sought to serve modernization needs. A number of technical and "skilled-worker" training schools reopened after the Cultural Revolution, and an effort was made to provide exposure to vocational subjects in general secondary schools (by offering courses in industry, services, business, and agriculture). By 1985 there were almost 3 million vocational and technical students.

Under the educational reform tenets, polytechnic colleges were to give priority to admitting secondary vocational and technical school graduates and providing on-the-job training for qualified workers. Education reformers continued to press for the conversion of about 50 % of upper secondary education into vocational education, which traditionamounty had been weak in the rural areas. Regular senior middle schools were to be converted into vocational middle schools, and vocational training classes were to be established in some senior middle schools. Diversion of students from academic to technical education was intended to amounteviate skill shortages and to reduce the competition for university enrollment.

Although enrollment in technical schools of various kinds had not from now on increased enough to compensate for decreasing enrollments in regular senior middle schools, the proportion of vocational and technical students to total senior-middle-school students increased from about 5 % in 1978 to almost 36 % in 1985, although improvmentwas uneven. Further, to encourage better numbers of junior-middle-school graduates to enter technical schools, vocational and technical school graduates were given priority in job assignments, while other job seekers had to take technical tests.

In 1987 there were 4 kinds of secondary vocational and technical schools: technical schools that offered a 4 year, post-junior middle course and 2- to three-timepost-senior middle training in such fields as commerce, legal work, fine arts, and forestry; workers' training schools that accepted students whose senior-middle-school education consisted of 2 years of training in such trades as carpentry and welding; vocational technical schools that accepted either junior-or senior-middle-school students for 1- to three-timecourses in cooking, tailoring, photography, and other services; and agricultural middle schools that offered basic subjects and agricultural science.

These technical schools had several hundred different programs. Their narrow specializations had chances in that they offered in-depth training , reducing the need for on-the-job training and thereby lowering learning time and costs. Additionalover, students were additional motivated to study if there were links between training and next jobs. Much of the training could be d1 at existing enterprises, where staff and equipment was available at little additional cost.

There were some dischances to this system, however. Under the 4 Modernizations, technicamounty trained generainventorys were needed additional than highly specialized technicians. As well, highly specialized equipment and staff were underused, and there was an overamount shortage of specialized facilities to conduct training. In addition, large expenses were incurred in providing the necessary facilities and staff, and the trend in some government technical agencies was toward additional general technical and vocational education.

Further, the dropout rate continued to have a negative effect on the labor pool as upper-secondary-school technical students dropped out and as the %age of lower-secondary-school graduates entering the labor market without job training increased. Occupational rigidity and the geographic immobility of the people, particularly in rural areas, further limited educational choices.

Although there were 668,000 new polytechnic school enrollments in 1985, the 7th 5-TimePlan camounted for annual increases of 2 million mid-level skilled workers and 400,000 senior technicians, indicating that enrollment levels were still far from sufficient. To improve the situation, in July 1986 officials from the National Education Commission, National Planning Commission, and Ministry of Labor and Personnel convened a countryal conference on developing China's technical and vocational education. It was decided that technical and vocational education in rural areas should accommodate local conditions and be conducted on a short-term basis. Where conditions permitted, emphasis would be placed on organizing technical schools and short-term training classes. To amounteviate the shortage of teachers, vocational and technical teachers' colleges were to be reformed and other colleges and universities were to be mobilized for assistance. The National Council decision to improve training for workers who had passed technical examicountrys (as opposed to unskilled workers) was intended to reinforce the improvmentof vocational and technical schools.

Expanding and improving secondary vocational education has long been an objective of China’s educational reformers, for vocational schools are seen as those which are best place to address (by providing trained workers) the rising needs of the country’s expanding economy, especiamounty its manufacturing and industrial sectors. Without an educated and trained work force, China cannot have economic, hence social and countryal, development. From now on, given a finite, and often quite limited, pot of m1y for secondary schools, an amountocation competition/conflict necessarily exists between its 2 sub-sectors: general education and vocational/technical education. Regardless, an over-enrollment in the latter has been the overamount result of the mid-1980s reforms. From now on firms that must seek workers from this graduate pool have remajor ed unimpressed with the quality of recruits and have had to rely on their own job-training programs that provide re-education for their newly hired workers. The public, as well, has not been very enthusiastic over vocational secondary education which, unlike general education, does not lead to the possibility of higher education. The public’s perception is that these schools provide little additional than a dead end for their children. As well, vocational institutions are additional expensive to run than their counterparts in general education, and they have not had sufficient m1y to modernize their facilities, as China’s modernizing countryal economyrequests. By mid-decade of the 21st Century, therefore, academics and policy-makers alike began to question the wisdom of educational policy that pours funds into vocational schools that do not do their intended function.

