2021 Top 16 World-class Chinese Universities for International Students

Many students ask about the ranking of universities when looking at which university to apply to.

In this article, we’re going to introduce the top universities in China for international students, which includes international universities and new universities.

16 World Class Chinese Universities for International Students

The listing below is in alphabetical order (not ranked). 

1. Asia Europe Business School (AEBS)

Asia Europe Business School logo

AEBS was founded by East China Normal University, a double first-class construction university in China, and emlyon business school, a prestigious university in Europe. AEBS offers one of the most competitive business degrees for international students.

AEBS is located in a first-class environment in Zizhu International Education Park, Minhang District of Shanghai, where there are large numbers of Chinese-foreign cooperation.

Zizhu International Education Park (picture below) is where world-class universities settle down and carry out higher education.

2. China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

CEIBS

CEIBS has ranked in the top 25 of the Financial Times’  annual global business school ranking for 17 consecutive years (2005-2021). Its MBA program is #1 in Asia and #7 globally while the Executive MBA program was #2 worldwide and was the highest ranked stand-alone in Asia in 2020.

CEIBS’ most notable features include its “China Depth, Global Breadth” positioning statement, internationally renowned faculty, internships in top companies, engaged alumni network and a dedicated Career Development Centre (CDC) that bridges companies with MBA graduates.

The CEIBS campus covers 8-hectares and is designed by world-renowned architects Pei Cobb Freed and Partners. One of the most interesting spots inside CEIBS is the glass pyramid (seen center) which is modelled after the Louvre Museum in Paris.

CEIBS is located in the Pudong district (pictured below) in Shanghai, China. Pudong is a financial hub and one of the most urbanized and westernized areas in China.

3. Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (CKGSB)

CKGSB Logo

CKGSB doesn’t participate in ranking publications, but it is one of the top MBA schools for international students. CKGSB is the first private, free-standing and independent business school in China.

CKGSB is the only business school in China with mandatory courses in sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Most of all, CKGSB is known for having the most elite and exclusive alumni network in all of Asia. Learn more about the admissions process at CKGSB and its business programs.

CKGSB’s main campus is in Beijing, but it has campuses in Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as worldwide in Hong Kong, New York City and London. Below is a picture of CKGSB Shanghai or campus 2.

4. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

CUHK is a forward-looking, top university in Hong Kong and Asia that has gained recognition from various ranking publications such as QS World, Times, Reuters, ARWU and more! CUHK is highly applauded for its flexible credit unit system, a college system, bilingualism, and multiculturalism.

CUHK is located in Sha Tin, Hong Kong in a 137-hectare scenic campus. Below is the CUHK campus.

Sha Tin is a large sleeper town around thirty minutes north of Central, Hong Kong. The city is the biggest of the government-initiated New Town projects from the 1970s.

5. The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK SZ)

CUHK Shenzhen is a separate university modeled after The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). The university provides top-quality higher education that features an integration of the East and the West. Currently, more than 5,600 students are studying degree programs at CUHK Shenzhen. The employment rate of CUHK Shenzhen’s graduates topped among universities nationwide.

The CUHK Shenzhen campus reflects both Chinese elements and Western charm, showing the concepts of “mountain, tree and courtyard”.

Shenzhen, where CUHK is located, is the third-largest city by economic output in China.

6. Duke Kunshan University (DKU)

DKU is a partnership of Duke University and Wuhan University to create a world-class university offering a range of academic programs. Duke Kunshan welcomed its first students in August 2014. Working with Duke University, Duke Kunshan designed and launched a dynamic online learning strategy in just three weeks in response to Covid-19 last year.

DKU’s state-of-the-art campus covers 200 acres in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, China. Kunshan is located close to Shanghai and Suzhou, two of China’s most dynamic cities, and is a hub for high-tech research and manufacturing.

7. Fudan University (FDU)

Fudan University, founded in 1905 in Shanghai, is one of the leading universities in China. It has a long history and an excellent reputation as an internationally recognized influential academic center. FDU’s two most popular programs are the Master’s in Finance and Finance MBA. Check more programs here.

Fudan University School of Management (FDSM) recently topped the Financial Times annual Global MBA Ranking. Fudan MBA ranked 32nd in the FT’s Global MBA Ranking for 2021, 6th in the Asia Pacific Region and No.1 among the Business Schools in Chinese Mainland Universities.

Fudan University’s Handan campus (main campus) is located in Shanghai. Below is a picture of Handan campus.

8. The University Hong Kong (HKU)

Established in 1911, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is Hong Kong’s oldest institute of higher learning and and one of Asia’s best universities. HKU attracts talented students from across the world and is known for having outstanding graduate employment rate. Here’s a list of programs at HKU.

The university’s main campus covers 160,000 square meters of land on Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong Island. HKU buildings are some of the few remaining examples of British Colonial architecture in Hong Kong.

Pok Fu Lam is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Hong Kong Island. Thousands of expats live in the so-called “Garden Neighborhood” to unplug from Hong Kong’s urban jungle.

9. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

HKUST Logo

HKUST is a public research university in Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong. It was founded in 1991 by the British Hong Kong Government. HKUST is regarded as one of the fastest-growing universities in the world. As of 2019, HKUST was ranked #7 in Asia by QS and #3 by Times, and top 40 internationally. Check out programs at HKUST.

The HKUST campus located in Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong is one of the most breathtaking coastal campuses in the world.

10. New York University, Shanghai (NYU Shanghai)

New York University, Shanghai is jointly established by East China Normal University of Shanghai and New York University. NYU is one of the top universities in the US, and the world, and has campuses in Dubai and Shanghai. It is the first American college to receive independent registration status from China’s Ministry of Education.

The NYU Shanghai campus is located in Pudong, Shanghai, China.

11. Peking University (PKU)

In Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, PKU ranked #2 in China, #2 in Asia and #23 in the world. Peking is one of the oldest and most distinguished higher education institutions in China. The university excels in all degree programs, and has one of the highest international student populations in China.

Peking University has one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. Here is the PKU campus in autumn.

Langrun Garden, with a square of 7 hectares, is located in the northeast of Peking University (PKU) campus. It is built in the Royal Garden of Qing Dynasty and the scenery in the garden is splendid.

12. Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU)

SJTU is a top-ranking university with a world-renowned reputation in China. It is a key university under the Ministry of Education. Through 117 years’ unremitting efforts, SJTU has become a comprehensive, research-oriented, and internationalized top university in China. Here are the programs at SJTU.

SJTU has five beautiful campuses, Xuhui Campus, Minhang Campus, Luwan Campus, Qibao Campus, and Fahua Campus, taking up an area of around 400 hectares. Below is the main campus at Minhang District.

13. Tsinghua University

Tsinghu University Logo

Tsinghua University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It is a public research institution that traces its roots back to 1911. Tsinghua University is a founding member of the C9 League (China’s ivy league). The university is currently ranked #20 in the world, #1 in Asia and # 1 in China. Check out programs at Tsinghua University.

Tsinghua University’s campus in Haidian District, Beijing, China has been hailed as one of the most beautiful campuses in the world.

14. University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC)

UNNC is the first Sino-foreign university in China. It is run by The University of Nottingham, a top a public research university in the UK in cooperation with Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, a key player in the education sector in China. UNNC offers English-medium programs, subject to the same quality assurance processes as in the UK.

UNNC is located in Yinzhou, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China. The 140 acre Ningbo campus was opened to students in 2004  and was officially opened by John Prescott, the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister, in February 2006.

15. X’ian Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU)

XJTLU is a new international university jointly founded by Xi’an Jiaotong University China and the University of Liverpool UK. XJTLU offers undergraduate degree programs in the fields of science, engineering and management, and awards both its own Chinese degree and a degree from the University of Liverpool.

XJTLU has two strikingly impressive campuses: the north and south campus. This is the south campus which features modern designs that complement the surrounding area. It’s where more than 6,000 XJTLU students attend class.

16. Zhejiang University (ZJU)

Zhejiang University logo

ZJU is a prestigious, leading research university in China. Reputed as the ‘East Cambridge’ in history, ZJU is ranked among the top universities in China in terms of its academic strength. The university has an international campus, and a newly established business school, Zhejiang International Business School (ZIBS).

ZJU has seven campuses in total. This is the Zijingang Campus in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China.

ZIBS (ZJU’s newest business school) is located in Zhejiang University International Campus. The international campus is north of Juanhu Park in Haining, covering 200 acres.

Methodology

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about the best universities in China. Most international university rankings do not accurately portray the top universities in China in 2021. Unfortunately, some students don’t make the right choice because they do not see the university in those rankings. 

While many international rankings are designed to assess the ranking of the university as a whole, and do not including the experience for international students. They also do not have the most up to date information. They focus more on research, journals, citations per faculty etc. However most international students are more concerned about the student care and international student experience, quality of teaching, international development, international faculty  etc.,

We believe it is important that students have a complete and more up to date picture of what are in fact the best universities. China is changing and developing very quickly, and is quite unique.

China currently has a target to build 42 World Class Universities by 2050. As we are seeing significant investment into Chinese universities, we expect to add to this list in the coming years. Make sure to subscribe to China Admissions to get more updates about top Chinese universities.

Other Lists of Chinese Universities

We also have other lists here:
Top 100 Most Popular Universities for International Students in China
Top 10 Chinese Universities
About University Rankings in China
Top 20 Universities in China to Learn Chinese

Start your application for September 2021 intake

Admissions in these universities are ongoing for September 2021 intake. Apply as early as now and increase your chances of getting accepted.

Founder and CEO at China Admissions. Originally from UK🇬🇧, based in Beijing. Studied at Peking University & BLCU. Preparing for HSK 6. Hope we can help more talented international students have the same amazing experiences and opportunities that I have had
Richard Coward
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