Seven Often Overlooked Chinese Universities

by elbbj on May 20, 2013

yunnan universityMany universities are overlooked due to location, name, history, and other reasons despite being otherwise strong, little known outside their province and even nationwide. These schools have felt wronged because of their lack of reputation, and due to it, have often set their entry exam score requirements lower than other schools of the same level, as if students who find them will have discovered a buried treasure.


Southeast University

Don’t be shocked when we tell you that Southeast University was founded before Tsinghua, but this year marks the school’s 110th anniversary. Not only is Southeast University one of the key schools in the 211 Plan and 985 Plan, it’s also one of the famous eight “old architecture schools”. The school’s foreign languages institute has gathered together famous and talented people throughout its history, having trained a large group of well-known international scholars, experts, and individuals of note in the past 100 years. Famous linguist Lv Shuxiang is a distinguished representative of this group.


Lanzhou University

Lanzhou University was rated by US-based Science magazine as one of the top 13 universities in China. The school ranks yearly in the top ten SCI list, but due to its location in the northwest with underdeveloped natural and cultural conditions, it has been hard for the school to attain the reputation to other schools of similar level. Lanzhou University also has a collection of famous alumni, such as CCTV program host Shui Junyi and New Weekly Editor-in-Chief Feng Xincheng. The History Department of Lanzhou University is a national-level training base, and the school’s Minority Studies is a nationally prioritized discipline.


Jinan University (暨南大学)

This school’s biggest gripe is the fact that many people confuse it with Jinan University (济南大学) in Shandong. But who would think that this school also has more than a hundred years of history? The characters 暨南 are derived from a line in the Book of Documents, “东渐于海,西被于流沙,朔南暨,声教讫于四海”, which means, “facing toward the south sea, spreading Chinese culture around the world.” Jinan University has always been called the “greatest institution of overseas Chinese study”, and was China’s first nationally-founded oversease Chinese educational institution. It is currently the school with the most foreign students in all of China, and is also a key university the national 211 plan. The school’s famous departments include journalism and management, and it is among the top institutions of higher education in Guangdong province. Famous contemporary poet Wang Guozhen graduated from Jinan University.


Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics

The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, and the Jiangxi Provincial Government jointly founded Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, and the school is one of six universities directly subordinate to the Ministry of Finance. A large portion of the students graduating from the university are from Jiangxi and serve Jiangxi, such Vice Governors, Xie Ru, Tao Mugen, and Hu Youtao, as well as Jiangxi Department of Finance and Party Leadership Group Secretary Hu Qiangdeng. The school’s main disciplines include economics and management, and public finance, marketing, accounting, information management systems, public finance, and law are all national-level outstanding majors. However, due to the lack of economic development of the Jiangxi area, there is a lack of talent at the school, and this has caused the school’s reputation and strengths to perpetually lag.


Yunnan University

Yunnan University is one of the key schools in the national 211 plan, and was the first comprehensive university to be built in the southwest of China. The school acquired much from the history of National Southwestern Associated University. Yunnan University is a key comprehensive national university characteristically strong in the research of questions related to minority studies, border issues, as well as Southeast Asian international relations. Among its national-level key subjects are minority studies, ecology, topical history, and microbiology. The school has a large and strong faculty.


Northwest Normal University

Northwest Normal University was the first normal university established after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The school has a subsidiary set of educational institutions, including the Affiliated Middle School, #2 Affiliated Middle School, and the Affiliated Elementary School & Kindergarten. Throughout Lanzhou City and Gansu Province, the schools hold a good reputation, and act as a testing ground for educational reform and educational training base for the university. However, with years of poor support and its location in the large northwest region, both Xi’an Normal University and Shaanxi Normal University have taken the wind from its sails, and it has always been unable to become a school under the authority of the national-level Ministry of Education.


Dongbei University of Finance & Economics

Dongbei University of Finance & Economics is a multidisciplinary research university specializing in economics and management. Among its national-level key fields are manufacturing economics, public finance (including taxation), accounting, with national-level speciality majors in  accounting, industrial management, tourism management, banking & finance, public finance, insurance, tax services, and others. Dongbei University of Finance & Economics is located in Liaoning Province, so it is not well known in south China, and very few students taking the gaokao in southern cities will apply for admission to the school.


Original publication date: 5/17/13


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