China has the largest education system in the world. The total enrollment of students in regular and adult schools at all levels exceeds 320 million, accounting for more than a quarter of the nation's population. Western educators, foreign companies, and individual entrepreneurs have invested in Chinese education but, perhaps because of the complexity of the Chinese education system and the rapid development of educational reforms, have had little success. This work examines the education system in post-Mao China from 1976 to the present. It explores how the Chinese government sees the development of its educational practices within the nation's broader social, economic, political, and cultural contexts; how it identifies new issues that emerge in the process of what might be called educational globalization; how it translates these issues into specific educational policies, activities, and goals; how the education reforms fit China's social and political realities and objectives; how the new policies affect foreign student affairs and Chinese students studying abroad; the ways in which the government promotes international educational cooperation and exchange; the opportunities for Western institutions to introduce programs in China; and current trends and their effect on the internationalization of education.
Xiufang Wang is the Dean of Business Development and International Cooperation at Canadian Tourism College. A former visiting professor at Renmin University of China, she lives in Calgary, Alberta Canada.