China’s Top 20 Universities in 2014

2014-04-08

Dr. Lauren Johnston

Co-Founder, Sinograduate; Director, Economics and Education

 

China’s economy is increasingly being steered away from low-tech manufacturing and rather toward high-tech and talent rich economic drivers.  China’s universities – the producers of the majority of China’s educated talent pool – are thus of rising in importance, inside and also outside of China. Despite this, only Peking and Tsinghua universities are international academic brands. This piece presents a new list of the top 20 Chinese universities, as ranked by the China Alumni Association for 2014, and comments on some interesting related trends.  

 

                                                                         Top 20 Mainland Chinese Universities, 2014

Rank

University

Province /  Municipality

Type

Overall Score

Research Score

Student Quality Score

Comprehensive Reputation

 
 

1

Peking University*

Beijing

Comprehensive

100

100

100

100

 

2

Tsinghua University* 

Beijing

Science and Engineering

97.8

98.71

96.61

99.26

 

3

 Shanghai Jiaotong University*

Shanghai

Comprehensive

81.08

85.89

78.26

73.66

 

4

Fudan University*

 

Shanghai

Comprehensive

80.92

81.54

81.44

76.23

 

5

Wuhan University  

Hubei

Comprehensive

80.72

82.83

79.41

77.86

 

6

Zhejiang University*

Zhejiang

Comprehensive

80.45

83.41

78.34

77.54

 

7

Renmin University

Beijing

Comprehensive

78.71

74.99

81.16

83.38

 

8

Nanjing University*

Jiangsu

Comprehensive

78.3

78.29

78.8

76.14

 

9

Jilin University

Jilin

Comprehensive

76.03

77.15

76.37

69.97

 

10

 Sun Yatsen University

Guangdong

Comprehensive

75.33

77.28

73.87

73.72

 

11

 

Beijing Normal University 

Beijing

Normal

74.35

74.66

74.34

73.11

 

12

 Huazhong University of Science &Technology*  

Hubei

Science and Engineering

74.27

75.99

73.16

72.01

 

13

Sichuan University

Sichuan

Comprehensive

74.05

75.42

73.48

70.92

 

14

University of Science and Technology

Anhui

Science and Engineering

72.98

74.17

72.47

70.41

 

15

Nankai University

Tianjin

Comprehensive

72.67

72.79

72.86

71.35

 

16

Shangdong University 

Shandong

Comprehensive

72.58

72.57

72.92

71.14

 

17

Central South University

Hunan

Comprehensive

72.28

73.2

71.6

71.53

 

18

Xi'an Jiaotong University*  

Shaanxi

Comprehensive

72.13

72.28

72.43

70.25

 

19

Xiamen University

Fujian

Comprehensive

71.66

71.95

71.08

73.01

 

20

Harbin Institute of Technology*

Heilongjiang

Science and Engineering

71.59

71.41

72.04

70.41

 

Source: China Alumni Association.

Note:  ‘Shifan’, translated to ‘Normal’ in English, refers to a teacher training institution. Any school with ‘Shifan’ in its name can be understood, at least traditionally, to focus on training school teachers and academics.  ‘Jiaotong’ universities are associated with more technical scientific and engineering training. Jiaotong itself means ‘traffic’ or ‘communications’. An English equivalent might something akin to an Institute of Technology.  

 

Trends and highlights emerging from the list:

·      Beijing is home to the greatest cluster of top universities – 20% of them: Peking University (1); Tsinghua University (2); Renmin University (7) and Beijing Normal University (11).

·      An * marks members of China’s ‘Ivy League’ C9 Universities. In 2014 these do correlate with the top 9 ranked universities.

·      Peking University has ranked number one for the last consecutive seven years.

·      Excluding Beijing, only Shanghai and Hubei are home to more than one of China’s top 20: Shanghai hosts Shanghai Jiaotong University (3) and Fudan University (4)); Hubei hosts Wuhan University (5) and Huazhong University of Science and Technology (12).

·      The majority of top 20 universities are comprehensive universities, meaning they teach and undertake across the range of academic subjects.

In the Times Higher Education 2013-2014 World University Rankings, Peking University and Tsinghua University were the only Chinese mainland university in the top 50 universities, ranked at no. 45 and no. 50 respectively. Highlighting the relative prominence of those two Mainland Chinese universities is ranking of the next two highest ranked Mainland Chinese universities: Shanghai’s Fudan University followed by the University of Science and Technology of China, both of which fell outside of the international top 200.

The 2014 rankings are indeed but a ranking, imperfect in methodological nature, and shallow in explanatory power for how they correlate to any individual student’s experience and economic success. What the list is useful for however is introducing China’s elite universities beyond the twin ivy towers of north-west Beijing – Peking and Tsinghua Universities. In the near future, understanding the skillset, talent level and alumni network of a graduate of Xi’an Jiaotong University as compared to a graduate of Jilin University or Nankai University, and indeed as compared to graduates of Bath University or Monash University, may itself be expected and necessary managerial knowledge.

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