Number of colleges and universities in China 2009-2019

In 2019, the number of public colleges and universities in China amounted to 2,688. These included 1,265 universities and 1,423 higher vocational collages. The total number of colleges and universities increased significantly in the last decades. Plans to further develop and modernize the national higher education system is among the latest policy trends of the Chinese government. Initiatives such as the Double First Class University Plan are some of the most recent contributions to the higher education development plan aimed at improving Chinese universities' standards as well as creating more world-class universities across the country.

Student enrollment in China

As of 2019, around 30.3 million students were enrolled in public colleges and universities in China, with approximately 490,000 foreign students among them in 2018. The total enrollment rate in tertiary education increased from less than ten percent in the late 1990s to over 51 percent by 2019. The number of university teachers grew accordingly, keeping the average university student to university teacher ratio around 18 to 1.

What are the leading universities in China?

Mainland China has two higher education institutions continuously ranked among the top 50 universities in the world. Tsinghua University in Beijing is the leading higher education school in China and one of the most reputable ones globally. Peking University, the second best in the country, is the oldest national university founded in 1898 as the Imperial University of Peking and besides its academic reputation is also famous for one of the most beautiful university campuses. Fudan University in Shanghai, University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Nanjing University are other prestigious schools consistently competing in China's top 10 university rankings.

Number of public colleges and universities in China between 2009 and 2019

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Release date

October 2020



Survey time period

2009 to 2019

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Statistics on "Tertiary education in China"

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