Best universities in China 2022

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Top 10 universities in China

Scroll down for the full list of best universities in China

World University Rank 2022 China Rank 2022 University Province/city
=16 =1 Peking University Beijing
=16 =1 Tsinghua University Beijing
60 3 Fudan University Shanghai
=75 4 Zhejiang University Zhejiang
84 5 Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai
=88 6 University of Science and Technology of China Anhui
=105 7 Nanjing University Jiangsu
157 8 Wuhan University Hubei
=162 9 Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) Guangdong
181 10 Huazhong University of Science and Technology Hubei

Peking University and Tsinghua University are the top two universities in China this year, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022. Both institutions are based in China's capital city of Beijing. 

Directives including Project 211, Project 985 and the Double First Class University Plan – which aim to improve the standards of the top 100 and top 40 Chinese universities – combined with huge national investment have seen China’s educational reputation rocket in recent years.

And who wouldn’t want to study in China? Home to almost 20 per cent of the people on Earth, China has one of the fastest developing economies. From cuisine to culture, China offers a unique experience.

The huge country boasts some of the most diverse and beautiful landscapes on the planet, from the Rainbow Mountains in the Zhangye Danxia National Park to coastal fishing villages and vast cities that continue to expand. 

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With an ever increasing number of universities, China may seem overwhelming in its choice of places to study.

However, initiatives from the Chinese government have helpfully categorised the top universities into a system similar to the UK’s Russell Group and the Ivy League in the United States.

Established in 1995, Project 211 was designed to raise the research standards of China’s top universities. Institutions that reach a certain standard are rewarded with significantly increased funds. There have been 112 higher education institutions associated with Project 211.

Project 985 was established three years later and uses a similar strategy, although just 39 universities have received sponsorship as a result of this project, and in 2011 it was announced that no new universities would be granted membership to this exclusive group.

The most selective group is the C9 League, a group of the country’s top nine elite universities, which between them receive 10 per cent of China’s national research budget.

The most recent initiative is the Double First Class University Plan, which aims to develop a group of elite Chinese universities and individual university departments into world-class institutions and disciplines by the end of 2050. The list includes 42 institutions across the country. 

Top 5 universities in China

5. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a major research university located in Shanghai, China. 
- The university has 31 schools/departments, 31 research institutions, 13 affiliated hospitals, two affiliated medical research institutes, 20 directly affiliated units and five directly affiliated enterprises. 

Subjects taught at the university include mechanical engineering, physics, astronomy, humanities, media and design, international and public affairs and medicine among others. 

The university's International Student Union hosts a range of events, volunteering projects and activities to help international students connect with each other and the community. 

4. Zhejiang University

- Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China’s oldest and most selective universities. 
- Research at the university covers 12 academic disciplines: agriculture, art, economics, education, engineering, history, law, literature, management, medicine, natural sciences and philosophy. 

A number of research centres are located on campus, including six national engineering research centres, three national key research centres of humanities and social sciences and 13 academies of independent studies. 

The university has strategic partnerships with more than 140 universities in 30 countries worldwide, including Imperial College London, Princeton University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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3. Fudan University

Fudan University comprises four campuses in downtown Shanghai: Handan, Fenglin, Zhangjiang and Jiangwan.
- The university takes a liberal arts approach to teaching, with a number of its courses taught in English.

Internationalisation is also a high priority at the institution with global connections and exchange programmes at almost 200 overseas universities including Columbia University, the University of Toronto, the University of SydneyKU Leuven, the University of Manchester and Sciences Po.

Students are also encouraged to go on international exchanges, with about 40 per cent electing to do this. 

The university is extremely selective, with fewer than 0.2 per cent of National College Entrance Examination (gao kao) takers being accepted. 

=1. Peking University

Peking University is a member of the C9 league, which is similar to the Ivy League group in the US, and is generally one of the highest ranked institutions in China. 
- It was the first modern national university in China, and since its founding in 1898, it has had a reputation as a leading educational institution.

The institution is renowned for its campuses in the Haidian district of northwest Beijing. It is home to some of the capital’s most prominent gardens and traditional architecture. Several gates lead in to campus, with the West Gate being the most well-known for the painted murals on its ceiling. 

The university has established joint degree programmes with Cornell University, Yale University, the London School of Economics and Political Science, Paris School of International Affairs, Waseda UniversitySeoul National University and The University of Tokyo to encourage international student exchanges. 

=1. Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University is located in the Haidian district of northwest Beijing. It was established in 1911. 
- Its 20 schools and 54 departments cover disciplines in art, economics, education, engineering, history, management, medicine, law, literature, philosophy and sciences.

It retains much of its traditional architecture, juxtaposed with many buildings built in a Western style, reflecting the historical American influence on the campus.

In terms of life outside of studying, the university has more than 110 student associations covering science and technology, sport, arts and public welfare. 

Many successful people in politics, academia and industry have graduated from Tsinghua University, including two Nobel prizewinners, physicists Tsung-Dao Lee and Chen Ning Yang.  

