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Ministry of Education (China)

Ministry of Education of
the People's Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Jiàoyùbù
Logo of the Ministry

Ministry of Education headquarters in
the Xicheng of Beijing
Agency overview
FormedOctober 1949; 74 years ago (1949-10)
Preceding agencies
  • Ministry of Education of the Central People's Government (1949–1985)
  • State Education Commission (1985–1998)
TypeConstituent Department of the State Council (cabinet-level executive department)
JurisdictionGovernment of China
Annual budgetCN¥5.3 trillion (2020)[1]
Agency executive
Parent agencyState Council
Child agencies Edit this at Wikidata

The Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China is a constituent department of the State Council, responsible for basic education, vocational education, higher education, and other educational affairs throughout the country. The Ministry of Education acts as the predominant funder of national universities and colleges in China. The ministry also accredits tertiary institutions, degree curriculum, and school teachers of the country.

The Ministry of Education currently has 19 internal departments and bureaus. As of 2022, there were 75 colleges and universities affiliated with the Ministry of Education.[2][3]


The Ministry of Education was founded in October 1949. The work of the ministry was overseen by the Culture and Education Commission that was created at the same time. On October 19, writer and poet Guo Moruo was made the director of the commission, and linguist Ma Xulun was made the first education minister of the People's Republic of China.[4]

In February 1958, the Ministry of Higher Education was merged into the Ministry of Education. In July 1964, the Ministry of Higher Education was restored. In July 1966, the Ministry of Higher Education was once again merged into the Ministry of Education.[5][6]

In June 1970, the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party decided to abolish the Ministry of Education and establish the Science and Education Group of the State Council.

The Ministry of Education was restored after the disruptions of the Cultural Revolution in 1975[7]: 92  by the 4th National People's Congress. Until the Ministry's 1975 restoration, the State Council's Science and Education Group was the most important government body in the education bureaucracy.[7]: 92 

On June 18, 1985, the Eleventh Standing Committee of the 6th National People's Congress decided to abolish the Ministry of Education and establish the National Education Commission of the People's Republic of China.

In 1998, the Decision on Institutional Reform of the State Council was adopted at the First Session of the 9th National People's Congress, and the National Education Commission was renamed the Ministry of Education.[5][6]

In 2003, China's Ministry of Education called for adding environmental education content throughout the public school curriculum from the first year of primary school through the second year of high school.[8]: 138  Its guidelines on environmental education emphasized firsthand experience and recommended that a quarter of environmental education content should consist of "practice activities".[8]: 138 

Development of the political counselor system

In 1952, the Ministry of Education sought to develop a system of political counselors as a pilot program in universities.[9]: 107  Tsinghua University established a political counselor program in 1953, becoming the first university to do so.[9]: 107  In this program, new graduates who were also Chinese Communist Party members worked as political counselors in managing the student body and student organizations, often simultaneously serving as Communist Youth League secretaries.[9]: 107 

The program was interrupted by the Cultural Revolution but resumed in 1977.[9]: 108  After its endorsement by Deng Xiaoping, the program expanded across higher educational institutions.[9]: 108 

Beginning in the 1990s, the political counselor system was further institutionalized and expanded in higher educational institutions throughout China, with the Ministry issuing standardized rules such as term limits and age limits in 2000.[9]: 108 

Organizational structure

According to the "Regulations on the Main Functional Configuration, Internal Organizations and Staffing of the Ministry of Education," the Ministry of Education has set up the following institutions:[2][10][3]

Internal departments

  • General Department
  • Department of Policies and Regulations
  • Development Planning Department
  • Comprehensive Reform Department
  • Personnel Department
  • Finance Department
  • Teaching Materials Bureau (Office of the National Teaching Materials Committee)
  • Department of Basic Education
  • Off-campus Education and Training Supervision Department
  • Department of Vocational and Adult Education
  • higher education department
  • Education Supervision Bureau (Office of the State Council Education Supervision Commission)
  • Department of Ethnic Education
  • Department of Teacher Affairs
  • Department of Physical Education, Health and Arts Education
  • Ideological and Political Work Department
  • Social Sciences Division
  • Department of Science, Technology and Information Technology
  • Department of College and University Students
  • Department of Degree Management and Graduate Education (Office of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council)
  • Language and Words Application Management Department
  • Language and Words Information Management Department
  • Department of International Cooperation and Exchange (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Office)
  • Office of the Inspector
  • Party Committee of the Ministry of Education
  • Retired Cadres Bureau
  • Secretariat of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

Affiliate national bureau

  • National Language and Words Work Committee (Deputy Ministerial Level)

