China UP: China's universities rising
First Voice

Editor's note: Despite challenges brought by COVID-19 over the past three years, China still witnessed strong momentum for development in some respects. Against this backdrop, CGTN is launching a three-episode animation series, "China UP," to showcase the nation's rise in certain areas. This is the first episode of the series, focusing on China's education.

In 2004, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) launched the first issue of university ranking in partnership with Times Higher Education (THE). Over the past 19 years, the annual publication has gradually become one of the most authoritative indicators of university performance.

According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, in general, Chinese mainland's universities climbed in the latest global university rankings, with Peking University rising from 44th in 2012 to 12th place, and Tsinghua University leaping from 48th to 14th place. This year, China occupies two of the top three positions in Asian University Ranking.

China UP: China's universities rising

Over the years, an increasing number of Chinese institutions have joined the top tiers of the university ranking. In 2015, China had only three universities in Top 100 and 18 in Top 500, while in 2023, the numbers have risen to 6 and 28 respectively.

China highly values education and sees higher education as a key factor in the country's modernization path.

China UP: China's universities rising

In 2012, the central government decided in its budget that government spending on education would account for 4 percent of the country's GDP. In 2022, the proportion of China's fiscal spending on education in its GDP has remained above 4 percent for 10 consecutive years. With the strong support of the central government, an accumulated 240 million people have received higher education in China over the past decades, and the gross enrollment rate of China's higher education hitting 57.8 percent in 2021, compared with 30 percent in 2012.

In President Xi Jinping's report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), "education" has been mentioned more than 40 times. According to the report, one of the nation's overall development objectives for the year 2035 is to "become a leading country in education, science and technology, talent, culture, sports, and health." Xi further mentioned that education is one of "the foundational and strategic pillars for building a modern socialist country in all respects." The report, overall, indicates the Party's great resolve to prepare talents for the country's modernization drive.

China UP: China's universities rising

In an interconnected world, education allows people from different backgrounds to share their insights and embrace new ideas. With China making great advancement in higher education, the country will continue to keep the door open for more international students.

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