China’s universities are a sight to behold, offering a unique blend of ancient tradition and modern innovation that makes them truly captivating. For international students, these universities are not just places of learning, but also spaces where they can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Chinese culture and history.
What one person finds beautiful, another might not. That’s why we love China’s eclectic mix in the campus styles. For example, Peking University is renowned for its traditional Chinese architecture, serene landscapes, and the iconic Weiming Lake. On the other hand, Fudan University in Shanghai showcases a more modern side of China with its sleek, contemporary design. Down south, Xiamen University’s campus offers natural beauty and a quiet setting.
While it’s not easy to choose our favourite university campuses, here are some of our picks for beautiful universities located in Shanghai, Xiamen and Beijing. And our top spot is a draw, earned by two universities located in in Wuhan and Hong Kong.
Our journey commences in Shanghai, a bustling metropolis known for its cosmopolitan flair. Let’s introduce four outstanding universities within this vibrant city: East China Normal University (ECNU), Tongji University, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.
East China Normal University (ECNU)
“With two beautiful campuses located in Minhang and Putuo districts of Shanghai, and covering a total area of more than 207 hectares, ECNU has long been known as a Garden University.” Founded in Shanghai in October 1951, ECNU is sponsored by the national top university construction programs “Project 211” and “Project 985.”
- Every year, the campus comes alive with more than 430 cherry trees in full bloom.
- Offers renowned programs in medicine, business, engineering, and architecture, as well as some great foundation programs.
“Tongji’s four campuses of Siping, Jiading, Huxi, and Hubei cover a total area of 2.54 square kilometers (256 hectares), with a floor area of about 1.80 million square meters (roughly 193 million sq. ft). The University Library houses 4.45 million books in its collection.”
- One of the top public universities in Shanghai (Mainland).
- Campus features breathtaking cherry blossoms.
- Noted for its quality programs in medicine, business, engineering, and architecture.
- Fudan University is ranked #50 in QS World University Rankings 2024.
- It has four campuses, covering an area of 2,440,000 square meters.
- The iconic Guang Hua twin towers that’s located at the center of its Handan campus is considered to be the highest university building in Asia.
- Located in the northeastern part of Shanghai.
- Excels in business, medical (MBBS), and Chinese language programs.
- Plans to open a campus in Budapest, Hungary in 2024, making it the first Chinese university campus in Europe.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
- Founded in 1896, the Shanghai Jiao Tong University is known to be one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities.
- The iconic East Main Gate, also known as “Temple gate” or “Palace gate” was built in the proportion of 1:4, combining Chinese classical with modern architectural styles.
- The university is also home to many historical buildings with a story to tell, such as the School of Medicine’s Red Mansion, which stands as an epitome of SJTU’s centurial cultural legacy.
Our journey then leads us southward to Xiamen, a serene coastal town celebrated for its unique charm and picturesque settings.
- XMU is nestled in a serene coastal town.
- The main campus is located in Siming District on Xiamen island, covering an area of 167 hectares. It is situated at the foothills of the mountains on Xiamen island, facing the ocean and surrounded by Xiamen bay.
- It combines historical architecture with coastal beauty, offering a tranquil learning environment.
Continuing our exploration, we arrive at Beijing, a city steeped in history. Here, two universities seamlessly combine modern education with historical charm.
- Founded in 1898, Peking University (PKU) is the first national university in Chinese modern history.
- Its campus is located in former Imperial Gardens of Qing Dynasty.
- It features a picturesque lake which is perfect for ice skating during the colder months.
- Offers various programs, including Chinese language courses.
- Campus shares history with the Summer Palace.
- Globally recognized for excellence in engineering and science.
- Masters programs in English.
Most Beautiful University in China?
As our journey nears its end, the question arises: Which university truly claims the title of China’s most beautiful? This year, two universities are tied for their outstanding campuses.
- Wuhan University is widely considered as the most beautiful campus in many other rankings.
- It is known for its stunning cherry blossoms and traditional ambiance that attracts visitors every year.
- The campus is located close to scenic East Lake, which provides a serene atmosphere for learning.
- Over a million students study in Wuhan – one of the largest student populations in the world!
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
- Ranked #60 in QS World University Rankings 2024.
- The camus is situated near Clearwater Bay.
- It harmonizes modern design with natural beauty, and offers an unmatched educational experience.
- As soon you as walk into this university, you see a clear water bay overlooking the sea. It’s a scene of beauty that needs to be experienced in-person.
Apply for the 2024 Intake
Our list gives you just a glimpse into the country’s vast academic landscape. At the end of day, while we reflect on the aesthetic beauty of the campuses, these top universities are also recognized for the opportunities and experiences they offer, providing international students the chance to gain a recognized qualification as they live and study in a fascinating part of the world.
Considering China for the 2024 intake? Browse our platform to find the perfect program and university for you.