Top universities in China 2022

Click on each institution to see its full World University Rankings 2022 results 

World University Rank 2022 China Rank 2022 University Province/city
=16 =1 Peking University Beijing
=16 =1 Tsinghua University Beijing
60 3 Fudan University Shanghai
=75 4 Zhejiang University Zhejiang
84 5 Shanghai Jiao Tong University Shanghai
=88 6 University of Science and Technology of China Anhui
=105 7 Nanjing University Jiangsu
157 8 Wuhan University Hubei
=162 9 Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) Guangdong
181 10 Huazhong University of Science and Technology Hubei
251–300 =11 Beijing Normal University Beijing
251–300 =11 Sun Yat-sen University Guangdong
301–350 =13 Central South University Hunan
301–350 =13 East China Normal University Shanghai
301–350 =13 Nankai University Tianjin
301–350 =13 Tongji University Shanghai
351–400 17 Shenzhen University Guangdong
401–500 =18 Hunan University Hunan
401–500 =18 Sichuan University Sichuan
401–500 =18 South China University of Technology Guangdong
401–500 =18 Southern Medical University Guangdong
401–500 =18 Tianjin University Tianjin
401–500 =18 Xi’an Jiaotong University Shaanxi
401–500 =18 Xiamen University Fujian
501–600 =25 Beihang University Beijing
501–600 =25 Beijing University of Chemical Technology Beijing
501–600 =25 Capital Medical University Beijing
501–600 =25 University of Electronic Science and Technology of China Sichuan
501–600 =25 Harbin Institute of Technology Heilongjiang
501–600 =25 University of International Business and Economics Beijing
501–600 =25 Northwestern Polytechnical University Shaanxi
501–600 =25 Southeast University Jiangsu
501–600 =25 Southwestern University of Finance and Economics Sichuan
501–600 =25 Zhejiang Normal University Zhejiang
601–800 =35 Beijing Institute of Technology Beijing
601–800 =35 China Agricultural University Beijing
601–800 =35 Chongqing University Chongqing
601–800 =35 Dalian University of Technology Liaoning
601–800 =35 Guangdong University of Technology Guangdong
601–800 =35 Guangzhou University Guangdong
601–800 =35 Huazhong Agricultural University Hubei
601–800 =35 Jinan University Guangdong
601–800 =35 Nanjing Medical University Jiangsu
601–800 =35 Renmin University of China Beijing
601–800 =35 Shanghai University Jiangsu
601–800 =35 Soochow University Jiangsu
601–800 =35 Wenzhou University Zhejiang
601–800 =35 Wenzhou Medical University Zhejiang
601–800 =35 Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Jiangsu
801-1000 =50 Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics Zhejiang
801–1000 =50 China University of Geosciences, Beijing Beijing
801–1000 =50 China University of Geosciences, Wuhan Hubei
801–1000 =50 China University of Mining and Technology Beijing
801–1000 =50 China University of Petroleum, Beijing Beijing
801–1000 =50 Donghua University Shanghai
801–1000 =50 East China University of Science and Technology Shanghai
801–1000 =50 Fuzhou University Fujian
801–1000 =50 Jiangsu University Jiangsu
801–1000 =50 Jiangsu Normal University Jiangsu
801–1000 =50 Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology Jiangsu
801–1000 =50 Nanjing Normal University Jiangsu
801–1000 =50 Nanjing Tech University Jiangsu
801-1000 =50 Northeastern University Liaoning
801–1000 =50 Northeast Normal University Jilin
801–1000 =50 NorthWest A&F University Shaanxi
801–1000 =50 Qingdao University Shandong
801–1000 =50 University of Science and Technology Beijing Beijing
801–1000 =50 Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) Shanghai
801–1000 =50 Shantou University Guangdong
801–1000 =50 South China Normal University Guangdong
801–1000 =50 Wuhan University of Technology Hubei
801–1000 =50 Xidian University Shaanxi
1001–1200 =73 Beijing Forestry University Beijing
1001–1200 =73 Beijing Jiaotong University Beijing
1001–1200 =73 Beijing University of Technology Beijing
1001–1200 =73 Central University of Finance and Economics Beijing
1001–1200 =73 Chengdu University Sichuan
1001–1200 =73 China University of Petroleum (East China) Qingdao
1001–1200 =73 China Pharmaceutical University Jiangsu
1001–1200 =73 Guangxi University Guangxi
1001–1200 =73 Huaqiao University Fujian
1001–1200 =73 Jianghan University Hubei
1001–1200 =73 Jilin University Jilin
1001–1200 =73 Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Jiangsu
1001–1200 =73 North China Electric Power University Beijing
1001–1200 =73 Northwest University Shaanxi
1001–1200 =73 Ocean University of China Shangdong
1001–1200 =73 Shanghai Maritime University Shanghai
1001–1200 =73 Southwest Jiaotong University Sichuan
1001–1200 =73 Xiangtan University Hunan
1001–1200 =73 Yangzhou University Jiangsu
1001–1200 =73 Zhejiang University of Technology Zhejiang
1201+ =93 University of Shanghai for Science and Technology Shanghai
1201+ =93 Kunming University of Science and Technology Yunnan
1201+ =93 University of South China Hunan
1201+ =93 Southwest Petroleum University Sichuan
1201+ =93 Yanshan University Hebei



Find out all about China’s top universities, and explore their world university ranking performance in 2022

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