BEIJING, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Beijing is hosting the 2008 Olympic Games opening on Friday night. Six universities in the Chinese capital will accommodate athletes in their gymnasiums; about 1.7 million volunteers, mainly college students, will throw themselves into the event.
Here are basic facts and figures about Chinese education:
PRESCHOOL: Children aged between three and six
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION: 12 years
HIGHER EDUCATION: Four years
JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS: 62,431
SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS: 31,685
VOCATIONAL EDUCATION: In 2007, China had 14,832 secondary vocational and technical institutions. About 19.9 million students were studying in those vocational institutions.
PRIVATE TRAINING INSTITUTIONS: The country has 22,322 private training institutions. They offer on-the-job or part-time training for more than 8.8 million people.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: In 2007, about 410,000 physically disadvantaged students were studying in more than 1,540 special institutes.
HIGHER-LEARNING INSTITUTIONS: There were 2,236 schools of higher learning in 2007, accommodating over 18.9 million undergraduates and 1.2 million postgraduates.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: About 697,000 Chinese students are studying in 103 countries and regions. In addition, 195,503 students from 188 countries and regions are studying at Chinese universities.
TOP UNIVERSITIES: Peking University and Tsinghua University, among others.
NINE-YEAR COMPULSORY EDUCATION: The policy was introduced in 1986.
China's Education Law stipulated all citizens were to receive nine years of compulsory full-time education -- six years of primary school and three of middle school.
The government promised free nine year compulsory education for 150 million rural children. The policy was to benefit urban children this autumn.
In China, students can choose to pursue further study in high school and then go to college after nine years of compulsory education. Alternatively, they can go to vocational schools to learn applicable and useful techniques, which are important for them in hunting for jobs such as technicians.