How do you feel about pursuing your higher studies in China? The majority of international students prefer to continue their education in China, which is among the most demanding nations for higher studies. The Ministry of Education oversees the state-run public education system in China, which is mostly in charge of managing education.

Every person is required to spend a minimum of nine years in government-funded education. Six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, and three years of high school make up the required education.

If you’re considering beginning your studies in China, this article will give you some general knowledge regarding Chinese higher education. Now let’s get going!

What Grading System Do Higher Education in China Use?

In the majority of Chinese universities, colleges, and high schools, the grade system is based on GPA. Additionally, it is separated into five categories: A (85–100%), B (75-84%), C (64–74%), D (60–63%), and F (0–59%). The last two grades, D and F, may be combined into one grade in some colleges. Although the majority of Chinese educational institutions generally adhere to this approach, each college has its own set of policies, thus the grade ranges may vary.

The GPA system is an international grading scheme that is implemented at nearly all universities worldwide. Thus, it should not be challenging for international applicants to comprehend China’s grading scheme.

Types of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in China

Now, we’ll talk about Chinese higher education institutions according to their institutional status:

1. University

These days, there are a ton of students and applications at the university level. The majority of Chinese universities offer undergraduate and graduate degrees to students with a variety of specializations. In light of the need for international applicants, universities are also offering English language programs. Moreover, universities undoubtedly rely on the GPA grading system to comprehend their students’ performance.

Chinese universities also welcome international students to pursue Ph.D. programs there as well as offer research projects. Tsinghua University and Peking University, for instance, are two of the best universities in China and offer a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to students across the globe. Click here to find out more about the Chinese university application procedure.

2. College

Specialized colleges and schools are widely available in China. Courses lasting shorter than four years are offered by these educational institutions. Animal husbandry, agriculture, tourism, navigation, sciences, and many other fields are among the many degree programs offered by these colleges. The most demanding specialized college in China is Xian Polytechnic Technology Specialized College. Thus, international applicants can enroll in any course with ease.

3. Vocational Universities and colleges

The higher education system includes colleges and universities with a vocational focus. Vocational education is essential for providing society with skilled labor. The best places to address the training of labor for various industries are vocational schools. As part of the programs at these colleges or universities for vocational training, learners typically receive diplomas. The two most popular vocational institutions in China are Lanzhou Modern Vocational College, Gansu Finance, and Trade Professional College and there are many more.

4. Adult Higher Education School

Chinese Adult Higher Education has emerged as a viable option for working adults seeking a higher education degree, as well as a chance for those without a degree. While some scholars highlight this institution’s numerous drawbacks, we believe it offers an outstanding chance for working students who want to pursue a higher degree for promotion. This encompasses a variety of areas, including Peasants’ College, Employees’ College, Institutes for Administration, and Open University. Guangdong University of Foreign Studies is one of China’s well-liked adult higher education institutions.

Types of Degree Levels in China

Now, let’s review the degrees that China offers students to live their ideal careers.

1. Bachelor’s Degree

An undergraduate program is required to get a bachelor’s degree certificate in China. Except for some engineering, music, and medical programs, which need five years or longer, all programs have a four-year duration. Most undergraduate degrees require one to complete 140 credits to graduate. Foreign students might choose China as their starting point and continue to learn after earning a bachelor’s degree there.

A bachelor’s degree can be obtained in a variety of fields in China, including business, computer science, nursing, medical, accounting, engineering, and economics. One of the top universities in China, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College offers the best bachelor courses for international students.

2. Master’s Degree

You can get a master’s degree in China, depending on your qualifications and the program. Two forms of master’s degrees are offered by most Chinese universities: research-based and course-based (taught). Most of the master’s degrees often take one to two years to complete. Currently, the majority of international students relocate to China to complete their graduate studies.

Since China offers an abundance of scholarship options for international students, master’s degrees in science and technology are the most sought-after by international students studying there.

3. Doctoral Degree

China, the second-biggest economy in the world, is one of the greatest countries to acquire a Ph.D. and currently boasts the highest number of Ph.D. graduates worldwide. It provides a large space for the researchers to explore their possibilities. A Ph.D. program’s course structure in China is comparable to that of the US and the UK. A PhD project typically takes four to five years to complete, sometimes longer.

After the study is over, you will turn in a thesis that summarizes your key findings. One of the top universities with some of the greatest research opportunities for foreign candidates seeking doctorates is Tsinghua University.


Since China’s higher education is always improving, now is the ideal time to seize your possibilities as China’s higher education will reach a new level of excellence in 2050. Moreover, China will provide greater opportunities and scholarships to international applicants.


We hope this article expounded on the important aspects you need to know about China’s higher education system. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs and Study in China sections to know more about studying abroad!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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