Founded outside of the formal education system in 2011, Shenzhen’s South University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC), China's first autonomous university, has issued its first diplomas to two graduates. Wang Jiale, 17, and He Minghao, 22, have passed their dissertation defense and graduated from the school one year early. Claiming to be China’s first professor-led and bureaucracy-free university, SUSTC is issuing its own diplomas, rather than those of the Ministry of Education (MoE). In 2012 however SUSTC received permission from the MoE to officially become an autonomous university. The first cohort, of 2011, consisted of 45 students, of whom 35 will graduate this year. The Shenzhen government is hopeful that the university can fuel the city’s economic development and academic strengths, and is sponsoring the university.