China: some introductory notes

China is the world's second largest economy, and is also the biggest growing market for education.

In 2015, there were more than 370,000 students at university and college in China.

UK education is very well respected and more than 150,000 Chinese students came to the UK to study in the last 12 months.

Yet, China is very different from other international education markets. The distance of 5,000 miles is a challenge. The education system is different to that of the UK and standards are somewhat different.

There are strict regulations, and procedures can be very complicated. Red tape and bureaucracy in China are real challenges. Plus, there are language and culture barriers, so the job of seeking and forging partnerships in China is not straightforward.

However, China’s national policy frameworks and strategic objectives are clear, and understanding how one can make proposals which assist in the advancement toward these objectives is key to formulating successful project or partnership bids.

UK NARIC’s China Connect policy briefings can support you in this.


China introductory notes: the Five Year Plan

China’s 13th Five Year Plan

Every five years, the Chinese government announces a five year plan, setting out the country’s key policies and medium-term targets.

China’s 13th Five Year Plan covers the period from 2016 to 2020.

Released in March 2016, this latest plan indicates education policies favouring programmes with apprenticeships, and focusing on the TVET sector in particular.

In the plan, the main objectives for the education sector are to improve the quality of education and to reduce the urban-rural gap, to improve the equity of compulsory education for all.

The plan also calls for a more proactive employment policy, and encourages the development of entrepreneurship for the general public, along with related reforms such as encouragement for business support and funding methods like incubators, crowdfunding and angel investors.

In particular, the plan calls for the promotion of employability and entrepreneurship among university and college graduates, and among young people. This section of the plan also sets out proposals for the development of a lifelong vocational skills training system, with several sub-tasks:

  • take action to deliver free vocational skills training for children from poor families, early leavers from junior and senior high schools, migrant workers, unemployed people and job transfer workers, as well as veterans
  • develop training modes for skilled workers with integration of work and learning, and school-enterprise cooperation such as new business apprenticeships
  • enhance the status of skilled manual workers, improve the job classification system, promote professional skills titles, and link certain levels of skills to qualification for residence permits (hukou) in top tier cities.

Want to know more? Register free for further briefing notes on the Five Year Plan, strategic priority sectors, and China Ministry of Education partnership regulations.