GURULEVA T.L. Universities of China: Current Status and Global Development Strategy Until 2035


Tatiana L. Guruleva

Doctor of Sciences (Pedagogy), Associate Professor, Leading Researcher,

Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Prosp. Nakhimovskiy, 32, 117997 Moscow, Russian Federation;


Department of Linguistics and Translation, Russian State Social University,

Vilgelma Pika St., 4, Bld. 1, 129226 Moscow, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract. Introduction. Now China is completing the “State program for medium and long-term reform and development of education for 2010–2020.” The results achieved during the implementation of this program and the new strategy for the development of China’s education, including in the field of higher education and higher education institutions, are becoming a new subject of research in domestic science and require careful study. The purpose of the study is to characterize the current state of Chinese universities and identify a strategy for their development until 2035.

Methods and materials. As research methods, analysis of open data sources and comparative analysis were used. The source base includes regulatory documents of the People’s Republic of China in the field of education (laws, the state program and state projects), CPC documents related to the development of the education system (reports of the party congress and plenum), information resources of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (National Statistical Reports on Education Development for 2016–2018), data from QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings for the period 2016–2020.

Analysis. As a result of the reform, the gross enrollment ratio of high school education (10–12 grades) increased from 79.2% (2009) to 88.8% (2018), and higher education from 24.2% (2009) to 48.1% (2018). The fulfillment of the tasks of reforming the higher education system, including the implementation of Projects 211 and 985, by the beginning of the 13th five-year plan (2016) has enabled 85 Chinese universities to enter the world ranking THE (2016–2017). In 2016, China switched to a new strategy for the global development of higher education, embarking on the implementation of the “Project of First-Class Universities and Scientific Disciplines”. At the 19th CPC Congress (2017), this strategy was supplemented by the task of intensive development of higher education. Currently, the global development strategy for higher education and universities in the country is continuing as part of the overall modernization of education, according to which China plans to strengthen the combined power and influence of country’s education in the international arena by 2020, and by 2035 to increase the competitiveness of higher education in the context of transforming the country into a global educational power.

Results. The results of the study include the following: 1) the current state of Chinese universities significantly exceeds the state of 2009 in both quantitative and qualitative indicators; 2) the modern strategy for the development of higher education is the strategy of global development of Chinese universities, aimed at their achievement of leading and first positions in the world, as well as strengthening the competitiveness of China’s higher education, contributing to the transformation of China into a world educational power in 2035.

Key words: education system of the PRC, reform of education of the PRC, modernization of education of the PRC, universities of the PRC, higher education in China.

Citation. Guruleva T.L. Universities of China: Current Status and Global Development Strategy Until 2035. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 185-197. (in Russian). DOI:

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Universities of China: Current Status and Global Development Strategy Until 2035 by Guruleva T.L is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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