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by Paul Bacsich for Re.ViCa, with a major update by Daniela Proli of SCIENTER

For entities in China see Category:China

Partners and Experts in China


China in a nutshell

(sourced from

The People's Republic of China (simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国; traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó), commonly known as China, is the largest country in East Asia with Beijing as its capital city. It is a single-party socialist republic comprising of:

  • 22 provinces
  • 5 autonomous regions
  • 4 municipalities,
  • 2 Special Administrative Regions (Hong Kong and Macao)

The country is vast, stretching for 5000 km across the East Asian landmass, and has a diverse landscape. In the north, near China's borders with Mongolia and Russia's Siberia, the Gobi Desert and forest steppes dominate the dry expanse while lush subtropical forests grow along its southern borders with Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The terrain in the west is rugged and high altitude with the Himalayas and the Tian Shan mountain ranges forming China's natural borders with India and Central Asia. In contrast, China's eastern seaboard is low-lying and has a 14,500-km long coastline bounded on the southeast by the South China Sea and on the east by the East China Sea beyond which lies Korea and Japan.

At 9.6 million km and with more than 1.3 billion people (a fifth of humanity), the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the third or fourth largest country by area and the most populous in the world.

The PRC is a major power holding a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and memberships in APEC, East Asia Summit, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China is a nuclear state as well as having the world's largest standing army and fourth largest defense budget. It is a fast-growing economic power having the world's fourth largest GDP in nominal terms or second largest in purchasing power and consuming as much as a third of the world's steel and over a half of its concrete. China is also the world's second largest exporter and the third largest importer. Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, the poverty rate in China has gone down from 53% to 8% in 2001. However, China is now faced with a number of other economic problems including a rapidly ageing population, a widening rural-urban income gap, and rapid environmental degradation.

Education in China

(sourced from

China has adopted a nine-year compulsory schooling system, which means all children are required to attend school for at least nine years. Students have to complete both the primary school programme and the junior middle-school programme. Higher education is only for those students who have passed examinations of all levels. Student must pass the entrance examination for senior middle schools or middle-level technical schools. After two, three or four years, they have to go through national college entrance examination for admission to universities.

Pre-school Education

Children aged from 3 to 6 will attend kindergartens near their neighborhoods, where they learn the basics of the native language and subjects. They play games, dance, sing and act. Children are taught from the early year the values of Truth, Kindness and Beauty.

Chinese take children education very seriously since they know that a person's personality is mould in the early childhood.

Primary School Education

The primary school education requires six years. Pupils are required to take a variety of subjects such as the Chinese language, fundamental mathematics and moral education. They also take part in sports and extra-curriculum activities. Foreign languages such as English are optional courses in the senior year of the primary education

High School Education

High school education has two parts, 3-year junior high school program and senior high school.

From junior high school, students begin to learn a variety of science subjects such as chemistry, physics and biology and other subjects such as history, geography, and foreign languages. Physical education is enthusiastically encouraged.

Senior high school education is a continuation of junior high school. Students take up specific subjects in either science or humanity subjects. Many contests are organized annually in all levels to encourage their study. The "Olympic Series" are the most noticeable ones.

The purpose is for them in preparation for the national college entrance examination. Examinations are designed separately for science and arts students

A detailed description of Chinese education system covering school and Higher Education can be found at

For Higher Education see next.

Schools in China

China has over 200 million elementary and high school students, who, together with pre-school children, account for one sixth of the total population. 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 national enrollment in senior high schools has reached 43.8 percent, still lower than that of other developed countries.

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-capita educational expenditure for elementary and high school students has grown greatly, teaching and research equipment, books and documents being updated and renewed every year.

Government's aim for the development of China's basic education system is to approach or attain the level of moderately developed countries by 2010.

"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 - usually those with records of past educational accomplishment - were given priority in the assignment of teachers, equipment, and funds. They also were allowed to recruit the best students for special training to compete for admission to top schools at the next level. Key schools constituted only a small percentage of all 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 allocated to the key schools that would produce the greatest number of college entrants. In 1986 the Shanghai Educational Bureau abolished the key junior-middle-school system to ensure "an overall level of education." Despite the effort to abolish the "Key Schools" system, the practice still exists today under other names, and education inequality is still being widely criticized by some government officials and scholars.

