In recent years, Kunshan has been committed to modernizing and improving education by optimizing educational resource distribution and increasing spending on education, so as to create a modern education system aligned with local socio-economic progress. Over the years, it has been honored as a provincial model in teaching capacity development and education modernization as well as a national model in balanced compulsory education. As of 2016, the city has 246 schools, including 131 kindergartens, 54 primary schools, 8 nine-year schools, 23 junior high schools, 7 senior high schools, 4 secondary vocational schools, 1 secondary vocational training institution, 10 community education centers, 1 special education school, 7 institutions of higher education, with a total population of 249,200 students and 16,700 teachers.
1) Life-long education: 100% of preschool children attend kindergartens in the three years before receiving formal education; 100% of children receive compulsory education. The gross enrolment ratio of students in senior secondary education is also 100%; among them, 46% go to senior high schools, while 54% receive secondary vocational education. The employment rate of secondary vocational school graduates has been maintained above 98%. The gross enrolment ratio of students in higher education is 68.2%. In terms of adults, 69% of rural and urban residents participate in educational activities; 77% of professionals participate in continuing education; 52% of senior citizens are also provided with education opportunities.
2) Diversified education: Kunshan has been advancing educational reforms by encouraging the private sector to invest in education. Currently, Kunshan has 53 private schools, including 30 kindergartens, 18 primary and secondary schools, 1 secondary vocational school and 4 institutions of higher education. Such a diversified education system can effectively satisfy educational needs of different student groups.
3) IT-assisted education: Kunshan is implementing a "smart education" program among local schools from kindergartens to senior high schools, which has created three service platforms respectively for students, teachers and parents. One hundred percent of its public schools have developed school networks in accordance with provincial standards, which enables connectivity among all classes within a school. With IT applied to 100% of courses, students have demonstrated much better performance in research, collaboration and information processing.
4) High quality education: Kunshan has developed 54 provincial-level model kindergartens, 3 four-star senior high schools and 2 four-star secondary vocational schools. The university enrolment ratio has been growing year on year. Between 2011 and 2015, a total of 15,431 students were enrolled by universities and colleges, including 12,586 students receiving undergraduate education. Kunshan has also shown significant progress in art and sports education, as evidenced by 2,520 individual prizes and 310 collective prizes won by local students in municipal- and higher-level competitions. Moreover, the city has also achieved a brilliant performance in scientific and technological education. The number of prizes won by Kunshan in provincial and national scientific and technological contests represents over 60% of Suzhou's total.
Currently, international education institutions in Kunshan include Duke Kunshan University, Hua Dong Taiwan Businessmen's School, Canadian International School Kunshan and Kang Chiao International School.