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Features of China’s Education System

Last Updated on 2023/10/27

Education is crucial in all countries across the globe. While different nationalities have varied education systems, China is among the top nationalities with a solid and largest education system in the world.

In fact, many international students are already enrolling in educational programs in China. As they enroll in different courses, international students studying in China can use to enjoy a seamless learning experience and achieve their career dreams. This guide will give you an overview of China’s education system, especially if you are looking forward to studying in China.

Why study in China?

There is a lot to explore in China. An international student studying in China will enjoy the following benefits:

  • You will get a high-quality education
  • You will increase your chances of getting top employment opportunities in your dream establishments.
  • Affordable tuition fees compared to other international study destinations
  • You will get a chance to learn the Chinese language and explore Chinese cultural practice, especially if you are a passionate traveler
  • You will grow your network. Of course, you will create new friends and connect with top professionals in your career field, thus growing your network of professionals.
  • You will achieve personal development in different areas
  • You will enrich your global experience
  • Get scholarship opportunities to advance your career

A detailed overview of China’s education system

China’s education system is divided into three phases, including the basic education phase, the higher education stage, and the adult education stage. According to Chinese rules and regulations governing the education sector, a student must accomplish nine years of primary school, which takes up six years, and three years in junior secondary education.

Basic education

In China’s education system, basic education includes preschool, which takes three years, primary education, and secondary education, which also takes up to six years.

Secondary education in China is divided into two segments:

Specialized/technical/vocational education and academic secondary

Academic secondary education in China includes three years in junior school and three years in senior school.

Junior middle school achievers who want to upgrade their education must take a local entry exam to enroll in academic senior middle school or vocational middle school. Still, they can leave school at this point to continue with a 2 to 4 years of training program.

Senior middle school graduates who want to enroll in universities have to take Gao Kao- National Higher Education Entrance Exams according to the rules and regulations governing Chinese education.

Higher education

In the Chinese education system, higher education is divided into:

Colleges that offer diploma or certificate courses for up to three years

Universities that offer undergraduate degree programs for four or five years. Doctoral and postgraduate degree programs are also offered at university levels.

Adult education

The Chinese education system also has a program for adult education, which ranges from primary to higher education. Most of the adult education programs offer basic undergraduate degrees in a few cases and certificates/diplomas in most cases.

Terms and school hours in the Chinese education system

An academic calendar year in Chinese is divided into two terms for all learning institutions. The first term takes effect from February to mid-July, and then the students break for the summer holidays. The next term takes effect from September to January, then allowing winter break. There are no half-terms in the Chinese education system, as in the case of other education systems in other countries.

School hours start at 7:30 a.m. in the morning and end at about 6:00 p.m. Students are allowed 2 hours lunch break during the day.

Some learning institutions allow self-study sessions from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. according to the willingness of individual students.


China offers a productive learning environment and an education system that meets the needs of students of all levels. You will never go wrong selecting a school in China and studying as an international student.

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