With around 2,000 Universities, over 20 million enrolled students, over 7 million fresh graduates each year, and overtaking USA as the world’s largest producer of PhD graduates, China is an education superpower. Increasingly, international students are attracted to study in China, with the huge opportunities of a rapidly, developing economy, investment in education system, and capacity. There are over 5,000 programs available in English, and many more available in Chinese. But how should you choose which University to study at?
Ranking Universities is normally done through an algorithm that takes into account a number of factors such as: academic reputation, citations in journals, employment prospects, and international outlook, among others. A leading ranking of this is QS University rankings, which ranks Chinese Universities as part of BRIC Universities, with Chinese Universities doing particularly well.
There are other rankings out there, some of similar method. One should be aware that some rankings such as Wu Shulian may not be reliable with the reported fees for ranking scandal, where Universities paid to rank higher.
It is important to remember that through all of these rankings on Chinese Universities, they are aimed at Chinese Universities as a whole and they are not necessarily a ranking of the experience for international students.
Chinese Universities international programs management can vary by University. From our experience, the most important factors in determining the quality of the experience for Chinese Universities are things like:
– quality of student dormitory,
– openness to international students,
– english language level of faculty and if they have travelled or studied abroad or not
– willingness to accommodate needs of international students
– amount of international students
– connections with companies / internship opportunities
Many of these are not measured in the rankings of Universities, and while they do often correlate with the ranking of the University as a whole, this is not necessarily so.
As a result of this there are some Universities that do not appear as they should on many of the league tables if it was written the perspective of international students.
This happens across the board for a number of Universities, an extreme example of this is Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University (XJTLU) which is based in Suzhou. XJTLU is a new University founded as a joint venture between Xi’an Jiaotong and Liverpool University.
Xi’an Jiaotong University is consistently ranked as in the top 10 or 20 in China, and Liverpool University is a top UK University. In terms of Chinese University rankings, XJTLU does not appear on Chinese University rankings, and if it does it is very low. This is because XJTLU is a new University (founded in 2006), and all the degree programs are taught in English, but for an international student XJTLU it is a very attractive option. With combined resources of two top international universities, and over 80% of the faculty being international XJTLU should be taken as a very attractive choice for international students who want to study in China.