n Education system China
The Chinese education system took its current shape between 1977 and 1980. The total nominal duration of primary and general secondary education was set at 12 years, and a national higher education entrance examination instituted. Undergraduate bachelor’s programmes were established with a nominal length of 4 years, as well as nominal 3-year postgraduate master’s programmes. The system for adult education was also significantly expanded.
When the People’s Republic of China was declared in 1949, all private education institutions were either closed or converted into state-run institutions. In the early 1980s, the Chinese government once again took a more positive view of private education and some decentralization took place. The government realized that state-run institutions were not able to accommodate the social demand (at that time only two percent of examination candidates were admitted to higher education) and wanted to create better opportunities for students. The first private higher education institution since 1949 was founded in 1982.
The Chinese education system has a very centralized structure and is supervised by the Ministry of Education, which was called the State Education Commission from 1985 until 1998. The Ministry creates the policy, which is then implemented at provincial level by the provincial educational authorities.
The official language of education is Mandarin (putonghua), which is taught to all pupils at school. The written language has been standardized, and since 1949 has been written using simplified characters. Hong Kong still uses the original traditional characters and recognised minorities use their own language as the language of instruction. Chinese characters can be transliterated into the Roman alphabet using the standardized Hanyu pinyin system. 0F 1 The content of all textbooks is still only prescribed in general terms by the national government.
The academic year runs from September until June and consists of two 20-week semesters.
n Common diplomas of China