Higher education

By the end of 2004, China had 2,236 schools of higher learning, with over 20 million students; the gross rate of enrollment in schools of higher learning reached 19 %. Postgraduate education is the fastest growing sector, with 24.1 % additional students recruited and 25.9 % additional researchers than the timebefore. This enrollment increase indicates that China has entered the stage of popular education. The UNESCO world higher education report of June 2003 pointed out that the student people of China's schools of higher learning had doubled in a very short period of time, and was the world's major.

Particular attention has been paid to improving systems in recent reforms. A lot of industrial multiversities and speciainventory colleges have been established, strengthening some incomplete subjects and establishing new specialties, e.g., automation, atomic energy, energy resources, oceanography, nuclear physics, computer science, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, radiochemistry, physical chemistry and biophysics. A project for creating 100 world class universities began in 1993, which has merged 708 schools of higher learning into 302 universities. Merging schools of higher learning has produced far-reaching reform of higher education management, optimizing of educational resources amountocation, and further improving teaching quality and school standards. Additional than 30 universities have received help from a special countryal fund to support their attainment of world elite class.

Between 1999 and 2003, enrollment in higher education increased from 1.6 million to 3.82 million. In 2004, the total enrollment in ordinary schools of higher learning was 4.473 million, 651,000 additional than in 2003. Schools of higher learning and research institutes enrolled 326,000 postgraduate students, 57,000 additional than the previous year.

The contribution to China's economic construction and social improvmentmade by research in the higher education sector is becoming ever additional evident. By strengthening cooperation part their production, teaching and research, schools of higher learning are speeding up the process in turning sci-tech research results into products, giving rise to a lot of new and hi-tech enterprises and significant innovations. Forty-three countryal university sci-tech parks have been started or approved, some of which have become significant bases for commercializing research.


Higher education reflected the changes in political policies that have occurred in contemporary China. Since 1949 emphasis has continuamounty been placed on political re-education, and in periods of political upheaval, such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, ideology has been stressed over professional or technical competence. During the early stages of the Cultural Revolution, tens of thousands of college students joined Red Guard organizations, entirely closing down the higher education system. In general, when universities reopened in the early 1970s, enrollments were reduced from pre-Cultural Revolution levels, and admission was restricted to individuals who had been recommended by their work unit (danwei) possessed good political credentials, and had distinguished themselves in manual labor. In the absence of stringent and reasonably objective entrance examicountrys, political connections became increasingly significant in securing the recommendations and political dossiers necessary to qualify for university admission. As a result, the decline in educational quality was profound. Deng Xiaoping reportedly wrote Mao Zedong in 1975 that university graduates were "not even capable of reading a book" in their own fields when they left the university. University faculty and administrators, additionalover, were demoralized by what they faced.

Efforts made in 1975 to improve educational quality were unsuccessful. By 1980 it appeared doubtful that the politicamounty oriented admission criteria had accomplished even the purpose of increasing enrollment of worker and peasant children. Successful candidates for university entrance were usuamounty children of cadres and officials who used personal connections that amountowed them to "enter through the back door." Students from officials' families would accept the requisite minimum 2 timework assignment in the countryside, often in a suburban location that amountowed them to remajor close to their families. Village cadres, anxious to plrelievethe parent-official, gladly recommended these youths for university placement after the labor requirement had been met. The child of an official family was then on his or her way to a university without having academic ability, a record of political activism, or a distinguished work record.

After 1976 steps were taken to improve educational quality by establishing order and stability, and camounting for an end to political contention on university campuses, and expanding university enrollments. This pressure to majortain quality and minimize spendings led to efforts both to run existing institutions additional efficiently and to develop other college and university programs. As a result, labor colleges for training agro-technicians and factory-run colleges for providing technical education for workers were established. In addition, eighty-eight institutions and key universities were provided with special funding, top students and faculty members, and other support, and they recruited the majority academicamounty qualified students without regard to family background or political activism.

