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China aims to build over 40 world-class universities in new higher education funding program

 

Yunnan University (file photo)

The “double first-class” project university list, a new impetus for the development of China's higher education sector, will soon be announced by China’s Ministry of Education (MOE).

Even before the final list has officially come out, some universities have already informed the public that they are on the list, including Xinjiang University, Yunnan University, Harbin Institute of Technology, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.

The term “double first-class,” which refers to “world-class university” and “world-class discipline,” was approved by the MOE, Ministry of Finance, and China’s deepening reform lead group in 2016. The project, in the form of five-year plans, envisages China having some 40 universities and a number of majors recognized as world-class by 2020.

It is the third effort of its kind after two earlier programs: Project 211 and Project 985, the government-funded endeavor to strengthen advanced higher education institutions and key disciplinary areas. However, the "double first-class" project is more than just another version of the two previous projects, as it is a brand new plan, said Chen Baosheng, Minister of Education.

On Sept. 13, the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) said via its official WeChat account that it is China’s only military academy on the list. Chinese President Xi Jinping has encouraged NUDT to work harder to make key technological breakthroughs in order to build a world-class institution of higher education.

Some of the chosen institutions are member universities of Project 211, such as Southwest University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, while others, including Harbin Institute of Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Chongqing University, and Sichuan University, are Project 985 universities.

[ Editor: WPY ]