Volume 19, Issue 4
On this page:
• Domestic rankings
All rankings in China are conducted independently of the government, which has repeatedly stressed that it does not support ranking exercises, believing that an inability to guarantee objective results renders them meaningless. Having said that, the Chinese government has identified a group of almost 100 universities that it believes meet certain standards of excellence. Dubbed the ‘211 Project,’ these national ‘key’ universities have been selected to receive increased funding in an attempt to build a network of ‘world-class’ universities. More recently, an even more select group of universities from within the 211 group has been identified. The so-called ‘985’ universities receive even greater subsidies from the government (see section below).
In addition to the annual ranking of world universities produced by Shanghai Jiaotong University, we have identified six other organizations and research centers that publish domestic university rankings.
First published in 1999 by China Youth Daily, the annual NETBIG ranking rates Chinese institutions of higher education with degree-awarding powers. Since 2000, the ranking has been made available online from the NETBIG website, a higher education directory. The ranking lists institutions numerically in descending order according to their overall score. In 2005, 694 institutions were rated and listings were offered on an overall ordinal scale as well as by specialization (11 in total).
NETBIG uses a traditional weight-and-add approach to its ranking methodology, employing six different indicators: prestige (based on the results of a survey sent out to academics, well-known scholars and university presidents); academic resources (number of master’s and doctoral programs per student; national key programs and labs and centers per student; national centers in social sciences per student); research output (total and per faculty papers indexed by 7 different indexes and databases); student academic achievement (entrance examination scores, percentage of graduate students, placement rate of undergraduate and graduate students); faculty (percentage of faculty with doctorates, percentage of professors, number of Chinese Academy of Science and Changjiang fellows, faculty-student ratio); infrastructure (research funding per faculty member, books per student, campus and facility size per student).
The top university is awarded an overall score of 100, and all universities thereafter are awarded a score as a percentage of the top university’s score. The weighting for each category is as follows:
Top 20 (2005):
The GIMS ranking was first published in 1993 and then two years later in 1995. Since 1995, the ranking has been published on an annual basis in the journal Science and Management of Science and Technology.
The GIMS ranking takes into account institutional research performance (43%) and also includes indicators of educational performance (57%). It lists the top 100 institutions overall as well as producing a number of rankings by specialization. Educational performance is measured at the graduate level by the number of master’s and doctoral graduates, and at the undergraduate level by the number of bachelor graduates. Research quality is measured in the sciences by research output and citations in a range of high-profile journals and indexes; also considered are patents and national and provincial awards. In the social sciences, paper indexes and citations are counted, as are national and provincial awards.
The weightings are as follows:
Source: Liu & Liu. “University Rankings in China,” Higher Education in Europe, Vol. 30, No. 2, July 2005.
Relatively new on the ranking scene, RCCSE was first published in 2004 and ranks institutions with graduate-level, degree-awarding powers. Universities are divided into two categories and ranked separately: the ‘national key universities’ with intensive research programs are ranked separately from all other universities that meet the necessary inclusion criterion.
RCCSE uses a complex set of criteria to rank universities, involving 50 different indicators grouped under four main criteria and 18 sub criteria. The four main criteria and their weightings in the ‘key university rankings” are: resources (16.71%), education (26.16%), research (45.31%), reputation (11.82). For non-key universities, the criteria and sub-criteria focus more on education and resources than research in comparison to the ranking for key universities. The main criteria and weightings are as follows: resources 25.99, research 32.75, education 41.26.
Data is drawn from four main sources: government statistics; relevant research and citation databases from home and abroad; government and university websites; and related publications, books, and newspapers.
In May 2006 RCCSE published its third annual league table. The top ten key universities were ranked as follows:
Source: RCCSE news release May 15, 2006
First published in 2003, the CUAA ranking and weightings were originally determined from the results of an online survey. The alumni association publishes its findings on its website.
The CUAA researchers use a similar weight-and-add approach to other Chinese university rankings, using six main criteria with 35 indicators. The main criteria and weightings are as follows: does the university have government recognized national status? (7.08%, 3 indicators ‘211 project’, affiliated to Ministry of Defense, key university); research (27.43%, 10 indicators mainly focused on national awards and facilities); faculty (23%, 8 indicators based on national awards and fellowships); programs (25.68%, 9 indicators based on national program awards and designations, graduate programs and schools); students (7.08%, 3 indicators based on national awards); reputation (9.73%, 2 indicators applications for graduate admissions, reputation based on the results of an online vote).
Top 20, 2005
The complete results are available from: <www.cuaa.net/2005/index_500.shtml>
First published in 2003, the SIES ranking evaluates institutions with degree-awarding powers, and divides them into five separately ranked divisions. The five categories are as follows: arts and science, engineering, teacher education, medicine, and finance and law.
Major indicators used for this study include total enrollment, the percentage of graduate students, the number of international students, the percentage of faculty with doctorates, ration of full professors to students, education expenditure per student, total and per capita faculty research grants, the number of national key programs, and the number of national education awards. Detailed weighting methodology is currently unavailable.
The CDGDC researchers rank graduate programs. The first ranking was published in 2002 in the journal Chinese Graduate Education. As of 2004, university departments in a total of 80 majors had been ranked according to four different criteria: academic quality, research and development, graduate employment potential, and reputation. For each major, scores out of 100 are awarded for each criterion in addition to an overall institution score. The indicators and methodology for each ranking criteria are not made available. The CDGDC also lists top universities for each specialization under each major field of study. Neither a methodology nor ranking criteria are made available. The results of the major and specialization rankings are available in Chinese from the CDGDC website: www.cdgdc.edu.cn.
Source: Liu & Liu (2005)
In 1995 the Chinese government announced a project to develop a network of 100 key (world-class) universities and academic disciplines to meet the country’s social and economic development needs through what is known as the ‘211 Project’. Particular emphasis has been placed on the advancement of science and technology.
In addition, a smaller elite group of 10 universities was identified in 1998 to receive special three-year grants worth millions of dollars under what has been labeled the ‘985 Project’. Included in the first round of 985 grants were Peking, Tsinghua, Fudan, Zhejiang, and Nanjing Universities. Both Peking University and Tsinghua University were granted $225 million each over five years, while Nanjing University and Shanghai Jiaotong University received $150 million each. In 2004 the second phase of the 985 Project was launched with a widening of the number of universities to a total of more than 30.
Some observers believe that the 985 Project implies recognition that China may fail to develop 100 internationally recognized institutions in the near future. There is also significant debate and uncertainty as to what exactly defines a “world-class university” or how universities can achieve that status.
A listing by province (in Chinese) is available at: www.eol.cn/article/20030911/3090736.shtml#