Affiliate public institutions

  • Ministry of Education Service Center
  • National Institute of Educational Administration
  • Chinese Academy of Educational Sciences (Office of the National Educational Science Planning Leading Group)
  • Research Center for Scientific Development of Higher Education Institutions of the Ministry of Education
  • Vocational Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education
  • Chinese and Foreign Language Exchange and Cooperation Center of the Ministry of Education
  • Institute of Language and Character Applications (State Language Commission Putonghua and Character Application Testing Center)
  • National Open University (National University for the Elderly)
  • Educational Technology and Resource Development Center of the Ministry of Education (Central Audio-visual Education Center, Basic Education Resource Center of the Ministry of Education)
  • China Educational Television
  • Ministry of Education Education Management Information Center
  • Curriculum Materials Research Institute
  • Secretariat of China Scholarship Council
  • Ministry of Education Fund Supervision Affairs Center
  • National Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education
  • China Education Press
  • Educational Examination Agency of the Ministry of Education (Teacher Qualification Examination Center of the Ministry of Education, International Educational Measurement Exchange and Cooperation Center)
  • Ministry of Education Study Abroad Service Center (China Study Abroad Service Center)
  • National Student Financial Aid Management Center
  • Ministry of Education Student Services and Quality Development Center
  • Degree and Graduate Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education
  • Education Quality Assessment Center of the Ministry of Education
  • Chinese and Foreign Cultural Exchange Center of the Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Education Communication and Education Center

Affiliate higher education institutions

There are 75 colleges and universities affiliated with the Ministry of Education.[3]

Affiliate enterprises

  • China Education Publishing and Media Group Co., Ltd.
    • People's Education Press Co., Ltd.
    • Higher Education Press Ltd.
    • Chinese Language Publishing House Co., Ltd.
      • Language and Culture Press
      • China Audio and Video Publishing House
  • Educational Science Press Co., Ltd.

List of Education Ministers

No. Name Took office Left office
Education Minister of the Central People's Government
1 Ma Xulun October 1949 November 1952
Education Minister
2 Zhang Xiruo November 1952 February 1958
3 Yang Xiufeng February 1958 February 1964
4 Liu Jiping February 1964 October 1964
5 He Wei October 1964 June 1966
Vacant during the Cultural Revolution
6 Zhou Rongxin January 1975 April 1976
7 Liu Xiyao January 1977 February 1979
8 Jiang Nanxiang February 1979 May 1982
9 He Dongchang May 1982 June 1985
Chairman of State Education Commission
10 Li Peng June 1985 April 1988
11 Li Tieying April 1988 March 1993
12 Zhu Kaixuan March 1993 March 1998
Education Minister
13 Chen Zhili March 1998 March 2003
14 Zhou Ji March 2003 November 2009
15 Yuan Guiren November 2009 July 2016
16 Chen Baosheng July 2016 August 2021
17 Huai Jinpeng August 2021 Incumbent

See also


  1. ^ "China spends over 5.3 trillion yuan on education in". Archived from the original on June 10, 2021. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "国务院办公厅关于印发教育部主要职责内设机构和人员编制规定的通知 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站 Notice of the General Office of the State Council on Issuing the Regulations on the Main Responsibilities, Internal Institutions and Staffing of the Ministry of Education". Retrieved November 13, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c "教育部直属高等学校 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站". Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. Archived from the original on June 11, 2022. Retrieved May 29, 2022.
  4. ^ Yang, Ming; Ni, Hao (2018). Educational Governance in China. Singapore: Springer.
  5. ^ a b "我国教育体制改革大事记(1949-2010)_改革大数据服务平台". Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "新中国70年基础教育改革发展历程 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站". Retrieved October 15, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Minami, Kazushi (2024). People's Diplomacy: How Americans and Chinese Transformed US-China Relations during the Cold War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN 9781501774157.
  8. ^ a b Efird, Rob (2020). "Nature for Nurture in Urban Chinese Childrearing". In Esarey, Ashley; Haddad, Mary Alice; Lewis, Joanna I.; Harrell, Stevan (eds.). Greening East Asia: The Rise of the Eco-Developmental State. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 978-0-295-74791-0. JSTOR j.ctv19rs1b2.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Doyon, Jérôme (2023). Rejuvenating Communism: Youth Organizations and Elite Renewal in Post-Mao China. University of Michigan Press. doi:10.3998/mpub.12291596. ISBN 978-0-472-90294-1.
  10. ^ "教育部司局机构 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站". Retrieved November 20, 2023.
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Ministry of Education (China)
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