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Greetings from the Education and Research Section at the Australian Embassy, Beijing.  See below a round-up of recent China-related education related media releases, which we trust will be useful for developing a better understanding of China's education policy environment. 
Top Stories this issue
National
China eases visa rules for international students
China issues document on increasing people's scientific knowledge
China issues guideline to further promote national defense education
MoE issues plan to ensure safe start to new school semester nationwide
China provided 2 trillion RMB (425 billion AUD) student aid in past ten years
China has signed intergovernmental agreements on culture/tourism with 157 countries

Provincial/SAR
Over 500 Hong Kong students register for new border channel aimed at easing travel to mainland China for start of school year
Hong Kong schools cut 67 Primary One classes, as emigration and tough Covid-19 curbs continue to dent student population
Fifth World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in Shanghai
 
Also of interest

British Council announce to open 11 new IELTS testing locations in China from September (CHN)
Why have Chinese student numbers been slower to recover this year?
Beijing now a moderately aging society, to become severely aging by 2035
National
China eases visa rules for international students

By China Daily, 25 August 2022
China has eased border entry restrictions for international students and business travelers starting on 24 August as part of broader steps to facilitate greater cross-border travel and exchange more than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (related article by ICEF: Gradual reopening of Chinese border underway)
 

China issues document on increasing people's scientific knowledge
By China Daily, 4 September 2022
The Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council have recently issued a guideline on facilitating the popularisation of science to encourage innovation throughout society. The document sets a range of targets including increasing the proportion of citizens with scientific literacy to 15% by 2025 and 25% by 2035.
 

China issues guideline to further promote national defense education
By ECNS, 1 September 2022
On 1 September, a guideline on enhancing and improving national defense education for all people was issued by the Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission. The guideline specifies further efforts to implement a holistic approach to national security, enhance people's vigilance against potential dangers in times of peace, respect for military personnel, and sense of responsibility to build a strong country with a strong military.
 

MoE issues plan to ensure safe start to new school semester nationwide
By China Daily, 1 September 2022
On 31 August, the Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE) released a document requiring strict implementation of epidemic containment measures amid the beginning of the new semester. According to the latest epidemic containment plan for universities, all people entering the campus must wear masks and have their health code and temperature checked.
 

China provided 2 trillion RMB (425 billion AUD) student aid in past ten years
By China Daily, 31 August 2022
According to the MoE, China’s financial aid system has offered more than 2 trillion RMB (425 billion AUD) to help students in the past decade. Approximately 72.5% of the 2 trillion was provided by the government. The rest was funded by schools and society, as well as loans issued by financial institutions.
 

China has signed intergovernmental agreements on culture/tourism with 157 countries
By English.gov.cn, 25 August 2022
According to the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, China has to date signed intergovernmental agreements concerning culture and tourism with 157 countries and has set up overseas cultural and tourism institutions in 93 countries.
 

Provincial/SAR
Over 500 Hong Kong students register for new border channel aimed at easing travel to mainland China for start of school year
By SCMP, 24 August 2022
More than 500 Hong Kong students have registered for a new border channel within a day of its launch, aimed at easing travel to mainland China for the start of the school year amid tough Covid-19 restrictions. Most of the students’ destinations were in Guangdong and Fujian provinces.
 

Hong Kong schools cut 67 Primary One classes, as emigration and tough Covid-19 curbs continue to dent student population
By SCMP, 2 September 2022
Hong Kong schools were forced to slash 67 Primary One classes this academic year as the student population continues to fall amid an emigration wave and the pandemic. The reduction in classes means about 1,675 spots were shed this academic year. The Hong Kong Education Bureau’s 2021 figures showed a total of 30,515 students had left schools in Hong Kong between October 2020 and last September, including about 5,000 pupils from kindergartens, and around 10,000 and 15,000 students from primary and secondary schools respectively.
 

Fifth World Artificial Intelligence Conference held in Shanghai
by ECNS, 2 September 2022
The fifth World Artificial Intelligence Conference was held in Shanghai from 1-3 September. The event attracted more than 200 exhibitors.
 

Also of interest
British Council announce to open 11 new IELTS testing locations in China from September (CHN)
By British Council Wechat, 2 September
The British Council in China has announced on 2 September that 11 new testing sites for the IELTS exam will be added in eight cities in China. This brings the total number of computer testing sites in China to 58 (in 33 cities).
 

Why have Chinese student numbers been slower to recover this year?
By ICEF, 24 August 2022
According to a recent report by consultancy Oliver Wyman, there has been a slow rebound of Chinese students this year. The report suggests this may be due to reasons including:
  • Increased capacity and quality in China’s higher education system;
  • Chinese employers’ greater interest in hiring Chinese-educated graduates;
  • Continuing fears about contracting COVID-19 abroad and being unable to return home;
  • Awareness of xenophobia directed towards Chinese students in the US at the outset of the pandemic, when some unfairly associated Chinese students with the emergence of the virus;
  • Shifts in global power and influence between China and the West.
Beijing now a moderately aging society, to become severely aging by 2035
By Global Times, 2 September 2022
The number of people aged 60 years and above in Beijing in 2021 for the first time accounted for more than 20 percent of the city's total, indicating that the Chinese capital has become a moderately aging society, according to a government report released on 2 September. According to the Beijing Municipal Working Commission on Aging, the number of elderly people in Beijing will reach 7 million by 2035, accounting for over 30 percent of the total population, and the number of people aged 80 and above will reach 1 million.
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Please note that the articles above are summaries of Chinese media (all hyperlinked) and we have not independently verified the accuracy of the information. All views expressed  are those of the media cited and not necessary held by us.

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