China University Rankings

There is no official China University rankings. However, there are a number of international and Chinese rankings you can look at when evaluating the position of the university.

It is important to evaluate what is the purpose of the rankings and the assessment methodology of each ranking. Universities can rank quite differently between different rankings based on the assessment methodology.

Generally in China, Peking and Tsinghua University are ranked 1 and 2. Overall Chinese Universities are rapidly rising up the rankings each year.

If you are a foreign student and looking at the rankings, please note that the ranking is based on the entire university, and it isn’t necessarily a ranking of the experience of foreign students in those universities.

How are universities classified in China?

The Chinese government has four projects for elite universities.

Project 211
Double First Class University Plan
Project 985
C9 League

Project 211

This was established in 1985, it was designed for the top universities in China.

The name of the project comes from the abbreviation of the Chinese slogan “For the 21st century, to manage 100 universities successfully”. With approximately 100 universities.

They receive the highest amount of funding. There are 116 universities in project 211, and between 1996 and 2000 around $2.2 Billion USD was distributed to these universities.

Double First Class University Plan

This was founded in 2015 and the target is to build 42 world class universities by 2050.
It includes 36 class A universities, and 6 class B universities and the target is to build 465 first class class disciplines (spread out over 140 universities) . Further information and the full list can be found on the MOE website here

Project 985

This project 985 was founded in May 1998 (in Chinese 1998/5) hence the name 985. The plan was to promote the development and reputation of China’s higher education system. It involves funding from from local and national government to the development of facilities, conferences, and attracting talent for the 21st century.
The 9 founding members of this project are part of the C9 league.

C9 League

The C9 League is considered the leading universities and so receive a larger amount of funding.

Peking University
Tsinghua University
Fudan University
Shanghai Jiao Tong University 
Harbin Institute of Technology
University of Science and Technology of China
Zhejiang University
Nanjing University
Xi’an Jiaotong University


How are Chinese universities ranked?

There are five main rankings for Chinese Universities. 3 in China, and 2 international ones.

Academic Ranking of World Universities

The ARWU ranking was founded in 2003 by Shanghai Jiaotong, it is widely considered the leading international ranking in China and often considered next to QS and THE international rankings. Note that the ARWU tends to be more heavily weighted towards research than teaching. You can find the ARWU ranking here.

Chinese Universities Alumni Association

The CUAA ranking is quite a simple one. How many billionaires did the university generate?

The top 20 Chinese universities based on billionaires in 2018 are:

Peking University – 160
Tsinghua University – 158
Zhejiang University – 104
Fudan University – 72
Renmin University – 51
Zhongshan University – 49
Shanghai Jiaotong – 47
Huanan University of and Technology – 38
Wuhan University – 33
Nanjing University – 32
Xiamen University – 30
Sichuan University – 27
Zhongnan University – 26
Huazhong University of Science and Technology – 26
Haerbin Institute of Technology – 25
Southeast University – 25
Xi’an Jiaotong University – 24
Nankai University – 24
Shenzhen University –  20
University of Electronic Science and Technology – 20

You can find more information here (in Chinese).

Wu Shulian Ranking

Wu Shulian ranking in 2018 lists the top 100 universities. It is designed to be a China University Comprehensive Strength Ranking. It is understood that the list is the subject of “2018 Chinese University Evaluation” hosted by Wu Shulian, is a leader from “China University Evaluation” research group of the Chinese Academy of Management Sciences. It was completed in February 2018 and published by China Statistics Press.

The main evaluation indicators of “2018 Chinese University Evaluation” are: China University Comprehensive Strength Ranking, Natural Science, Social Science Ranking, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine, Philosophy, Economics, Law, Education, Literature, History, Management 12 disciplines such as academics and art, 494 undergraduate professional rankings, Chinese university selection rankings, undergraduate employment quality rankings, undergraduate graduates rankings, teachers’ average academic rankings, Teacher performance rankings, new quality rankings.

Compared with previous years, the index system of “2018 Chinese University Evaluation” has been improved: new employment quality indicators for undergraduate graduates, school selection order indicators, and SCD citation database have been screened. (Xiong Xu Meng)

Attached: Below is Wu Shulian 2018 China’s 758 universities comprehensive strength list top 400.



Published in March 2018 – Source is here.

QS World Ranking

The QS world ranking is below for BRICS countries in 2018. Brazil Russia India and China.

You can find the link here for more information on the QS BRICS ranking.

Times Higher Education

The times higher education ranking is below for 2018. This is the general ranking for all subjects.

You can find more information on the link here.