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The basics
China: Applying to University - Must read

The Chinese higher education system...simplified!

Here’s all you need to know about the culture and organisation of the Chinese higher education system

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There are over 3,000 universities in China with more than 25 million students. Public higher education is regulated through the Chinese Ministry of Education, which oversees all planning, funding, and evaluation, but the private education sector has been growing rapidly since 1982, and private universities operate independently.


Overall, higher education in China has been growing and improving at a rapid rate in order to give students the best chance in the global job market. Here’s how the system is organised...


Quick facts about the Chinese higher education system:

  • Students studying education at one of China’s six “national normal” universities have had tuition fees waived since 2007 because they have promised to work in primary and secondary schools after graduation
  • International students have studied at more than 775 universities, but there are over 3,000 in China
  • Chinese higher education has grown over 20% since 1978
  • Education in China still follows ideals from the philosopher Confucius, who emphasised education as a way to achieve success and promote harmony


Types of Universities



Comprehensive universities generally have a number of disciplines, ranging from liberal arts to maths or science, where students can fully complete their degree. They are often larger universities and have strong research programmes.



Professional universities are usually smaller than comprehensive universities and have more specialised programmes. These are great for students who know exactly what they want to study and are ready to dive into a specific profession. Professional universities will even go as far as tailoring extracurricular activities to skill development for certain professions!