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Types of Education in Shanghai

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Types of Education in Shanghai

When it comes to education in Shanghai, there are various types and programs available. Under the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission are International Schools, Chinese Local Schools, International Schools with the same curriculum as the student’s native country, and an International Division of local Chinese schools.

Some types of schooling are:

  • American schools
  • British schools
  • International Baccalaureate systems

International Schools have different education systems based on student’s age group.

  • Primary Years Program, or PYP (ages 3-12)
  • Secondary Years, or Middle Years Program, MYP (ages 11-16)
  • The High School Diploma, or final phase, can be earned through:

      1.American Advanced Placement (AP) system

      2.IB Diploma Program

      3.A-Levels British Program.

The PYP and MYP programs are offered at American, British, and International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in Shanghai. There are three different schooling options for earning a High School Diploma in Shanghai, which vary depending on choice. These subdivisions of curriculums each have their own unique characteristics.


International Baccalaureate (IB)

The IB Program is a college preparatory course of study that caters to highly motivated secondary school students. It is independent of governments and national systems, therefore includes the best aspects of many national education systems, not just one particular country.

Students who take IB courses are required to take the IB exam to conclude their education. Students have the option to take select, individual IB courses or the full IB diploma (IBDP), which has additional requirements.

The DP program is for students between the ages of 16-19. There are three core elements to this program (along with six subject groups) which are:

  • Theory of Knowledge,
  • Extended Essay
  • CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service)

Alongside this is another option for students between the ages of 16-19, the IBCC, or IB Career-related Certificate Program. This is a three-part program specifically for students who desire career training.

Advanced Placement (AP)

The AP, or Advanced Placement, Program is created to motivate and challenge U.S and Canadian high school students with college-level courses and examinations. In the required AP exam, a score of three is passing and a five is the highest score possible.

If a student earns a qualifying exam grade they could be granted credit, advanced placement, or both, by most American colleges and universities. Further, an AP International Diploma is now offered.

This caters to secondary school students in the U.S or abroad, who have an international outlook. However, students must take a series of AP exams and earn qualifying scores in order to earn an APID.


American Systems

There is no national curriculum in the United States; therefore American schools in Shanghai do not have one specific curriculum. However, each state in America does require certain standards or have federal laws that guide school’s content.

This defines the knowledge and skills students should gain in their K-12 education years. The intent is that they will graduate high school and be prepared for entry-level college courses and training programs for entering the workforce.

In Shanghai, the American schooling curriculum values standards oriented toward college and work expectations and emphasizes other top performing countries in order to prepare students f