Further and Higher education

Higher education in China is to train specialists for all the sectors of the country's development. Universities, colleges and institutes offer four- or five-year undergraduate programs as well as special two-or three-year programs. Students who have completed a first degree may apply to enter graduate schools.

University admission is operated on a centralized enrolment system, in which admissions committees at the provincial level are under the Ministry of Education. Admission is granted on the basis of academic, physical and moral qualifications. Special allowances are made for minority nationality and overseas Chinese candidates

The nationwide examinations are held in the first ten days of July. Candidate can take the examination in either one of the two categories, humanities or sciences/engineering. They apply for the institutions and departments they wish to enter in order of preference. Enrolment is determined by the examination results. Brief investigation into their social behavior and moral character is conducted before students are admitted. In some faculties, specific physical requirements must be met.

China currently provides free university education. Students do not have to pay tuition fee and are provided with free on-campus dormitories. Grants or subsidies will be given to students whose families have financial difficulties. The dormitory, which forms an important part of university life, is run by the students themselves through the students' union under the China Students' Federation, to which all enrolled students belong.

The education system is under reform. The number of paid students increases dramatically in recent years. The trend may continue and the government may eventually adopt a pay system instead.

Universities in China

(sourced from

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 open to foreign students. The country offers non-degree programmes 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."

New trends in Chinese higher education are attracting the attention of educators around the world. Since China began to develop a Western-oriented university model at the end of nineteenth century, Chinese higher education has continued to evolve. Since the late 1980s, however, tremendous economic development in China has stimulated reforms in higher education that have resulted in remarkable changes.

In 2002, there were slightly over 2000 higher education institutions in PRC. Close to 1400 were regular higher education institutions (HEIs). A little more than 600 were higher education institutions for adults. Combined enrollment in 2002 was 11,256,800. Of this close to 40 percent were new recruits. Total graduate student enrolment was 501,000.[6]

In 2005, there were about 4,000 Chinese institutions. Student enrollment increased to 15 million, with rapid growth that is expected to peak in 2008. However, the higher education system does not meet the needs of 85 percent of the college-aged population.

Leading universities in China

(sourced from

It is probably wise to restrict any examples for Re.ViCa to universities in this list

  1. Anhui University
  2. Anhui University of Science and Technology
  3. Beijing Film Academy
  4. Beijing Foreign Studies University
  5. Beijing Forestry University
  6. Beijing Institute of Technology
  7. Beijing Jiaotong University
  8. Beijing Language and Culture University
  9. Beijing Normal University
  10. Beijing Sport University
  11. Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  12. Beijing University of Chemical Technology
  13. Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
  14. Beijing University of Technology
  15. Capital University of Medical Sciences
  16. Central South University
  17. Chang'an University
  18. Chengdu University of Technology
  19. China Agricultural University
  20. China Medical University
  21. China University of Geosciences
  22. China University of Mining and Technology
  23. China University of Political Science and Law
  24. Chongqing University
  25. Communication University of China
  26. Dalian University of Technology
  27. Donghua University
  28. East China Normal University
  29. East China University of Science and Technology
  30. Fudan University
  31. Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University
  32. Fujian Normal University
  33. Fuzhou University
  34. Guangdong University of Technology
  35. Guangxi University
  36. Harbin Institute of Technology
  37. Hebei Normal University
  38. Hebei University
  39. Hebei University of Technology
  40. Hefei University of Technology
  41. Heilongjiang University
  42. Henan University
  43. Hohai University
  44. Hunan Normal University
  45. Hunan University
  46. Jiangsu University
  47. Jilin University
  48. Jinan University
  49. Kunming University of Science and Technology
  50. Lanzhou University
  51. Nanchang University
  52. Nanjing Forestry University
  53. Nanjing Normal University
  54. Nanjing University
  55. Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
  56. Nanjing University of Science & Technology
  57. Nanjing University of Technology
  58. Nankai University
  59. Northeast Normal University
  60. Northeastern University
  61. Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University
  62. Northwest University
  63. Northwestern Polytechnical University
  64. Ocean University of China
  65. Peking University
  66. Qingdao University
  67. Renmin University of China
  68. Shaanxi Normal University
  69. Shandong Agricultural University
  70. Shandong Normal University
  71. Shandong University
  72. Shandong University of Science and Technology
  73. Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade
  74. Shanghai Jiao Tong University
  75. Shanghai Second Medical University
  76. Shanxi University
  77. Sichuan University
  78. Soochow University
  79. South China Agricultural University
  80. South China Normal University
  81. South China University of Technology
  82. Southeast University
  83. Southwest China Normal University
  84. Southwest Jiaotong University
  85. Sun Yat-sen University
  86. Taiyuan University of Technology
  87. The Central Academy of Drama
  88. The University of Science and Technology Beijing
  89. Tianjin University
  90. Tongji University
  91. Tsinghua University
  92. University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
  93. University of Petroleum
  94. University of Science and Technology of China
  95. Wuhan University
  96. Wuhan University of Technology
  97. Xiamen University
  98. Xi'an Jiaotong University
  99. Xiangtan University
  100. Xidian University
  101. Yangzhou University
  102. Yanshan University
  103. Yunnan University
  104. Zhejiang University
  105. Zhengzhou University
  106. Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Polytechnics in China

