The University System in China, in brief:


China’s university system has been expanding rapidly and undergoing numerous reforms for further 10 years. The government wants to make it one of the best in the world and is giving itself the means to do so. Numerous agreements with universities of all nationalities have been put in place and reform plans have been launched so that by 2020, further 100 Chinese universities will reach the top of the world ranking.

Les études supérieures en Chine

Institutions to study in China:

Presently, China can count on about 2000 institutions dedicated to higher education, classified according to several categories in which the training provided is differentiated. The system is globally quite elitist, with fewer and fewer places available as you progress in your studies, so only the best can continue to study.

The choice of the type of institution for a Chinese student is based solely on the Gaokao, a test administered at the end of secondary education. If they pass, they can go on to study for 4 years or more. If not, he/she will turn to short professional training courses of 2 or 3 years, or in the worst case, will be excluded from the Chinese university system.

Foreign students are not required to take this test, as recruitment is based solely on their academic records. On the other hand, mastery of a minimum level of Chinese is mandatory to be able to enter a Chinese course. For those who do not master the language, it is however possible to apply in English courses, but again, you will have to prove your level.

The different university cycles and Chinese diplomas:

Universities are classified into different categories each offering different degrees. It takes the following form:

The first cycle: It is divided into several diplomas not opening to the same outlets

The “Dazhuan”: of level bac +2 or bac +3, it is a short training professional type that aims at insertion into the job market. It does not allow for further studies, at least in the Chinese university system. It is given in “Zhuanke” type institutions which represent 58% of higher education institutions in China.

The “Benke”: a four-year degree, it is the equivalent of our European bachelor’s degree. 37% of the country’s institutions are authorized to offer this training. It allows students to take competitive exams for further studies.

The second cycle corresponds to a single diploma accessible only after a “Benke” or its international equivalents.

The “Shuoshi”: a degree of 7 years of higher education, accessible after a “Benke” or its equivalents. Entry is by competitive examination and places are limited because institutions offering the “Benke” cannot necessarily offer the “Shuoshi” afterward.

The third cycle: corresponds to the elite cycle, and the places are limited.

The “Boshi”: a 10-year degree, accessible after a “Shuoshi”. For foreign students, it is necessary to have an excellent academic level, but also in English and Chinese, and to have at least a master’s degree with honors, or even a doctorate.