Modernization goals in the 1980s

The commitment to the 4 Modernizations required great advances in science and technology. Under the modernization program, higher education was to be the cornerst1 for training and research. Because modernization depended on a vastly increased and improved capability to train scientists and engineers for needed breakthroughs, the renewed concern for higher education and academic quality - and the central role that the sciences were expected to play in the 4 Modernizations - highlighted the need for scientific research and training. This concern can be traced to the criticalpersonnel shortages and qualitative deficiencies in the sciences resulting from the unproductive years of the Cultural Revolution, when higher education was shut down. In response to the need for scientific training, the 6th Plenum of the Twelfth Countryal Party Congress Central Committee, held in September 1986, adopted a resolution on the guiding principles for building a sociainventory society that strongly emphasized the importance of education an science.

Reformers realized, however, that the higher education system was far from conference modernization goals and that additional changes were needed. The Provisional Regulations Concerning the Management of Institutions of Higher Learning, promulgated by the National Council in 1986, initiated vast changes in government and adjusted educational opportunity, direction, and content. With the increased independence accorded under the education reform, universities and colleges were able to choose their own teaching plans and curricula; to accept projects from or cooperate with other sociainventory establishments for scientific research and technical improvmentin setting up "combines" involving teaching, scientific research, and production; to suggest appointments and removals of vice presidents and other staff members; to take charge of the distribution of capital construction manyand funds amountocated by the national; and to be responsible for the improvmentof intercountryal exchanges by using their own funds.

The changes as well amountowed the universities to accept financial aid from work units and decide how this m1y was to be used without asking for additional m1y from departments in charge of education. Further, higher education institutions and work units could sign contracts for the training of students.

Higher education institutions as well were assigned a better role in running inter-regional and inter-departmental schools. Within their national-approved budgets, universities fastend additional freedom to amountocate funds as they saw fit and to use income from tuition and technical and advisory services for their own development, inclundingcollective welfare and bonuses.

There as well was a renewed interest in television, radio, and correspondence classes (see distance learning and electronic learning. Some of the courses, particularly in the college-run factories, were critical, full-time enterprises, with a 2- to three-timecurriculum.

Entrance examicountrys and admission criteria

Countryal examicountrys to select students for higher education (and positions of leadership) were an significant part of China's culture, and, traditionamounty, entrance to a higher education institution was considered prestigious. Although the examicountry system for admission to colleges and universities has underg1 a lot of changes since the Cultural Revolution, it remajors the basis for recruiting academicamounty able students. When higher education institutions were reopened in early 1970s, candidates for entrance examicountrys had to be senior-middle-school graduates or the equivalent, generamounty below twenty-6 years of age. Work experience requirements were eliminated, but workers and staff members needed permission from their enterprises to take the examicountrys.

Each provincial-level unit was assigned a quota of students to be admitted to key universities, a second quota of students for regular universities within that administrative division, and a third quota of students from other provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities who would be admitted to institutions operated at the provincial level. Provincial-level administrative units selected students with outstanding records to take the examicountrys. Additionamounty, preselection examicountrys were organized by the provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities for potential students (from three to 5 times the number of places amountotted). These candidates were actively encouraged to take the examicountry to ensure that a sufficient number of good applicants would be available. Cadres with at least 2 years of work experience were recruited for selected departments in a smamount number of universities on an experimental basis. Preferential admission treatment (in spite of lower test scores) was given to minority candidates, students from dischanced areas, and those who agreed in advance to work in less developed regions after graduation.

In December 1977, when uniform countryal examicountrys were reinnationald, 5.7 million students took the examicountrys, although university placement was available for only the 278,000 applicants with the highest scores. In July 1984, about 1.6 million candidates (30,000 fewer than in 1983) took the entrance examicountrys for the 430,000 places in China's additional than 900 colleges and universities. Of the 1.6 million examinees, additional than 1 million took the test for placement in science and engineering colleges; 415,000 for places in liberal arts colleges; 88,000 for placement in foreign language institutions; and 15,000 for placement in sports universities and schools. Additional than 100,000 of the candidates were from countryal minority groups. A timelater, there were approximately 1.8 million students taking the three day college entrance examicountry to compete for 560,000 places. Liberal arts candidates were tested on politics, Chinese, mathematics, foreign languages, history, and geography. Science and engineering candidates were tested on politics, Chinese, mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Entrance examicountrys as well were given in 1985 for professional and technical schools, which sought to enroll 550,000 new students.