There are many such institutions

Colleges in China

Education reform


The reform of Chinese Education system starte in 1985 when the National Conference on Education recognized five fundamental areas for reform intended to produce (i) "more able people"; (ii) to make the localities responsible for developing "basic education" and systematically implement a nine-year compulsory education program; (iii) to improve secondary education develop vocational and technical education; (iv) to reform and the graduate-assignment system of institutions of higher education and to expand their management and decision-making powers; (v) and to give administrators the necessary encouragement and authority to ensure smooth progress in educational reform.

The National Conference on Education paved the way for reorganization of the Ministry of Education, which occurred in June 1985.

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 administration 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 more decision-making power and were able to develop basic education. State-owned enterprises, mass organizations, and individuals were encouraged to pool funds to accomplish education reform. Local authorities used state appropriations and a percentage of local reserve financial resources (basically township financial revenues) to finance educational projects.

The Law on Nine-Year Compulsory Education (中华人民共和国义务教育法), which took effect on 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 (six year primary education and three years secondary education).

In 1993, China’s Ministry of Education (MoE) published the “Outline for Education Reform and Development“ in which it announced to increase its annual budget to 4% of GDP by 2000. A glance at The National Bureau of Statistics‘ yearbook of 2001 reveals that China missed this ambitious target by about 30%. Evidently not satisfied with the overall development of the education sector, China’s leaders sat down once more in 2009 to draft the new National Outline for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) proposing to raise the 2012 educational budgetary bars to 4% of GDP, again.

Guiding theme of China’s education reform 2010 to 2020 is to build the foundation for a learning society by modernising the current educational system in its entirety. Main goal for a modernised Chinese education system is to be able to surrender globally competitive human resources to the working world. Education reform will be carried out on all levels of education, namely, pre-school, compulsory, high school, vocational, higher, continuing, minority, and special education. The education reform program will be thoroughly overhauling the way education is delivered, examined and administered in China – across all educational levels.

Measures named in the final revision of the education reform paper revolve around cultivating existing and training new teachers, guaranteed funding over the whole term of education reform, the informatisation of the educational system, enforcing education management according to current law, and conducting pilots to test areas of education reform that require fundamental changes. The agenda also stresses the role international educators play during the reform process: not only does China want to further stipulate existing cooperation on higher education level, but it plans to pilot jointly-run schools across educational levels.

