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University Rankings

Chinese Universities are Rising in the Rankings

China’s economy is growing rapidly, and its universities are moving quickly up international rankings. 


A total of 382 colleges and universities in China are listed in the US News 2023 World University Rankings. Compared with last year, the

overall ranking of Chinese universities has improved greatly.This year, Tsinghua University is ranked 23rd in the world, an improvement

of 3 places compared with last year, and enters the global Top 30, ranking the first in mainland universities. Peking University follows,

ranking 39th in the world, also improved 6 places compared with last year. Shanghai Jiao Tong University is ranked 89th in the world,

ranking third in China, an improvement of 16 places from last year. Zhejiang University is ranked 93rd in the world and fourth in China,

an improvement of 22 places from last year. This is the first time that Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Zhejiang University have entered

the global top 100.


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Here are the top 10 universities in China:    1. Tsinghua University 2. Peking University(PKU) 3. Zhejiang University(ZJU) 4. Fudan University 5. Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) 6. University of Science and Technology of China(USTC) 7. Nanjing University(NJU) 8. Beihang University 9. Renmin University of China 10. Tongji University

Feel free to reach out to us to find out more about universities in China! 


How Are Chinese Universities Ranked?

Chinese Universities are ranked by domestic and international university ranking publications, namely the Wu Shulian and CUAA rankings. 

 Wu Shulian Ranking As the name implies, Wu Shulian is the leader of this university ranking program. Wu Shulian is, according to his claim,

a researcher from Guangdong. According to the program, a list of the top 100 Chinese universities will be released every year, since 1996.    

CUAA (Chinese Universities Alumni Association) Rankings  The CUAA  is among the most prominent rankings for Chinese universities. It is a

ranking system based on the number of billionaires that have graduated from each university, including its alumni.

How Are Universities Classified In China?

While these are not official, Chinese universities are commonly classified according to four government projects: Project 211, Project 985,

the C9 League, and last but not least, the Double First Class University Plan. Read below for further details of each project!   Project 211  

Project 211 was launched in 1995 by the Ministry of Education of China to improve research standards at comprehensive universities and

cultivate socio-economic development strategies. The significance behind the name ‘Project 211’ was the goal to “manage 100

universities successfully for the 21(st) century”. At present, there are 116 universities funded by Project 211, the government's

highest-funded program. Many of the 'Project 211' universities are considered to be some of the most prestigious in China. 



Project 985  

As Project 985 was founded in May 1998, it was given the name 985. The project aims to improve China's higher education system's

reputation and development by securing financing from local and national governments for the construction of facilities, conferences,

and the recruitment of new talent for the 21st century.   'Project 985' is a network of elite academic institutions that accept students

through a highly competitive process called the National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gaokao) for undergraduate students.

Members of 'Project 985' are classified as doctoral universities with high research activity. According to the Academic Ranking of World

Universities, 32 universities in Project 985 ranked in the Top 300, including 24 Top 200 universities and 8 Top 100 universities. 

C9 League  

The C9 League is an alliance of nine leading public research universities in China, namely:    

- Fudan University (Shanghai)

- Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Shanghai)  Peking University (Beijing)

- Tsinghua University (Beijing)

- Nanjing University (Nanjing)

- Harbin Institute of Technology (Harbin)

- University of Science and Technology of China (Anhui)

- Zhejiang University (Hangzhou)

- Xi’an Jiaotong University (Xi’an)   

There are special resources allocated to C9 League schools, and they have special arrangements for resource-sharing. National and local

governments provide substantial funding for these universities to build new research centers, improve facilities, host international

conferences, attract world-renowned faculty, and fund the attendance of conferences abroad.   Additionally, they have a higher percentage

of elite academics with top academic honors, compared to other institutions. Members of the C9 League are viewed as some of the most

prestigious universities of all in China and they consistently rank among the best in the world. Their graduates are also in high demand

around the world and have one of the highest levels of employability. 

Double First Class University Plan

As a government-backed initiative founded in 2015, it aims to develop and strengthen individual faculty departments of elite Chinese

universities in order to transform them into world-class universities by 2050. As part of the target, 42 world-class universities will be built

by 2050, including 36 class A universities and six class B universities. Double First-Class Universities are among the most prestigious

institutions of tertiary education in China, representing an elite 5% of universities and colleges.  

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Are Rankings Important When Choosing A Chinese University?

The ranking of Chinese Universities can be helpful, but it should not be the only factor to consider when you're choosing one to study at.

Rather, university rankings should serve only as guidelines for assessing their standings and helping you make an informed decision.

Ultimately, each university has its own strengths and specializations, but one thing is for certain: each offers a unique educational

experience. The university you choose should have a strong reputation in the discipline or program that you are interested in pursuing.

In a nutshell, the choice of a university should not be solely based on prestige, but also on the holistic quality of education. What's most

important is to choose the university that suits your needs and preferences!

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