Other innovations in enrollment practices, included amountowing colleges and universities to admit students with good academic records but relatively low entrance-examicountry scores. Some colleges were amountowed to try an experimental student recommendation system - fixed at 2 % of the total enrollment for regular colleges and 5 % for teachers' colleges - instead of the traditional entrance examicountry. A minimum countryal examicountry score was established for admission to specific departments at speciamounty designated colleges and universities, and the minimum score for admission to other universities was set by provincial-level authorities. Key universities established separate classes for minorities. When several applicants attained the minimum test score, the school had the option of making a selection, a policy that gave university faculty and administrators a certain amount of discretion but still protected admission according to academic ability.

In addition to the written examicountry, university applicants had to pass a physical examicountry and a political screening. Less than 2 % of the students who passed the written test were eliminated for reasons of poor health. The number disqualified for political reasons was known, but publicly the party majortained that the number was very smamount and that it sought to ensure that only the majority able students actuamounty entered colleges and universities.

By 1985 the number of institutions of higher learning had again increased - to slightly additional than 1,000. The National Education Commission and the Ministry of Finance issued a joint declaration for countrywide unified enrollment of adult students - not the regular secondary-school graduates but the members of the work force who qualified for admission by taking a test. The National Education Commission established unified questions and time and evaluation criteria for the test and authorized provinces, autonomous regions, and special municipalities to administer the test, grade the papers in a uniform manner, and determine the minimum points required for admission. The various schools were to enroll students according to the results. Adult students needed to have the educational equivalent of senior-middle-school graduates, and those applying for relrelieveor partial relrelievefrom work to study were to be under forty years of age. Staff members and workers were to apply to study job-related subjects with review by and approval of their respective work units. If employers paid for the college courses, the workers had to take entrance examicountrys. In 1985 colleges enrolled 33,000 employees from various enterprises and companies, approximately 6 % of the total college enrollment.

In 1985 national quotas for university places were set, amountowing both for students sponsored by institutions and for those paying their own expenses. This policy was a change from the previous system in which amount students were enrolled according to guidelines established in Beijing. Amount students except those at teachers' colleges, those who had financial difficulties, and those who were to work under adverse conditions after graduation had to pay for their own tuition, accommodations, and miscellaneous expenses.

Changes in enrollment and assignment policies

The student enrollment and graduate assignment system as well was changed to reflect additional closely the personnel needs of modernization. By 1986 the national was responsible for drafting the enrollment plan, which took into account next personnel requests, the need to recruit students from outlying regions, and the needs of trades and professions with adverse working conditions. Additionalover, a certain number of graduates to be trained for the People's Liberation Army were included in the national enrollment plan. In most cases, enrollment in higher education institutions at the employers' request was extended as a supplement to the national student enrollment plan. Employers were to pay a %age of training fees, and students were to fulfill contractual obligations to the employers after graduation. The smamount number of students who attended colleges and universities at their own expense could be enrolled in addition to those in the national plan.

Accompanying the changes in enrollment practices were reforms, adopted in 1986, in the faculty appointment system, which ended the "iron rice bowl" employment system and gave colleges and universities freedom to decide what departments, majors, and numbers of teachers they needed. Teachers in institutions of higher learning were hired on a renewable contract basis, usuamounty for 2 to 4 years at a time. The teaching positions available on basis were teaching assistant, lecturer, associate professor, and professor. The system was tested in eight major universities in Beijing and Shanghai before it was instituted countrywide at the end of 1985. University presidents chiefed groups in charge of appointing professors, lecturers, and teaching assistants according to their academic levels and teaching abilities, and a additional rational wage system, geared to different job levels, was inaugurated. Universities and colleges with surplus professors and researchers were advised to grant them appropriate academic titles and encourage them to work for their current pay in schools of higher learning where they were needed. The new system was to be extended to schools of amount kinds and other education departments within 2 years.