Reform on all educational levels Pre-schools

  • Guarantee universal access to pre-school education
  • Make pre-school education integral part of urban and rural planning
  • Encourage social participation and public-private-partnership
  • Focus on development of rural pre-school education

Compulsory education

  • Consolidate and enhance the level of nine-year compulsory education
  • Migrant children’s education to be managed by the city governments and to be operated by full-time public schools ensuring equal access to compulsory education; improve the quality of compulsory education
  • Reduce students’ academic burdens

High Schools

  • Increase number of high school students
  • Improve quality of high school education: conduct curriculum reform; promote research-based study, community service and social practice; develop education quality evaluation system; establish student development guidance system
  • Diversify high school education: specialised courses

Vocational education

  • Establish modern vocational education system which can adapt to economic changes and restructuring demands
  • Quality improvements take priority
  • Industry to provide guidance on how to operate schools
  • Accelerate the development of vocational education in rural areas
  • Improve vocational education: introduction of free secondary vocational education system; improve financial assistance to poor students

Higher education

  • Accelerate the development of internationally renowned colleges and universities with a number of universities at or near the world-class level (programs 985 and 211)
  • Improve quality of teaching
  • Raise level of scientific research
  • Further develop higher education for graduates to become more diversified; increase support for higher education * in Central and Western regions; encourage the eastern regions to take the lead in the development of higher education

Continuing education

  • Accelerate the development of continuing education and establish learning society
  • Establish institutional mechanisms for continuing education
  • Build a flexible and open system of lifelong education: Schools, research institutions, enterprises equally to participate; community educational institutions and network building; promote distance learning; promote communication among all levels of education

Minority education

  • Improve level of education for minorities and in ethnic areas; Both central and local government to increase investment
  • Promote bilingual education: local language and Chinese language
  • Other provinces to support minorities and ethnic areas

Special education

  • Improve overall quality of disabled students; Governments at all levels to include development of special education into economic and social development plan
  • Improve special education system
  • Improve safeguard mechanisms: the state government to develop basic educational standards for special education schools; local governments to improve standard for each student; increase investment; improve cultivation of teachers teaching disabled students; increase support for poor students; gradually implement free higher school education for disabled students

Thoroughly overhauling the way education is delivered, examined and administered General education system

  • Integrated development; everyone can become a talent; diversified talents; lifelong learning; systematic training
  • Combine learning and thinking; Unify knowledge and practice; teach according to individuals’ needs
  • Reform of education quality evaluation and personnel evaluation systems focusing on performance including character, knowledge, ability and other factors

Examination and enrolment systems

  • Diversify admission systems
  • Improve secondary school enrolment and examination system
  • Improve higher education examination and enrolment system: introduce entrance examination according to level and broad field of education
  • Improve examination information disclosure; strengthen government and community supervision

Building a modern school system

  • Separation of government and schools: Establish self-management, democratic supervision and social participation
  • Expand schools’ autonomy
  • Improve modern university system: deans of colleges and universities to take overall responsibility; strengthen regulations; expand social cooperation; introduce academic program evaluation system
  • Improve management system of primary and secondary schools: headmasters to take overall responsibility; expand schools’ autonomy; establish Parent Council
  • Encourage cooperation between secondary vocational schools and enterprises

Setting up new schools

  • Government to encourage industry to collaborate with public schools
  • Support private education: clean up discriminating policies to improve the perception of private schools in public; public finance to provide support
  • Government to supervise private schools

Operating existing schools

  • Enforce segregation of duties
  • Improve planning activities of provincial governments to develop policies suitable for different educational levels
  • Reduce unnecessary administrative intervention from governments and move toward providing guidance to and supervision of public education
  • Foster external education services to improve professional level of education

Education system internationalisation

  • Strengthen international exchange and cooperation
  • Introduce high-quality educational resources: Attract international schools, educational and research institutions and enterprises
  • Mutual recognition of credits and degrees; exchange of teachers and students; Chinese schools to open overseas schools; improve scholarship mechanism; increase number of foreign students; strengthen cooperation with UNESCO and other international organisations

Measures assuring successful and smooth implementation of education reform

  • Cultivation of Teachers'
  • Guaranteed funding

* Education informatisation

    • Complete construction of digital education system covering both urban and rural areas
    • Strengthen development and application of high-quality education resources; strengthen online teaching resources; strengthen application of information technology
    • Establish a National Education Management Information System
  • Enforce education according to the law

