The government supports private educational organizations. The first Law on Promotion of Private Education officially came into effect on September 1, 2003. Development of private schools means an increase in overall education supply and a change in the traditional pattern of government-only schools, so as to meet educational needs. By the end of 2005, there were 79,000 private schools of various types and levels, with a total enrollment of 17.694 million, including 228 ordinary private schools of higher education and adult colleges with a total enrollment of 1.398 million, and 1,187 other types of private schools of higher learning with a total enrollment of 1.053 million.
Private schools have pioneered cooperation with foreign partners. Many foreign universities have entered China through cooperation with China's private schools, both enriching China's education resources and opening new channels for students' further studies.