List of universities in China

This article is a list of universities in China, which is defined as the People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China and Hong Kong and Macau SARs.

By May 2017, there were 2,914 colleges and universities, with over 20 million students enrolled in mainland China.[1] and 156 colleges in the ROC free area. More than 6 million Chinese students graduated from university in 2008.[2] The "Project 211" for creating 100 universities began in the mid-1990s, and has merged more than 700 institutions of higher learning into about 300 universities. Corresponding with the merging of many public universities, has been the rapid expansion of the private sector in mainland China since 1999. Although private university enrollments are not clear, one report listed that in 2006 private universities accounted for around 6 percent, or about 1.3 million, of the 20 million students enrolled in formal higher education in China.[3] As of 2018, the country has the world's second highest number of universities in the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy's top 500 universities.[4]

List of universities by provincial-level divisions

The following notation is used:

  • National (Direct): Directly administered by the Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE)
  • National (Other): Administered by other ministries
  • Ω (National Key Universities): Universities with high regards from the MOE and the Chinese government
  • Provincial: Public university administered by the province (or the autonomous region)
  • Municipal: Public university administered by the municipality
  • Private: Privately owned and funded university, or independent institution
  • Mainland-HMT: Mainland China-Hong Kong or Macao or Taiwan joint venture university
  • Sino-foreign: Sino-foreign joint venture university

The default list should follow the neutral order provided by MOE, namely the numerical order of identification codes.



Autonomous regions

Special administrative regions

Leading and time-honored universities in China

Peking University is the first formally established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking (京師大學堂) in 1898 in Beijing as a replacement of the ancient Guozijian, the national central institute of learning in China's traditional educational system in the past thousands of years. Three years earlier, Sheng Xuanhuai submitted a memorial to Guangxu Emperor to request for approval to set up a modern higher education institution in Tianjin. After approval on 2 October 1895, Peiyang Western Study School (天津北洋西學學堂) was founded by him and American educator Charles Daniel Tenney (丁家立) and later developed to Peiyang University (北洋大學堂). In 1896, Sheng Xuanhuai delivered his new memorials to Guangxu Emperor to make suggestion that two official modern higher education institutions should be established in Beijing/Tangshan and Shanghai. In the same year, he founded Nanyang Public School (南洋公學) in Shanghai by an imperial edict issued by Guangxu Emperor. The institution initially included elementary school, secondary school, college, and a normal school. Later the institution changed its name to Jiao Tong University (also known as Chiao Tung University). In the 1930s, the university often referred itself as "MIT in the East"[5][6] due to its reputation of nurturing top engineers and scientists. In the 1950s, part of this university was moved to Xi'an, Shaanxi, and was established as Xi'an Jiaotong University; the part of the university remaining in Shanghai was renamed Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These two universities have developed independently since then, along with the original Beijing Jiaotong University.

Meanwhile, Wuhan University also claimed that its predecessor Ziqiang Institute (自強學堂) was the first modern higher education institution in China. On 29 November 1893, Zhang Zhidong submitted his memorial to Guangxu Emperor to request for approval to set up an institution designed for training students specializing in foreign languages, mathematics, science and business. After Ziqiang was founded in Wuchang, not only courses in foreign languages was taught, courses in science (chemical and mining courses starting from 1896) and business (business course starting from the very beginning) were also developed at the school.[7] Later, although the school officially changed its name to Foreign Languages Institute (方言學堂) in 1902, the school still offered courses in science and business.[7] In China, there had been some earlier schools specializing in foreign languages learning, such as Schools of Combined Learning in Beijing (京師同文館, founded in 1862[remark 1]), in Shanghai (上海同文館/上海廣方言館, founded in 1863), and in Guangzhou (廣州同文館), founded in 1864, but few provided courses in other fields, which hardly qualified as modern education institutions. Some argued that Wuhan University can only traced its history back to 1913, when the National Wuchang Higher Normal College (國立武昌高等師範學校) was established, but Wuhan University officially recognized its establishment as in 1893, relying on the abundance of historical documentation and the experts' endorsement.[8]

Besides, Tianjin University celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1995, which would predate the establishment of Peking University. Jiao Tong University (in all Beijing Jiaotong University, Shanghai and Xi'an) followed in 1996. Other leading universities, such as Zhejiang University (1897), Peking University (1898), Shanxi University (1902), Nanjing University (1902), Fudan University (1905), Tongji University (1907) and Tsinghua University (1911) also recently celebrated their hundredth anniversaries, one after another.

