The education system is one of the most important things about any country. It determines how the young citizens of that country are trained into successful professionals and whether they can achieve the greatness they want to. These education systems differ from country to country based on many different factors such as culture, economic condition, family structure, and more.

This is what makes it important to know about the differences between the education systems of various countries, especially if you are considering moving to another part of the world and want to make sure that you or your children can get the best possible education even when you’re in a different place.

Today, we are going to talk about the education system in China and look at some of the pros and cons that come with it. The country has become very important in the world’s economic and technological landscapes in the past decades and its education system keeps attracting students from around the world on a regular basis. This collection of some pros and cons of the education system in China, especially as compared to western education systems, will help you be better prepared when enrolling yourself or your children in school in China.

What Are the Advantages of the Chinese Education System?

The advantages of the Chinese education system are affordable prices, respectful culture, and emphasis on memorization through practice. For many Chinese universities, the cost of attendance is pretty cheap, and not only that but the cost of living (food & accommodation) is really affordable for international students, which might be the overwhelming factor. 

What Are the Disadvantages of the Chinese Education System?

Some of the disadvantages of the Chinese education system are lack of teamwork between students, lack of personal communication with your professor, and also the lack of creativity in learning. Many assignments will be through individual work, and you will have a hard time having individual talks with the professor, which can be a bore at times. 

Check Also: Available Programs for International Students

Pros of the Chinese Education System

1. Affordable Educational Cost

Education in China is generally less expensive than in many other leading countries of the world such as the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada. Since many international students fail to complete their education due to high tuition fees and expensive living costs, the affordable attendance fees at Chinese institutions can be of great help to incoming students. 

In addition, the books you need to complete your study will probably cost lesser in China as compared to other countries. Since you might be required to buy whole selections of textbooks just to attend your classes, this factor will end up making a significant difference in the amount of money you spend.

2. Ingrained Chinese Culture in Education

For young children and older students alike, the Chinese education system emphasizes an incredible amount of respect for teachers, which is a great perk of the Chinese education system. Even if you take a look into classrooms today, students in China are found looking up to their teachers and listening to them intently.

So much so that many people form long-lasting bonds with their elementary teachers even years after learning from them. This habit of respect doesn’t just end in classrooms, and you can see many signs of respect even out in public. 

3. Necessary Breaks Between Classes

Schools usually take a 15-minute break in the middle of the day to have students perform some eye-relaxation exercises to help reduce strain. Students also get a break during lunch hours in which they can go home, have lunch with their family, and then rest up a little before returning to school.

By giving each student time to relax between classes, the institution tries its best to care for the physical and mental well-being of its students. For international students, the break times between classes are a great way to make new friends and develop your skills of listening and speaking Chinese. 

Cons of the Chinese Education System

1. Lack of Group Projects and Collaborations

For anyone moving to China for education from a western country, the heavy reliance on exams will seem like a huge adjustment. To get into colleges, students are often required to pass an entrance exam, and from school till college, students are expected to learn everything they are taught through exams.

The concept of group projects and other collaborative work doesn’t exist that much in China since many evaluations are done through individual coursework. If you really like doing group projects and talking with other people to figure out a solution, you might not be a good fit for Chinese institutions. 

2. High Faculty-to-Student Ratio

In most schools, you will be sitting with some 30 to 50 students in each class as opposed to a maximum of 20 in countries like the U.S. This means that teachers don’t have the time or capacity to offer individualized teaching and students are mostly expected to learn by themselves. There is no one-on-one interaction between the teacher and the students.

Due to the lack of personal communication with the teacher, you will need to ask for your peer’s help if you are facing problems in the course. Don’t be afraid to ask for notes, and make sure to pay attention during class.  In most cases, Chinese primary classrooms have only one teacher that stays with the students for years, which is a con of the Chinese Educational System. 

3. Lack of Creativity

Creativity is not as important in China as the emphasis on logic and memorization is. Students are given a lot of homework so they can’t focus on anything other than learning the text and doing math problems. This is why Chinese students are often excellent at logic-based subjects like mathematics and science.

They are also extremely focused on working hard all the time because that is how they learn. There is simply no place or time for any individuality and creativity. Due to their lack of creativity, the Chinese educational system might not be for everyone since it discourages the growth of creativity, which might lead to spectacular innovation. 

Conclusion: Both a Pro and a Con?

Some things about the Chinese education system can be considered both a pro and a con. For example, the curriculum students follow contains a narrower spectrum of knowledge but it is taught in much more depth than in many other countries. One example is their focus on mathematics. They teach mathematics from so many angles and put so much emphasis on it that students end up being excellent at it.

Even the cons of the Chinese education system mentioned in this article may not be considered cons by everyone because all of this has kept China afloat for many years and has brought it to the top of many of the world’s lists. So, one has to understand that every country will have differences in what it deems more important as far as training its students is concerned. We can only point out the facts of a country’s education system and our opinion on them, and you have to then decide what is more and less important to you.


I hope that this article on the Pros and Cons of the Chinese Educational System was helpful. If you are interested in studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!