Living in China 1

University and education systems abroad often show serious differences to Germany. Find out more about the types of universities, admission requirements and tuition fees.


Structure and development of the higher education system

China has a large number (2,631) of state or state-recognized universities, which restrict their research and teaching to a special field, and full universities, which were mostly founded around the turn of the century.

In the last decade in particular, China has increasingly expanded its university system. The number of universities doubled during this period.

Not all institutions in the country are open to foreign students. The so-called key universities, which are directly subordinate to the Ministry of Education and not to the provincial governments, are almost identical to the universities to which foreign students are admitted (approx. 400).

The provincially administered universities make up the largest part. Only 75 universities report directly to the Ministry of Education. The division of universities according to the administering institution is the result of the efforts of the Chinese government to decentralize education in 1999. In addition to the state universities, a large number of state-accredited private universities have been able to establish themselves in recent years.

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Study system

The academic year in the People's Republic of China is divided into two semesters. The winter semester is the main semester in which most students start their studies. It starts in September and ends in January / February. The summer semester starts in February / March and ends in July.

In the course of an educational reform, an interactive form of teaching is finding its way into Chinese universities, but in comparison to Germany the teaching method is still heavily schooled. The performance is measured using a points system, which also provides for strict attendance. Almost all of the courses and lectures end with an examination.

That differentiates between:

The mostly four-year bachelor's degree programs (in exceptional cases also five and six years) lead to the acquisition of the academic title Xueshi.
The junior colleges, which offer practice-oriented two- to three-year courses, are also located in the undergraduate area. This is where part of the enormous need for skilled workers is met.

Building on the bachelor's degree programs, two- to three-year master’s degree programs are offered. You will be awarded the degree Shuoshi completed. For this, the necessary credits must be proven, an examination thesis must be written and successfully defended.

A three-year doctoral program also includes research-related courses and the associated acquisition of credits. The writing of the dissertation and the rigorosum are further prerequisites for the title Boshi to acquire.

An academic year usually consists of two sections, an autumn and a spring semester. The fall semester starts at the beginning of September and ends in January (before the Chinese Spring Festival). The spring semester starts at the beginning of March and ends in July. The exams always take place in July / August or January.

Information on questions about the recognition of academic achievements, degrees and academic degrees can be found in our tips in advance.

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In order to be able to take up a bachelor's degree at a Chinese university as a foreigner, you have to prove your university entrance qualification (Abitur, A-Levels, high school diploma, etc.). For further study programs, the respective qualifying academic degree must be submitted - i.e. the bachelor’s certificate for admission to a master’s program, master’s certificate for a PhD program.

General requirements for admission to study at a Chinese university are a valid passport and a visa, which requires the invitation from the university, as well as proof of sufficient language skills (see below), a health certificate (AIDS test) and a certificate of financial resources .

It should be noted that the majority of German students in China (approx. 98%) complete language courses or one or two semesters without a degree.

tuition fee

The Chinese universities raise. They vary from subject to subject and from university to university. A bachelor's degree costs between EUR 500 and EUR 850 per academic year - depending on the region and the prestige of the university. Up to EUR 1,400.00 can be charged for artistic or medical courses.

Further courses of study (master’s, doctorate) also cost up to EUR 1,400.00. English-language courses are usually even more expensive.

International students pay more. The fees are between EUR 2000 and EUR 5000. For "technical" Masters (MBA, engineering) fees of EUR 4,200 to EUR 14,000 are sometimes even charged annually.

Language requirements

Adequate knowledge of Chinese is another requirement that must be met in order to be admitted to a Chinese university. Depending on the subject, a different number of points must be achieved in the (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi; HSK). An increasing number of universities are offering programs in English for international students. For this purpose, applicants whose mother tongue is not English must present appropriate language certificates (TOEFL, IELTS).

can be found in Germany and China. One for learning the Chinese language and further information about China can be found on the website of the ..

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  • More information about the

Visa, work permit, looking for accommodation, cost of living - all of this should be well researched before going abroad. The following information will help you prepare.


Residence permit and work permit

For entry into the People's Republic of China, one is required in any case, which is categorized differently depending on the length of stay. The visa should not be applied for more than two months before departure from the. A valid passport with a photo, the letter of admission from the university and a copy of the health certificate (this does not apply to those who do not spend more than one semester in the PRC) are required for the application.

All Chinese visas can be applied for via the Chinese Visa Application Service Centers at the consulates general in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Frankfurt. The cost of a single-entry visa has been EUR 95.45 since August 2015.

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Once in China, students must register with the local police department within the first 30 days in order to receive a residence permit.

Foreign students are generally allowed to take a vacation job in China. The job offer and the payment are very different from region to region.


Please also think of a foreign health insurance (see). One possible alternative is that. Also (vaccinations) must be taken.

Visa procedure