After the Chinese Civil War, parts of some famous universities of mainland China were transferred to the island of Taiwan: notably the National Central University and National Tsing Hua University. As a result, some universities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share the same names. In the ROC-controlled Fujian, only one university, National Quemoy University was founded in 1997.


  1. In 1902, School of Combined Learning in Beijing was merged with Imperial Capital University, now Peking University. However, Peking University never claims 1862 as its year founded. Neither does Peking University claim the year of establishing the Guozijian, which can date back more than one thousand years. Hunan University, with a similar history with Peking, often traced its history back to a school established in 976 A.D, thus giving this university a thousand years of history. See "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2015. Retrieved 2 February 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link).

People's Republic of China

C9 League, China's "Ivy League"

The C9 League is an alliance of nine most prestigious universities in mainland China, including Fudan University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China, Xi'an Jiaotong University, and Zhejiang University. People's Daily, an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, and others refer to the C9 League as China's Ivy League.[9][10] These nine universities made up the C9 League in 2009.[11] According to QS World University Rankings 2015/16,[12] most of these universities are considered as among the top 200 universities in the world.

leading universities in mainland China (by geographical regions)

This is a table of Project 985 institutions.

Province/Municipality University
North (9)
Beijing (7) Peking University
Tsinghua University
Renmin University of China
Beijing Normal University
Beihang University
Beijing Institute of Technology
China Agricultural University
Tianjin (2) Nankai University
Tianjin University
Northeast (3)
Heilongjiang Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin
Jilin University, Changchun
Liaoning Dalian University of Technology, Dalian
East (11)
Anhui University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei
Fujian Xiamen University, Xiamen
Jiangsu (2) Nanjing University, Nanjing
Southeast University, Nanjing
Shandong (2) Shandong University, Jinan
Ocean University of China, Qingdao
Shanghai (4) Fudan University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Tongji University
East China Normal University
Zhejiang (1) Zhejiang University, Hangzhou
South Central (6)
Guangdong (2) Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou
South China University of Technology, Guangzhou
Hubei (2) Wuhan University, Wuhan
Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan
Hunan (2) Hunan University, Changsha
Central South University, Changsha
Northwest (3)
Shaanxi (2) Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi'an
Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an
Gansu Lanzhou University, Lanzhou
Southwest (3)
Chongqing Chongqing University
Sichuan (2) Sichuan University, Chengdu
University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu

This is a table of Project 211 institutions.

Sino-foreign cooperative universities

China has a number of Sino-foreign cooperative universities, which are legally independent entities formed as joint ventures between Chinese universities and international partners. They include:

Leading universities in Hong Kong and Macau

Hong Kong (6)The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, The University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Baptist University
Macau (1)University of Macau


Some established rankings in Wikipedia:

Other rankings in external links:

See also


  1. 谢沂楠. "全国高等学校名单 - 中华人民共和国教育部政府门户网站". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  2. Millions of Chinese graduates out of work after fivefold rise in university places
  3. CHINA: Private universities enrol millions Date: 4 May 2008
  4. "China has world's second-largest number of top universities-".
  5. Linehan, Paul Michael (2018). The Culture of Leadership in Contemporary China: Conflict, Values, and Perspectives for a New Generation. London: Lexington Books. p. 128.
  6. Sullivan, Lawrence R.; Liu, Nancy Y. (2015). Historical Dictionary of Science and Technology in Modern China. London: Rowman and Littlefield. p. 375.
  7. "自强学堂(简介)". Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  8. "武大回应120年校史有史实依据 校庆活动不会改". 武汉晚报. 7 December 2012.
  9. "China's Ivy League: C9 League". People's Daily. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. Sainsbury, Michael (4 November 2009). "China establishes group of Ivy League universities". The Australian.
  11. "九校签订《一流大学人才培养合作与交流协议书》 2009-10-09". Archived from the original on 15 October 2009.
  12. "QS World University Rankings 2015/16".
  13. 2013 ranking

Further reading

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