Adult education is different from ordinary full-time education. Its admission examination is uniformly organized by provincial and municipal education departments and its graduates receive nationally recognized unified adult education certificates.
Adult education mainly caters to in-service employees seeking to update their academic qualifications, or learn professional knowledge. Most people accepting adult education have come of age. There are four major forms of adult continuing education: the adult university entrance exam, self-taught higher education examinations, TV university modern open distance education and online education, each of which has its own characteristics. Only the adult university entrance exam is nationally uniform.
Adult university entrance exam
The exam is on Saturday and Sunday in the second week of October each year. Examinees usually register online from mid-August to early September. This kind of adult education requires the students to have a better foundation compared to the other three.
Off-job: Learners go to school for full-time study after taking a job. During the study, learners no longer go to work, but study in relatively fixed classrooms and have winter and summer vacations like ordinary college students. It is suitable for people who can give up their work and fully engage in study.
Spare time: Generally, learners are in-service employees working near where the colleges and universities are located and take classes at night or on weekends.
Correspondence: It is suitable for office workers who have little spare time. The learners receive study materials by mail and usually study at home. Before the end-of-term unified exam, they will be taught in several face-to-face sessions.
Self-taught higher education examinations
The self-taught higher education examination is a national academic examination for self-learners. Examinees can either study at a secondary school in a higher education institution or enter the higher education institution for full-time study (application-oriented examinees); or study in a student aid unit or learn by themselves (society-oriented examinees). Examinees are examined in a single subject uniformly organized by the national examination organization. They receive a certificate of qualification after they pass the examination in that subject. They can only apply for graduation after they pass the examinations in all required subjects. (Examinees who apply for bachelor degree shall provide a nationally recognized junior college graduate certificate).
TV university open education
TV university open education, also known as long-distance open education, poses few restrictions on the age, occupation, region, or academic qualification of the learners. Anyone who aspires to learn and has a certain cultural foundation can apply for admission without attending the entrance examination. Learners can decide for themselves the courses, media use, learning style, progress, time and location. A variety of media materials and modern information technologies are adopted in the teaching.
Every spring and autumn, learners can apply for admission into nationwide TV universities that have the largest number of students among all institutions of higher education. This form of education enables in-service employees with non-fixed breaks to improve themselves with open learning resources, a strong online learning platform, and face-to-face teaching.
There are many online education (distance education) schools, most of which are well-known domestic public universities. Learners who have tight schedules and do not have fixed time to attend classes can study anywhere as long as there is network access. In addition, entrance examinations are held every month and learners can apply for admission in either spring or autumn.