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The Top Universities and Chinese Programs in China

As a part of the China’s new “comprehensively deepening” reform and open policy, the Chinese government is considering to launch a new policy for international student who are studying in China’s Universities which will allow international students to directly seek a job and stay in China after graduation. While in the past, the international students in China’s universities have to go back and “serve” their own country for at least two years before coming back China for a full-time job. However, this new policy is cautiously carried on where it will only be put into practice in Beijing and Shanghai as a pilot area.

This small change will bring big differences to those seeking to work in China. For international students who are planning their education in China, they are free to find a job after graduation in China. For China’s universities, they will become competitive internationally at the collegiate level.

We will introduce some top China’s universities and China Study programs. If you are planning to attend some courses or work on your degrees in China, we hope that this information can be of some help.

Top 10 University Rankings in China

The USNews has published their annual report on Chinese university rankings in 2015, including those in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Here is what they listed:


World Ranking


Peking University


University of Hong Kong


Tsinghua University


National Taiwan University


Fudan University


Chinese University of Hong Kong


Zhejiang University


Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


University of Science and Technology of China


Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Nanjing University

The ranking may changes by year, however Beida and Qinghua in Beijing, Fudan and Jiaoda in Shanghai have a well-known reputation in the education world. In mainland China, there are also qualifying numbers for universities that reach a certain standard set by the China’s Ministry of Education. These numbers are “985” and “211”. “985” Universities are top schools within the country and there are only thirty nine “985” Universities. The title “985” originates from a speech delivered by former president Jiang Zemin in May of 1998 for Peking University’s 100th Anniversary. After the speech, the Chinese government launched the “Project 985” which evaluated universities’ all-round performance and invested a huge of amount of money to China’s best universities in order to push them towards the “World First Class” University.

Before “Project 985”, the Chinese government had launched “Project 211” from 1991 to 1992 to establish China’s top 100 Universities in the 21st century. Technically, all “985” universities are “211” universities, but it isn’t the same vice versa. The students who graduated from 985 or 211 Universities enjoy obvious or some potential advantages in the job market given their academic prestige.

Top China Study Program in China’s Universities

If you are planning to join in a China study program in Mainland China, you should first look for one in the top ten or 985 universities. For example, the famous Yenching Academy China Study Master Program of Peking University which offers courses from Chinese history and culture, to real-time issues in China’s development. The program’s core courses are:

These study programs are generally language and culture balanced. The language courses provide Chinese classes with all levels from beginners to advanced learners. The culture courses include Brief Introduction to China (English instructed) and Cultural workshops such as calligraphy, painting and Kungfu.

In addition the language and culture, there are speeches on various modern China Study topics given. As an example, the following is a curriculum of one summer program of 2015.

  1. Traditional culture in China
  2. China’s political system
  3. Cross straits relationship
  4. China’s Dream and the future of China
  5. China’s economic growth
  6. Development of Shanghai Free Trade Zone
  7. Technology advancement in China
  8. China’s household registration system
  9. The impact of globalization and modernization to the development of China’s society and culture

However, if you plan to learn Chinese Language in China, you need to know that some good options for institutions may not be in the top ten or “985” Universities category. Since many good language degree programs come from universities that specialize in language training, their quality might not be reflected in the overall rankings. For example, the BLCU, Beijing Language and Culture University located in the center of the universe “Wudaokou”, also known for its ridiculous large number of international students and high real estate price. BLCU is the only university in China that specialized in Chinese language and culture education to foreign students. Since it’s founding in 1962, the university has trained over 150,000 foreign students from 176 countries and regions. It has a full range of cutting-edge Chinese language and culture studies program and various graduate students programs. Some of them are:

  • International Politics
  • Education of Politics
  • Curriculum Design and Language Teaching Theories
  • Literature and Art Studies
  • Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
  • Chinese Philology and Language Studies
  • Chinese Classical Textual Philology
  • Chinese Classical Literature
  • Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature
  • Languages and Literature of Chinese Ethnic Groups
  • Comparative Literature and World Literature
  • Asian and African Languages and Literature
  • Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
  • Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages
  • English-Chinese Translation and Interpreting
  • French-Chinese Translation and Interpreting

In order to look for more information on China Universities or China Study Program, you can check on the webpage of Study in China of China Scholarship Council:

I hope this article was helpful in understanding the collegiate education in China. If you have any questions, you are also welcomed to leave a comment here, and I’d be happy to give more suggestions.

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Frank Geng

Frank (耿直)is a lecturer of Chinese in Fudan University, specialized in Chinese teaching grammar and Chinese textbook studies. He graduated from Beijing Language and Culture University as a B.A, and received his Ph.D from Peking University at 2012. His publications include A Corpus-based Study on Comparative Sentences “Gen, You, Bi”(Fundan University Press, 2013), A Chaotic Model of Choosing and Arranging Language Points for Chinese textbook: With “ba” Sentence as Example (Chinese Language Education Research, Volume 18, 2013), Chinese textbook Honghuo Chinese. He was also a visiting Chinese Professor in Murry State University in 2010 and is serving as a member of the council of The Association for Modernization of Chinese Language Education.

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