Piloting reform activities

  • Quality Education Pilot
  • Compulsory education reform pilot
  • Pilot of Vocational Education Model reform
  • Pilot for building life-long education system
  • Pilot of teaching graduates toward innovation
  • Pilot for examination and enrollment system reform
  • Modern university reform pilot
  • Pilot for reforming the financing of education in rural areas

Sourced from


Higher Education

(sourced from

Since 1998, 10 universities have been targeted by the Chinese government to become “world-class” - including Peking and Tsinghua Universities. To achieve that goal, the government promised to increase the educational allocation in the national budget by 1 percent a year for each of the five years following 1998. When Chinese president Jiang Zemin attended the hundredth anniversary ceremony at Beijing University in 1998 and the ninetieth anniversary ceremony at Tsinghua University in 2001, he emphasized this ambitious goal of advancing several of China's higher education institutions into the top tier of universities worldwide in the next several decades. In the meantime, China has received educational aid from UNESCO and many other international organizations and sources, including the World Bank, which recently loaned China $14.7 billion for educational development.

Only 30 percent of faculty hold postgraduate degrees. This is a consequence of the lack of an academic degree system in China until the 1980s. Recently, internationally-trained scholars have entered the faculty with the goals of both improving quality and strengthening ties to other institutions around the world. The state recognizes the need for more home-grown professors.

In Spring 2007 China will conduct a national evaluation of its universities. The results of this evaluation will be used to support the next major planned policy initiative. The last substantial national evaluation of universities was in 1994. This evaluation resulted in the 'massification' of higher ecucation as well as a renewed emphasis on elite institutions.[

Administration and finance


Sourced from

China has set up an education system with government as the major investor and social partners as co-investors. In current stage, local government is playing a key role in compulsory education, while central and provincial government are dominant in higher education. In occupational and adult education, social partners including industrial organizations, businesses and public institutions are playing a more and more important role.

Ministry of Education of PRC is the supreme education administration body in China, which is responsible for carrying out related laws, regulations, guidelines and policies of the central government; planning development of education sector; integrating and coordinating educational initiatives and programs nationwide; maneuvering and guiding education reform countrywide.

Since 1978, Chinese government has promulgated such codes as Degree Statute of the People's Republic of China, Law of Compulsory Education of the People's Republic of China, Law of Teachers of the People's Republic of China, Law of Protection over Juveniles of the People's Republic of China, Education Law of the People's Republic of China, Statute for Teacher's Eligibility and Law of Higher education of the People's Republic of China, and released more than ten sets of education administration regulations. The Ministry of Education, within its jurisdiction, has issued more than 200 sets of administrative rules and regulations, significantly facilitating development of education of different natures.

With regard to education budget, financial allocation is still the major source, while multiple fund channels have been opened up. At present, fund needed by schools directly controlled by the central government comes from the central financial pool; schools controlled by local governments are supported by local finance; schools sponsored by township and villageship governments and by public institutions are mainly financed by the sponsor institutions and subsidized by local governments; funds needed by schools operated by social partners and celebrities are raised by the sponsors themselves (including collecting tuition from students and soliciting contributions). In addition to these sources, the central government is advocating work-study programs, aiming at improving the education conditions through premium services.

China's educational fund has been increased on yearly basis since 1978. Total educational input in 1998 reached RMB294.906 billion, amongst, 203.245 billion from the revenue pool, of which, 156.559 billion from budget allocation in a strict sense.


Higher Education

There are many private universities in China.

Quality assurance



Higher Education

Information society

In May 2006, Chinese Government released a comprehensive document titled “The Development Strategies for the National Information Society 2006—2020”, aimed at laying a solid foundation for an information society by 2020

The goals for informatization development within 2020 are: providing information infrastructure nationwide; strengthening capacities of independent innovation of information technology; optimizing the information industry structure; improving information security; making effective progress on building more information-oriented national economy and society; establishing the new type of industrialization model; building a perfect national policy and system for the informatization process; enhancing the capability of applying the information technology among the public.

In the Strategy, nine key aspects are emphasized: promoting informatization of the national economy; popularizing e-government; establishing advanced Internet culture; pushing ahead social informatization; popularizing information infrastructure; exploiting information resources more efficiently; improving information industry competition; building national information security system; improving people's ability in using information technology and cultivating more talents in information technology.