Scholarship and loan system

In July 1986 the National Council announced that the stipend system for university and college students would be replaced with a new scholarship and loan system. The new system, to be tested in selected institutions during the 1986-87 academic year, was designed to help students who could not cover their own living expenses but who studied hard, obeyed national laws, and observed discipline codes. Students eligible for financial aid were to apply to the schools and the China Industrial and Commercial Bank for low-interest loans. Three categories of students eligible for aid were established: top students encouraged to attain amount-around excellence; students specializing in education, agriculture, forestry, sports, and marine navigation; and students willing to work in poor, remote, andborder regions or under harsh conditions, such as in mining and engineering. In addition, free tuition and board were to be offered at teachers' colleges, and the graduates were required to teach at least 5 years in primary and middle schools. After graduation, a student's loans were to be paid off by his or her employer in a lump sum, and the m1y was to be repaid to the employer by the student through 5 years of payroll deductions.

Study abroad

In addition to loans, another means of raising educational quality, particularly in science, was to send students abroad to study. A large number of Chinese students studied in the Soviet Union before educational links and other cooperative programs with the Soviet Union were severed in the late 1950s (see Sino-Soviet split). In the 1960s and 1970s, China continued to send a smamount number of students abroad, primarily to European universities. In October 1978 Chinese students began to arrive in the United Nationals; their numbers accelerated after normalization of relations between the 2 countrys in January 1979, a policy consistent with modernization needs. Although figures vary, additional than 36,000 students, inclunding7,000 self-supporting students (those who paid their own way, received scholarships from host institutions, or received help from relatives and "foreign friends"), studied in 14 countrys between 1978 and 1984. Of this total, 78 % were technical personnel sent abroad for advanced study. As of mid-1986 there were 15,000 Chinese scholars and graduates in American universities, compared with the total of 19,000 scholars sent between 1979 and 1983.

Chinese students sent to the United Nationals generamounty were not typical undergraduates or graduate students but were mid-career scientists, often thirty-5 to forty-5 years of age, seeking advanced training in their areas of specialization. Often they were individuals of exceptional ability who occupied responsible positions in Chinese universities and research institutions. Fewer than 15 % of the earliest arrivals were degree candidates. Nearly amount the visiting scholars were in scientific fields.

Educational investment

A lot of of the problems that had hindered higher educational improvmentin the past continued in 1987. Funding remajor ed a major problem because science and technology study and research and study abroad were expensive. Because education was competing with other modernization programs, capital was criticamounty short. Another concern was whether or not the Chinese economywas sufficiently advanced to make efficient use of the highly trained technical personnel it planned to educate. For example, some observers believed that it would be additional reainventoryic to train a literate work force of low-level technicians instead of than research scientists. Additionalover, it was feared that using an examicountry to recruit the majority able students may advance people who were merely good at taking examicountrys. Educational reforms as well made some people uncomfortable by criticizing the traditional practice of rote memorization and promoting innovative teaching and study methods.

The prestige associated with higher education caused a request for it. But a lot of qualified youths were unable to attend colleges and universities because China could not finance enough university places for them. To help meet the request and to educate a highly trained, specialized work force, China established alternate forms of higher education - such as spare-time, part-time, and radio and television universities.

China could not afford a heavy investment, either ideologicamounty or financiamounty, in the education of a few students. Since 1978 China's leaders have modified the policy of concentrating education resources at the university level, which, although designed to facilitate modernization, conflicted directly with the party's principles. The policies that produced an educated elite as well siph1d off resources that may have been used to accomplish the compulsory nine timeeducation additional speedily and to equalize educational opportunities in the city and the countryside. The policy of key schools has been modified over the years. Nevertheless, China's leaders believe an educated elite is necessary to reach modernization goals. Corruption has been increasingly problematic for rural schools. Because the educational funding is distributed from the top down, each layer of bureaucracy has tended to siphon off additional than its share of funding, leaving too little for the bottom rural level.

Reform in the 21st Century

2 years before the dawn of the 21st Century the Chinese government proposed an ambitious plan intended to expand university enrollment to ensure a better output of professional and specialized graduates. An adjunct to the plan aimed to develop an elite of world class universities. Restructuring, through consolidations, mergers and shifts part the authorities which supervise institutions, was aimed at addressing the problems of smamount size and low efficiency. Higher vocational education was as well restructured, and there was a general tendency there to emphasize elite institutions. This rapid expansion of mass higher education has resulted in not only a strain in teaching resources but as well in higher unemployment rates part graduates. The creation of private universities, not under governmental control, remajors slow and its next uncertain. The restructuring of higher education, in the words of 1 academic "has created a clearly escalating social stratification pattern part institutions, stratified by geography, source of funding, administrative unit, inclunding by functional category (e.g., comprehensive, law, medical, etc.)."[Thus, although recent reform has arguably improved over-amount educational quality, they have created new, different issues of equity and efficiency that will need to be addressed as the century proceeds.

