Overview of Higher Education in China

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During the 60 years from 1950 when China received the first batch of foreign students to 2010, the total amounts of foreign students coming to study in China reached 1.69 millions.

China Education
China education is the largest education system in the world. On June 2012, there were 9.15 million students taking the China's National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gao Kao). Investment in education accounts for about 4% of total GDP in China. In 1986, the Chinese government passed a compulsory education law, making nine years of education mandatory for all Chinese children. Today, the Ministry of Education estimates that 99.7% of the population area of the country has achieved universal nine-year basic education.


China Higher education
Higher education in China is continuously growing, changing and developing. There are over 2,000 universities and colleges, with more than six million enrollments in total. China has set up a degree system, including Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees that are also open to foreign students. The country offers non-degree programs as well.

According to the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, the government authority on all matters pertaining to education and language, higher education in China has played a significant part in economic growth, scientific progress and social development in the country "by bringing up large scale of advanced talents and experts for the construction of socialist modernization."


International students
Every year, international students come to China for various different study programmes including exchange programmes, Chinese language programmes, summer courses, English taught degree programmes, Chinese taught degree programmes or research. Till now, international students have enrolled in over 690 higher education institutions throughout the country. China has a long history of providing education to international students studying in high schools and universities in China. Over the past few years, the number of international students who study abroad in China has significantly increased every year.


During the 60 years from 1950 when China received the first batch of foreign students to 2010, the total amounts of foreign students coming to study in China reached 1.69 millions. In this 60 years, with China's international status daily increasing and rapid social development, the number of foreign students coming to study in China have been growing gradually, till 2011, it reached 290,000 for the first time, there were a total number of 292.611 international students from 194 countries and areas were studying in 600 Chinese universities, scientific research institutions and other educational institutions of whole Chinese 31 provinces and municipalities (not including Taiwan Province, Hong Kong and Macao). The total number of foreign students, countries and areas of sources of international student, institutions that accept foreign students and Chinese scholarship students all this four reached the top since foundation of PRC.


The total number of foreign students increased by 27,521, it is 13.38 percentages compared with that of 2010, among which Chinese government scholarships increased by 3,297 to reach 25,687, it is 13.38 percentages of growth compared with that of last year; self-support students increased by 24,224 to reach 266,927, it is 9.98 percentages of growth compared with that of the last year. Number of countries and districts of international students kept in the same level compared with that of the last year, number of units that accept international students increased by 40.

When counted by states, Asia students was among the top one with a number of 187,871, made up 64.21% among total number of the international students; European students made up the 16.15% with a number of 47,271; Columbian's made up 11.05% with a number of 32,333; African's made up 7.09% with a number of 4,392 and the rest 4,392 of Oceania's, made up 1.50%. seen from the rises, number of students from Africa and America had rapid growth, an growth rate of respectively 26.46% and 18.75%


When counted by nationality, top 10 nations in number of students were Korea, total number of 62,442 students, US, total number of 23,292, Japan, total number of 17,961, Thailand, total number of 14,145, Vietnam, total number of 13,549, Russia, total number of 13,340, Indonesia, total number of 10,957, India, total number of 97, 370, Pakistan, total number of 10,957 and KZ, total number of 8,287.In addition, countries from which the number of students reached over 5000 were French(7,592 ones), Mongolia(7,122 ones) and Germany(5,451 ones).


When counted by type of students, the number of degree students were 118,837,making up 40.61% of the total number of international students coming to study in China, increased 10.62% which is faster than that of the growing of the total number of international students. Then number of junior college students and undergraduate students was 88,461, making up 74.44% of the number of degree students; Graduates were 23,453, making up 19.74%; Postgraduates were 6,923, making up 5.83%. The number of non-degree students was 173,774, making up 59.39% of the total number of international students.


In future, Ministry of Education will continue carrying out the spirit of National medium and long-term education reform and development plan outline, practically put Study in China Plan into effect, move forward to optimize atmosphere of study in China, focus on standard management, improve quality of international students education, hope that in 2020, the number of international students in China can reach 500,000 and make China become largest destination for international student exchange over the Asia.

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