In an ambitious blueprint, Chinese officials have announced intentions to set up 16 top universities by 2030, spreading across several provincial regions outside Beijing and Shanghai, where a number of famous universities are already situated.
According to data collected by researcher Yu Lujiang from Tongji University, some 21 provincial regions have published five- to ten-year blueprints on higher education. Ten universities will be rated "world-class" by 2020, and the figure will rise to 16 by 2030, Caixin reported.
More than 110 "high-level" universities will be established in those regions, according to the blueprints. Some 11 provincial regions have also come up with financial support measures, with the total amount raised close to 40 billion RMB, according to Yu. Shandong province said it would raise up to 5 billion RMB, while Hubei province pledged an annual investment of 1 to 2 billion RMB.
“Heavy investment can help to attract talent and purchase cutting-edge equipment to improve the educational environment,” Lu told Caixin. “But it requires far more than money to become a top university.”
A guideline issued by the State Council in 2015 said “a certain number” of universities and majors should be rated as "world-class" by 2020, and China would “basically become” a nation with strong higher education by 2050, the Caixin report explained.
The guideline did not specify an exact number. There is also no agreed-upon standard for what constitutes a “world-class” university.