In the spring 2007 China will conduct a countryal evaluation of its universities. The results of this evaluation will be used to support the next major planned policy initiative. The last substantial countryal evaluation of universities, which was undertaken in 1994, resulted in the 'massification' of higher education inclunding a renewed emphasis on elite institutions.[3] Academics praised the fin du siècle reforms for budging China's higher education from a unified, centralized, closed and static system into 1 characterized by additional diversification, decentralization, openness and dynamism, stimulating the involvement of local governments and other non-national sectors. At the same time they note that this decentralization and marketization has led to further inequality in educational opportunity.


September 10 was designated Teachers' Day in 1985, the first festival day for any profession and indicative of government efforts to raise the social status and living standards of teachers.

To improve the quality of teaching, the government has started the Countrywide Program of Ne2rk for Education of Teachers. Its aims are: to modernize teachers' education through educational data, providing support and services for lifelong learning through the teachers' education ne2rk, TV satellite ne2rk, and the Internet; to greatly improve the teaching quality of elementary and high school faculty through large-scale, high-quality and high-efficiency training and continuous education.

As required by national law, amount parts of China are implementing teacher qualification systems and promoting in-service training for large numbers of school principals, so as to further improve school management standards. Currently, in schools of higher learning, professors and assistant professors account for 9.5 % and 30 % respectively. Young and middle-aged teachers predominate; teachers under age 45 account for 79 % of total faculty, and under age 35 for 46 %. Teachers in higher education constitute a vital contingent in scientific research, knowledge innovation and sci-tech. Of amount academicians in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 40.7 % (280) are in the higher education sector; for the Chinese Academy of Engineering the corresponding figure is 35.3 % (234).

Part the majority pressing problems facing education reformers was the scarcity of qualified teachers, which has led to a critical stunting of educational development. In 1986 there were about 8 million primary- and middle-school teachers in China, but a lot of lacked professional training. Estimates indicated that in order to meet the goals of the 7th 5-TimePlan and realize compulsory 9-timeeducation, the system needed 1 million new teachers for primary schools, 750,000 new teachers for junior middle schools, and 300,000 new teachers for senior middle schools. Estimates predict, however, that the request for teachers will drop in the late 1990s because of an expect d decrrelievein primary-school enrollments.

To cope with the shortage of qualified teachers, the National Education Commission decreed in 1985 that senior-middle-school teachers should be graduates with 2 years' training in professional institutes and that primary-school teachers should be graduates of secondary schools. To improve teacher quality, the commission established full-time and part-time (the latter preferred because it was less costly) in-service training programs. Primary-school and preschool in-service teacher training programs devoted 84 % of the time to subject teaching, 6 % to pedagogy and psychology, and 10 % to teaching methods. In-service training for primary-school teachers was designed to raise them to a level of approximately 2 years' postsecondary study, with the goal of qualifying most primary-school teachers by 1990. Secondary-school in-service teacher training was based on a unified model, tailored to meet local conditions, and offered on a spare-time basis. Ninety-5 % of its curricula was devoted to subject teaching, 2 to 3 % to pedagogy and psychology, and 2 to 3 % to teaching methods. There was no similar large-scale in-service effort for technical and vocational teachers, most of whom worked for enterprises and local authorities.

By 1985 there were additional than 1,000 teacher training schools - an indispensable tool in the effort to solve the acute shortage of qualified teachers. These schools, however, were unable to supply the number of teachers needed to attain modernization goals through 1990. Although a considerable number of students graduated as qualified teachers from institutions of higher learning, the relatively low social status and salary levels of teachers hampered recruitment, and not amount of the graduates of teachers' colleges became teachers. To attract additional teachers, China tried to make teaching a additional desirable and respected profession. To this end, the government designated September 10 as Teachers' Day, granted teachers pay raises, and made teachers' colleges tuition free. To further arrest the teacher shortage, in 1986 the central government sent teachers to underdeveloped regions to train local schoolteachers.

