It is good tradition in Suzhou to respect teachers and value education. More than 2000 scholars (ZhuangYuan, JinShi) appeared in the history of Suzhou and at present the number of native academicians has reached more than 80. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially since the reform and opening-up, Suzhou has been focusing on “Flourishing the City through Science and Education” as one of the main strategies of its modern economic and social development. Historically, educational practices in the City have advanced to a new level every ten years or so.
From the year 2000, Suzhou has continued to promote the rapid development of its education as a first priority. Throughout the city, the gross enrollment of senior high school students has reached 95.6% of those eligible, and participation in higher education exceeds 50%. A system of universal basic education has been established. On several measures, the current level of instruction being offered in Suzhou is equivalent to that offered in developed Western countries in the late 1990’s
Educational resources have been further put in order. The structural adjustment of institutions of higher learning, basic education and vocational education witness a major progress. Personal quality education has been promoted in a full scale; basic education’s level has been raised up constantly. Senior high school and college and university’s enrollment rate reaches 96.3% and 88.3% respectively.
Higher education’s popularization level has been improved with a gross enrollment rate of 45%. In the year 2003, there are 381,500 pupils, 251,700 junior high school students, 115,800 senior high school students and 21,100 vocational school students, 22,100 technician training school students with 3000 graduates, 63,600 senior vocational school students with 8,600 graduates.