Number of universities in China 2008-2018

In 2018, China’s public spending on education exceeded three trillion yuan, while the number of universities increased significantly in the last decade, most recently standing at 2,663. Plans to develop and modernize the national higher education system is among the latest policy trends of the Chinese government. Initiatives such as Project 211 and Project 985 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.

As of 2018, around 28.3 million students were enrolled in universities in China, with approximately 490,000 foreigners among them. The university enrollment ratio increased from less than ten percent in the late 1990s to over 40 percent by 2018. The number of university teachers grew accordingly keeping the average university student to university teacher ratio around 17.5 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 universities in China between 2008 and 2018

Number of universities
Exclusive Premium statistic

You need a Premium Account for unlimited access.

  • Full access to 1m statistics

  • Incl. source references

  • Available to download in PNG, PDF, XLS format

Premium Account

only $59 / month *
*Duration: 12 months, billed annually, single license

Access to this and all other statistics on 80,000 topics from

$708 / Year

Show detailed source information?
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in

Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

2008 to 2018

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.
This statistic is not included in your account!

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$59 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.

Statistics on "Education in China"

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $708 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.