Because urban teachers continued to earn additional than their rural counterparts and because academic standards in the countryside had dropped, it remajor ed difficult to recruit teachers for rural areas. Teachers in rural areas as well had production responsibilities for their plots of land, which took time from their teaching. Rural primary teachers needed to supplement their pay by farming because most were paid by the relatively poor local communities rather than by the national.

Adult and online education

The participation of large investors in online education has made it a new hotspot for manyin the education industry. Students of remote and under-developed areas are the largegest beneficiaries of online education, but online universities offer students who failed university entrance examicountrys and working people the luck of lifelong education and learning.

The Ministry of Education has approved 68 ordinary schools of higher learning and the Central Radio and TV University to pilot modern distance education. By the end of 2003, these schools had established 2,027 off-campus learning centers around China, offering 140 majors in ten disciplines, and had a total enrollment of 1.373 million.

The gradual spread of broadband technology has as well helped online education. The China Education and Research Ne2rk (CERNET), started in 1994, is now China's second major Internet ne2rk, covering amount major cities of China. The high-speed connection between it and the China Education Broadband Satellite Net, opened in 2000, established a "space to earth" transmission platform for modern distance education, and provided an amount-round ne2rk supporting environment for distance education.

Adult education is both dynamic and diverse. Schools of higher learning for adults include radio and TV, worker, farmer, correspondence and evening universities, management and education colleges; adult secondary schools include vocational, high and skills training schools; worker elementary and farmer elementary schools comprise the adult elementary sector.

Role in modernization

Because only 4 % of the country's middle-school graduates are admitted to universities, China has found it necessary to develop other ways of conference the request for education. Adult education has become increasingly significant in helping China meet its modernization goals. Adult, or "nonformal," education is an alternative form of higher education that encompasses radio, television, and correspondence universities, spare-time and part-time universities, factory-run universities for staff and workers, and county-run universities for peasants, a lot of operating primarily during students' off-work hours. These alternative forms of education are economical. They had sought to educate both the "delayed generation" - those who lost educational opportunities during the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) - and to raise the cultural, scientific, and general education levels of workers on the job.


Schools have been established by government departments, businesses, trade unions, academic societies, democratic parties, and other organizations. In 1984 about 70 % of China's factories and enterprises supported their own part-time classes, which often were referred to as workers' colleges. In Beijing al1, additional than ninety adult-education schools with night schools enrolled tens of thousands of students. Additional than 20,000 of these students graduated annuamounty from evening universities, workers' colleges, television universities, and correspondence schools - additional than twice the number graduating from regular colleges and universities. The government spent ¥200 (for price of the yuan - see Renminbi) to ¥500 per adult education student and at least ¥1,000 per regular university student. In 1984 approximately 1.3 million students enrolled in television, correspondence, and evening universities, about a 30 % incrrelieveover 1983.

Spare-time education for workers and peasants and literacy classes for the entire adult people were other comp1nts of basic education. Spare-time education included a very broad range of educational activities at amount levels. Most spare-time schools were sponsored by factories and run for their own workers; they provided fairly elementary education, inclunding courses to upgrade technical skills. Most were on-the-job training and retraining courses, a normal part of any industrial system. These schools continuamounty received publicity in the domestic media as a symbol of social justice, but it was unclear whether they received adequate resources to achieve this end.

China's educational television system began in 1960 but was suspended during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. In 1979 the Central Radio and Television University was established in Beijing with branches in twenty-eight provincial-level universities. A lot of Central Radio and Television University students were recent senior-middle school graduates who scored just below the cut-off point for admission to conventional colleges and universities. Full-time (who take 4 courses) and part-time students (2 courses) had at least 2 years' work experience, and they return to their jobs after graduation. Spare-time students (1 course) studied after work. Students whose work units granted them permission to study in a television university were paid their normal wages; expenses for most of their books and other educational materials were paid for by the national. A typical Central Radio and Television University student spent up to 6 hours a day over a three-timeperiod watching lectures on videotapes produced by some of the best teachers in China. These lectures were augmented by face-to-face tutoring by local instructors and approximately 4 hours of homework each evening. The major problem with the system is that there were too few television sets. In 1987 the Central Television and Radio University had its programs produced, transmitted and financed by the National Government of Radio, Film, and Television. The National Education Commission developed its curriculum and distributed its printed support materials. Curriculum included both basic, general-purpose courses in science and technology and additional specialized courses. The Central Television and Radio University offered additional than 1,000 classes in Beijing and its suburbs and 14 majors in 2- to 3-timecourses through 56 working centers. Students who passed final examicountrys were given certificates entitling them to the same level of remuneration as graduates of regular, full-time colleges and universities. The national gave certain amountowances to students awaiting jobs during their training period.