China's HEIs in the information society

Towards the information society

Information society strategy

The NREN for China is CERNET, China Education and Research Network - see

Support for OER

In China, materials from 750 courses have been made available by 222 university members of the China Open Resources for Education (CORE) consortium - see

ICT in education initiatives

According to the 2011 report Open Education Resources in the People's Republic of Chine, three phases can be identified in China's educational information development

  • from mid 1980s to early 1990s, defined as "the early stage, mainly computer education, the use of single computer-aided tools and traditional educational tools for teaching"
  • from early 1990s to 2000, referred to as "the initial stage of development, mainly hardware infrastructure and information technology education, construction of the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) and popularizing a wide range of information technology in primary and secondary school, promoting universal application of information technology
  • the period after 2000, defined as "the stage of rapid development, during which the variety of Governments' educational information programmes enabled fast introduction of ICT in education.

The report provides a summary of main strategies and action in the field of ICT in education in China, including

New Century Network Curriculum Project is intended to produce 300 basic network courses in two years and set up a courseware library. These courses are for the pilot work in several institutions and universities, also for the professional inter-school exchange programmes within the network and the mutual recognition of credits. Poorer areas and higher education institutions in the west of the country can benefit from the courses and the wealth of advanced teaching methods and teaching resources.

The spread of information technology education in primary and secondary school, the primary and secondary school curriculum guide for information technology (trial): requires the spread of information technology education in primary and secondary schools (including secondary vocational and technical schools) in 5-10 years after 2001.

The implementation of the Primary and Secondary School Link Project Notice: Ensuring 90% of the independent primary and secondary schools can use the Internet, teachers and students can share resources online and improve the primary education quality in 5-10 years, so that all the teachers can generally receive the education aimed at improving the quality and capacity.

Western Modern Distance Education Project: To level out imbalances of the provision of educational information. Five thousand sets of satellite receiving equipment for modern distance education were donated to the primary and secondary schools in remote mountain areas in provinces to the west of China. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education also provided five thousand sets of distance education satellite receiving equipment sets to primary and secondary schools in twelve western provinces.

Western University campus computer network construction project: To address the problem of the lag of the development of information technology education in western China behind the level of campus network construction in the east, a total 900 million Yuan was invested in the construction of fibre optic backbone campus computer network, campus network centre, open network rooms, multimedia network classroom, the capital city metro and non-capital city of high-speed access engineering, network management and operation of systems, teaching, research, management systems and network security system.

Education Information X five-year development plan (outline): emphasis on “educational information, educational resources building is the core,” and “strengthening education and resources information system platform environment… integration of quality educational resources, sharing of resources and improving teaching quality.”

Vision of the Ministry of Education on promoting informatization of teachers education: pointing out that “encourage and support through a variety of ways and means to enhance the development of teacher education information resources. Actively integrate various information resources of teacher education, strengthen the regional combination of advantages to ensure sharing of various information resources. “

Vision on promoting informatization of teachers education: “In order to meet the requirements to the development of the information society, using information to promote the modernization of education, the development of teacher education and informatization of the teacher education is an urgent and important task.”

National Teachers Education Network Alliance Programme: the following steps shall be taken to strengthen teacher training systems: satellite television and computer Internet “tri-network” for communication between different geographical areas, full use of modern means of distance education to break space-time barrier, encouraging teachers to share high-quality educational resources, largescale continuing education for teachers, especially in rural areas.

Action Plan for Invigorating Education (2003-2007): including the implementation of the “Modern Distance Education Programme” and “education system development.” The plan foresees construction of public educational information service system, hardware design, software sharing service platform for online education; speeding up CERNET and China Education satellite broadband transmission network (CEBsat) upgrading and expansion projects, participation in the next generation Internet and the Grid (ChinaGrid) projects; strengthening resource integration, regional networking and management for the sake of establishment of a national education information application support platform.

