Contemporary education in Chinese society has become more of a priority for both families and government for different reasons. Families view it as a path to social mobility and are willing to spend a large portion of the household budget for it. For government, education is socialization into the national identity and a means to strengthen the nation and build a knowledge economy. Compared to other developing countries, China has made rapid progress in implementing nine years of basic education, senior secondary academic and vocational schools, and a system of mass higher education. According to the National Outline for Medium-and Long-term Education Reform and Development 2010-2020, the average years of schooling for the working age population will reach 11.2 years by 2020 (from 9.6 years in 2010). By 2030, the access rate to higher education will reach 40 percent. Education has become central to making the country globally competitive by providing human capital that will drive its transition from middle-to high-income nation (Outline 2010). This chapter starts with a brief history of education, to be followed by a discussion of contemporary primary and secondary schools, higher education, the rural-urban divide, and education for ethnic minority groups in China.