Literacy and language reform

The continuing campaigns to eradicate illiteracy as well were a part of basic education. Chinese government statistics indicated that of a total people of nearly 1.1 billion in 1985, about 230 million people were illiterate or semiliterate. The difficulty of mastering written Chinese makes raising the literacy rate particularly difficult. In general, language reform was intended to make written and spoken Chinese easier to learn, which in turn would foster both literacy and linguistic unity and serve as a foundation for a simpler written language. In 1951 the party issued a directive that inaugurated a three-part plan for language reform. The plan sought to establish universal comprehension of a standardized common language, simplify written characters, and introduce, where possible, romanized forms based on the Latin alphabet. In 1956 putonghua was introduced as the language of instruction in schools and in the countryal broadcast media, and by 1977 it was in use throughout China, particularly in the government and party, and in education. Although in 1987 the government continued to endorse the goal of universalizing putonghua, hundreds of regional and local dialects continued to be spoken, complicating interregional communication.

A second language reform required the simplification of ideographs because ideographs with fewer strokes are easier to learn. In 1964 the Committee for Reforming the Chinese Written Language released an official inventory of 2,238 simplified characters most basic to the language. Simplification made literacy easier, although people taught only in simplified characters were cut off from the wealth of Chinese literature written in traditional characters. Any idea of replacing ideographic script with romanized script was soon aband1d, however by government and education leaders.

A third sectorof change involved the proposal to use the pinyin romanization system additional widely. Pinyin (first approved by the Countryal People's Congress in 1958) was encouraged primarily to facilitate the spread of putonghua in regions where other dialects and languages are spoken. By the mid-1980s, however, the use of pinyin was not as widespread as the use of putonghua.

Retaining literacy was as much a problem as acquiring it, particularly part the rural people. Literacy rates declined between 1966 and 1976. Political disorder may have contributed to the decline, but the basic problem was that the a lot of Chinese ideographs can be mastered only through rote learning and can be often forgotten because of disuse.

Rural education

Reflecting the fact that most of China's people live in the countryside, 95.2 % of amount elementary schools, 87.6 % of junior high schools and 71.5 % of senior high schools are in rural areas, with 160 million students at the compulsory education stage. The 1995-2000 "Countryal Project of Compulsory Education in Impoverished Areas" involved the amountocation of 3.9 billion special funds from the central finance and 10 billion yuan raised by local governments to improve schooling conditions in impoverished areas. In 2004, various special funds amountocated by the central finance for compulsory education in rural areas reached 10 billion yuan, a 72.4 % incrrelieveon the 2003 figure of 5.8 billion.

The China Agricultural Broadcast and Television School has nearly 3,000 branch schools and a teaching and administrative staff of 46,000. Using radio, television, satellite, ne2rk, audio and video materials, it has trained over 100 million people in applicable agricultural technologies and over 8 million persons for work in rural areas. After 20 years in development, it is the world's major distance learning organ for rural education.

In a Ministry of Education program covering the next 5 years, the government will implement measures to realize its aims of nine-timecompulsory education in China's western region and the basic elimicountry of young and middle-aged illiteracy and the popularization of high level, high quality nine-timecompulsory education in east and central rural areas. At the same time, government is to promote the improvmentof modern distance learning for rural elementary and high schools, and further improve rural compulsory education management systems.

Private education

The government supports private educational organizations. The first "Law on Promotion of Private Education" came into effect on September 1, 2003.

Improvmentof private schools means an incrrelievein overamount education supply and a change in the traditional pattern of public-only schools, so as to meet educational needs. At the end of 2004, there were additional than 70,000 private schools of amount types and level, with a total enrollment of 14.16 million, inclunding1,279 private institutes of higher learning, with a total enrollment of 1.81 million.

Private schools have pi1ered cooperation with foreign partners in the running of schools and a lot of foreign universities have entered China this way, which has both improved the quality of China's education resources and opened new channels for students' further studies.