National Long-Term Educational Reform and Development Plan (2010-2020): Chapter 19 dealing with “accelerating the process of educational informatization” emphasizes the importance of the following measures: “Speed up infrastructure construction, include the education informatization into the national information-development strategy, construct the educational information network ahead. By 2020, all levels of digital education service systems shall be available in urban and rural basic schools, promoting the educational content, teaching methods and methods of modernization.”

Source Open Education Resources in the People's Republic of Chine

Virtual initiatives in schools

Distance Education Project for Rural Schools (DEPRS)

The Distance Education Project for Western Rural Middle and Elementary Schools was implemented by the Chinese government between 2003 and 2007 to improve quality of basic education in rural areas of China, especially in poorer western provinces.

Despite several effort to universalise basic education in the country, rural areas - especially in the west - suffer significant disparities in access to quality education, due to shortage of teachers and funding. The main goal of the project was to form a primary informationl enviroment that should facilitate the development of quality education in rural areas and helping eliminating the many divides between urban and rural areas.

The DEPRS was launched in 2003 and was based on three delivery modes in rural areas.

  • CD/DVD-equipped teaching centres: By playing instructional CDs on TV, these centres could deliver courses and learning material directly to the classes of rural schools. The CD and DVD contains lessons given by nationally recognised teachers who specialised in language, maths and other subjects.
  • advanced satellite technology for televised broadcast: this model contained the same material and equipment as the first model but also provides for advanced satellite technology for broadcasting, permitting to receive education programs produced by central and local televisions stations.
  • Computer classroom with internet connection: this model contained provisions for computer rooms equipped with high-speed internet and multimedia classroom. In addition to playing DVDs and showing television educational programs, this model allowed teachers and students to download online and web-based material.

To support both the second and the third model, the education channel of Chinese Central Television aired an eleven hours long program titled Air Classroom on a daily basis.

The Oxford Virtual School programme with China

The Oxford School has recently launched a virtual school exchange programme for which Chinese students in the new Oxford School in China will be able to attend at distance the Oxford courses and therefore being "exchange students" without travelling.


Virtual initiatives in post-secondary education

The Open University of China

The Open University of China (formerly the China Central Radio and TV University) carries out distance educational activities using an integration of three netwroks, including satellite TV Network, computer network and people's network.

The China Central Radio and TV University (the CCRTVU) initiated its open education for the public in 1999. In 2007, this form of education passed the summative evaluation by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China and was considered as an independent educational form in the modern national education system and lifelong learning system.

The Open University of China (the OUC) offers 75 majors in 9 disciplines and 24 specialties including science, engineering, agricultural science, medicine, literature, law, economics, management, and education. By the fall of 2008, there were 3,090,000 active students in the CRTVUs, among whom 2,950,000 were students of junior colleges and undergraduate students, accounting for one tenth of the total enrollment in higher education around the country.

The primary role of the OUC is to provide opportunities of higher education for professionals in different industries and enterprises and other members of the society, to conduct non-degree education through on-the-job training and training for rural practical skills, providing educational services for people from all walks of life to update their own knowledge and to learn new skills, to plan overall and comprehensive usage of the CRTVUs educational resources from all over the country and to establish a distance education system of public services to provide support for distance education to colleges, universities, and other educational institutions.

The OUC consists of six academic faculties: Faculty of Arts & Law, Faculty of Economics & Management, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Teacher Education, Faculty of Foreign Languages, and Faculty of Agroforestry & Medicine. The OUC also has many schools addressing to specified groups of learners for degree programmes, such as Bayi School, Zongcan School, School for the Air Force, School of Tibet and School for the Disabled. Meanwhile, the OUC has a School of Continuing Education dedicated to non-degree education programmes, China TV College of Teacher Education, China Liaoyuan Radio & TV School, and Secondary Technical School of the OUC.

Lessons learnt

General lessons

Notable practices


See the China research pages at which contain masses of relevant material.

China Education and Research Network

UNESCO Office in Bangkok: China

Minitry of Education of the People's Republic of China

Shiling McQuaide (2009), Making Education Equitable in Rural China through Distance Learning

S. Q. Yu & Minjuan J. Wang (2006), Modern distance education project for the rural schools of China: recent development and problems

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