Education in Jiangsu

Jiangsu is one of China’s eastern provinces in the Yangtze Delta, located a few hours away from the international metropolis of Shanghai. This province embodies the fiscal intentions of modern China in the economic capitals of Suzhou and Nanjing, while also working diligently to maintain the integrity, history and values of ancient China with the adamant preservation of old buildings and ancient cultural artifacts. Along with the economic prosperity and rich cultural history, Jiangsu has also pushed for rapid and progressive development in other fields and has become known as a leader in China’s push for advanced education.

This focus on education isn’t entirely new to Jiangsu, as the province has put a great emphasis on education over the past few centuries. Although the province makes up only 1% of China’s total landmass, the number of scholars in the intellectual era’s of the Ming and Qing dynasties equate to almost one third of the total scholars in all of China, laying the foundation for an in-depth understanding of, and strong focus on education in modern day Jiangsu. There is also a strong focus in Jiangsu on artistic and non-scientific education that may not be present in other provinces. The focus on preserving history and building a prevalent arts scene translated into the educational system in Jiangsu, facilitating the creation of many schools that may be considered ‘alternative’ in the eyes of modern day China. There are many firsts, including: the Nantong Textile Vocational Technology College, The Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, the first (modern) school for Operatic education as well as the Nanjing School for the Deaf.

In Jiangsu, there are now 131 colleges and universities with a total of 1.8 million students. The number of university students in Jiangsu encompasses approximately 10% of the total university students in all of China, and 2.7% of the students in the entire world. Higher education institutions in Jiangsu have established exchanges and cooperative relationships with more than 500 overseas universities and colleges in recent years. Since admission of international students became a possibility in 1976, more than 130, 000 international students from 175 foreign countries have come to study in Jiangsu. More recently, the number of international students has increased by an average annual rate of nearly 15%. In 2012, 45 universities and colleges received approximately 17000 international students, 45% of which were participating in a year-long certificate program, while 74% were enrolled in a post-secondary degree. There are 15 different Chinese Government Scholarships available at the many universities in Jiangsu, making this province a major benefactor for foreign students in China.

Jiangsu is also trying to progress in the realm of education for international students by enticing those from China’s partner countries to pick China, and specifically Jiangsu province. The biggest issues that foreign students face are either the language or financial barriers that inhibit students from studying abroad. The different levels of government, as well as the universities and colleges, are working diligently in an attempt to remedy this issue, facilitation an educational system that appeals to students in the modern culture of globalization. By 2015, colleges and schools in Jiangsu will have built up more than 100 English-instructed excellent courses and 300 bilingual excellent courses to the needs of foreign student education.

There is also a plan to expand the “Jasmine Scholarship” that is currently offered to international students who plan on coming to Jiangsu, offering exemplary students financial incentives to study in Jiangsu province. The official plan is to have over 30000 foreign students studying in Jiangsu by 2015 – Working towards advancing their Mandarin language skills or a 4-year undergraduate University degree. The province is also working to have more students enrolled in graduate or PhD programs in China, with an attempt to have approximately three percent of all students enrolled in graduate degrees as non-Chinese nationals. The increasing degree options as well as the many scholarships offered in Jiangsu make this province an extremely appealing option for those wishing to come to China to study. In big university cities such as Nanjing, there is also a large foreign student population, as well as many restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels that offer services in English, which can make the transition process much easier for those unfamiliar to life in an Asian country. Another reason that students may want to study in Nanjing is the extremely low cost of living compared to western countries. In a city like New York, where the transit costs $2 per ride and an inexpensive meal costs between $10 and $30, the amount of money spent per day may quickly surpass the average student’s budget. In Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu, the average subway ride costs approximately $0.30 and an average meal will cost between $1 and $5 dollars. A meal at a mid-range restaurant may cost between $10 and $15 per person, which by western standards, is very low. If you choose to simply eat one of the many delicious street food options, you could potentially be spending less than $1 on every meal. The quality of food is generally very high, even for street food, making it quite easy to avoid spending large amounts of money in Jiangsu. If excessive shopping is avoided, one could potentially spend less than $20 per day on food and other living expenses. Living a more indulgent lifestyle, with expensive meals and local trips may still be possible for those students who have come to China with some personal savings.

Different Programs offered in Jiangsu

1. Non-degree Education Program:

Usually a year-long program where students can about the history of China as well as the Mandarin language. These programs are mostly taught in Mandarin although some universities do offer English instruction.

2. University Degree Programs:

Bachelors, Masters as well as PhD programs are offered in many different subjects, from History to Engineering. The majority of the programs require written and spoken Mandarin, although the number of courses taught in English is increasing every year. Most bachelor/undergrad degrees are offered in 4 years and a medical degree will take approximately 5-6 years. Generally in China, a Masters program takes between 2-3 years, making them longer than most masters programs offered in the West.

3. Short-Term Education Programs:

These are offered during the summer in China (June-August), lasting approximately 1-8 weeks depending on the course of study.

Scholarship Programs

1. Jasmine Jiangsu Government Scholarship Program for International Students in Jiangsu

The Jasmine Jiangsu Government Scholarship Program was established by the Jiangsu provincial government in 2010 and created to fund exemplary international who wish to study in Jiangsu. This scholarship is intended for international students who apply for full-degree programs and apply directly from their home countries. Full scholarships and partial scholarships are available. More information is available under the column of “scholarships of this website.

2. Chinese Government Scholarships

This scholarship was established by the Chinese Ministry of Education and aims to strengthen international relationships and educational exchanges between China and its many partner countries. Full and partial scholarships are available and generally offer full-tuition, book fees, flight costs, residence costs and a small stipend. You can learn more about the Chinese Government Scholarship through your schools financial assistance department, government website or through your local universities Mandarin department.

3. Confucius Institute Scholarship

This scholarship was developed in the name of the famous Chinese scholar, Confucius and aims to assist international students who wish to further pursue a Masters program in Chinese Language and Literature, Chinese History, Chinese Philosophy or in the advancement of the Mandarin language. This scholarship is also offered for any student wishing to pursue their “Master's Degree in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages” (MTCSOL). Those who receive the scholarship will have their tuition fees and accommodations paid for, as well as other fees, including registration, school materials, and medical insurance. Students will also receive a lump sum of cash as well as a monthly allowance that can be put towards education or the student’s personal life. You can learn about this scholarship through your local schools Chinese Language program/department.