China's Investment In Elite Universities Pays Off: New Ranking Trending - Educational


Chinese students queue to register at Tsinghua University. Photograph: Str/AFP/Getty Images

Tsinghua University in Beijing has been ranked as Asia’s third best university, leading a strong Chinese cohort.

A new study compiled by higher education data specialists QS that was released  on Tuesday revealed that China is now home to seven universities in the world’s top 200.

“The rankings reveals a uniform rise of the Chinese universities and confirms the success of the Chinese government’s ‘C9 Initiative,’ which has seen billions of yuan channeled into nine elite Chinese universities since 1998 in a bid to attain and retain world-class status,” the report said.

Tsinghua University made a quantum leap of 22 places to number 25 globally, and was complemented by several other Chinese universities: Peking University (41) rose sixteen places, Fudan University (51) rose twenty places, while Shanghai Jiao Tong University (70) rose thirty-four places, the organization said. All of the C9 universities saw a rise.

“[This] demonstrates the comprehensive success of China’s targeted investment in higher education institutions, which sees 10% of all national research expenditure channeled into these elite institutions,” the report said.

The report also said that Hong Kong universities displayed increased international competitiveness and are at the forefront of Asia’s higher education industry.

”Hong Kong has a lot going for it – geographic location at the heart of Asia; status as a gateway to China; highly international universities with a history of operating and publishing in English and a clear capability to operate effectively across disciplines,” said Ben Sowter, head of research.

Two Singaporean universities were deemed the best in Asia: the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University, both breaking in the global top 15 for the first time.

The QS World University Rankings also confirmed Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as the world’s top university, followed by Harvard, the University of Cambridge and Stanford University. (

Next Made-in-China Boom: College Graduates with high quality 

China is making a $250 billion-a-year investment in what economists call human capital. The Chinese government is using large subsidies to educate tens of millions of young people as they move from farms to cities. 

In order to attract foreign talents to study in China, heavy subsidization in tuition fees are given to foreign students to study in China. Many bachelor's and master degree courses are conducted fully in English to cater for more international students who prefer English-medium courses. Unlike western universities where international students paid at least 2-3 times more than local students, the tuition fees paid by local students and international students is just a mere RMB 2,000 to RMB 3,000 different.

To make China's higher education more accessible, China government also offered various types of scholarships for international students.  

China’s current five-year plan, through 2015, focuses on seven national development priorities, many of them new industries that are in fashion among young college graduates in the West. They are alternative energy, energy efficiency, environmental protection, biotechnology, advanced information technologies, high-end equipment manufacturing and so-called new energy vehicles, like hybrid and all-electric cars.

China’s goal is to invest up to 10 trillion Renminbi, or $1.6 trillion, to expand those industries to represent 8 percent of economic output by 2015, up from 3 percent in 2010.

At the same time, many big universities are focusing on existing technologies in industries where China poses a growing challenge to the West.

China’s growing supply of university graduates is a talent pool that global corporations are eager to tap.

“If they went to China for brawn, now they are going to China for brains,” said Denis F. Simon, one of the best-known management consultants specializing in Chinese business.

Multinationals including I.B.M., DELL, General Electric, Intel and General Motors have each hired thousands of graduates from Chinese universities.

“We’re starting to see leaders coming out of China, and the talent to lead,” said Kevin Taylor, the president of Asia, Mideast and Africa operations at BT, formerly British Telecom.

Sheer numbers make the educational push by China, a nation of more than 1.3 billion people, potentially breathtaking. In the last decade, China doubled the number of colleges and universities, to 2,409.

By the end of the decade, China expects to have nearly 195 million community college and university graduates — compared with no more than 120 million in the United States then. (

Related reading:

  1. China Spending Billions to Better Universities
  2. China's Top Universities Shine In Global Ranking
  3. China's HE Growth Expected to Follow Economic Boom
  4. China's Tertiary Education Growing by Leaps and Bounds
  5. China Could Become the Global Campus
  6. China Increases Government Scholarships For International Students

Contact Info

Level 35-02, Q Sentral, 2A Jalan Stesen Sentral 2, KL Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+60 12 380 0501 (KY Lee)                            (WhatsApp and WeChat ID - ky_lee7 available)      wecharwhatsapp

Some of our Universities