Tshinghua University – China’s MIT
105-year old Tsinghua University is one of the most important elite institutions of higher education in China. The institution can be found in Beijing, and its motto is: “Self-Discipline and Social Commitment”, which faithfully reflects its dedication to facilitate academic excellence, the well-being of Chinese society and global development.
Tsinghua was established in the north-west of Beijing in 1911, on the site of a former royal garden. Its establishment is related to the United States of America. In the aftermath of the Boxer Rebellion, China had to pay indemnity to the United States; these funds were used, among others, to establish this institution of higher education.
Initially, the institution functioned as a preparatory school for students to be sent by the Chinese state to study in the USA. University training started in 1925. In 1937, due to the second Chinese-Japanese war, the institution moved to Kunming, where it merged with Peking University and Nankai University, and formed the National Southwestern Associated University. After World War II, Tsinghua moved back to its original campus. In 1952 Tsinghua became a university of technology, cancelling the courses in law, agriculture and natural sciences.
Its outstanding faculty of engineering is in the top tier not only in China but also in the world. Thanks to the established faculty, the university is closely cooperating with various companies, as a result of which students find positions more easily in the labour market, and it also generates considerable fund for research.
In 1978 the university introduced a multidisciplinary system. As a result, the School of Sciences, the School of Economics and Management, the School of Life Sciences, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Tsinghua Law School were re-incorporated. In 1999, the Academy of Arts and Design also opened.
The prestige of Tsinghua is demonstrated by the fact that several members of China’s top leadership graduated from here, for example the current President, Xi Jinping as well as his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Various international university rankings place Tsinghua amongst the best universities: in 2016, Tsinghua was ranked 58th globally in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, 47th in the Times Higher Education World University Ranking, and 25th in the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings.
This university has the largest budget in China – it is almost five times more than the total expenditure of the entire Hungarian higher education system –, providing a high-quality research environment for students and teachers, with more than three-hundred research institutes. The number of students is about 46,000, who are distributed between various training levels as follows: 15,636 students participate in bachelor’s degree programmes, 18,661 in master’s degree programmes and 11,903 students in PhD programmes. The university has 14 colleges and 56 departments, working in the fields of natural sciences, engineering, humanities, law, medicine, history, philosophy, economics, management, education and art.