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Policy support promised for private school development

By Zhao Xinying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-01-18 16:29

Private school development will be supported in China through preferential policies on financing, taxation and land, the Education Ministry announced at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

The announcement followed the State Council, China’s cabinet, releasing a series of guidelines on its website earlier in the day, saying the government will encourage individuals and organizations to run private educational institutions.

Such institutions are divided into nonprofit and for-profit in China. The ministry said the two types of institutions will be administered differently, and the support they get will also differ.

For example, nonprofit institutions can use land allocated by the government, just as public schools do, while their for-profit counterparts cannot.

However, for-profit private schools can charge tuition fees they set themselves while nonprofit institutions have their tuition fees set by the provincial government where the institution is located.

Education authorities at all levels of the country are being encouraged to carry out their own detailed, specific policies under the guidelines released by the State Council, the ministry said.

According to the revised law on private education, which was passed in November, for-profit institutions are no longer allowed to form a part of the nine years of compulsory education in China, which consists of primary and junior middle school.

This means that some private institutions that previously generated profits from running primary and junior middle schools have to become nonprofit schools or give up on compulsory education altogether and turn into preschools, high schools or institutes of higher education.

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