|Formation||May 4, 1998|
|Legal status||Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China|
The C9 League (Chinese: 九校联盟; pinyin: Jiǔ xiào liánméng) is an official alliance of nine universities in China, initiated by the Chinese Central Government through the Project 985 to promote the development and reputation of higher education in China. Collectively, universities in the C9 League account for 3% of the country's researchers, but receive 10% of national research expenditures. They produce 20% of the nation's academic publications and 30% of total citations. People's Daily, an official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, refers to the C9 League as China's Ivy League.
Membership and benefits
The C9 league comprises China's most leading public research comprehensive universities. Its members (in alphabetical order) are Fudan University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Nanjing University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Tsinghua University, University of Science and Technology of China, Xi'an Jiaotong University, and Zhejiang University. C9 League schools are allocated special resources, and have special arrangements for sharing resources with one another. They have a higher fraction of elite academics who have been awarded one of China's top academic honors, the Thousand Talents Plan Professorship and the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Professorship, and often have a few who have been awarded both. C9 League schools receive substantial funding from both national and local governments in order to build new research centers, improve facilities, hold international conferences, attract world-renowned faculty and visiting scholars, and help Chinese faculty attend conferences abroad.
The C9 members' undergraduate program is highly competitive. Five of the C9 members, namely Tsinghua University, Peking University, Zhejiang University, Fudan University, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, are the hardest for students to get in. Only less than 0.2% of National Higher Education Entrance Examination ("Gaokao") takers get admitted every year (as a comparison to 0.6% of SAT-takers accepted in the five most selective Ivy League schools in 2012).
Rankings and reputation
The C9 members are viewed as some of the most prestigious universities of all Chinese universities and consistently rank among the best in the world. Two of the C9 members (Tsinghua and Peking universities) are the two best universities in the whole Asia and the Pacific and emerging countries, according to the THE World University Rankings and the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings. Moreover, the C9 league has dominated the QS BRICS University Rankings and the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings, claiming seven of the top 10 spots for both rankings. In the QS Asia University Rankings, five of the C9 universities appear in the Asia Top 10.
All the C9 members are ranked in the world's top 100 universities according to the latest rankings of the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, the University Ranking by Academic Performance and the CWTS Leiden Ranking. All the C9 members are ranked in the world's top 150 universities in the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Nature Index Annual Tables. Seven of the C9 universities are ranked among the top 200 universities in the world according to the latest rankings of the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Ranking.
Internationally, Tsinghua and Peking were regarded as the two most reputable Chinese universities by the THE World Reputation Rankings where they have ranked 13th and 16th in the world respectively, together with Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University and Nanjing University in the global top 125 universities. Tsinghua and Peking graduates are highly desired worldwide, with its Graduate Employability rankings placed at 6th and 19th in the world respectively in 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings, together with Fudan University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Zhejiang University in the Global Top 50th Universities with high-achieving graduates every year.
|Shanghai Jiao Tong University||Shanghai||47||100||63||122||2||19||38||25||52|
|University of Science and Technology of China||Hefei||93||87||73||124||59||62||8||59||71|
|Harbin Institute of Technology||Harbin||260||401-500||101-150||214||23||73||125||96||171|
|Xi'an Jiaotong University||Xi'an||303||401-500||101-150||301||17||82||109||100||183|
History, and relationship to other categories of elite universities
The Chinese government has four main categories of elite universities. The first and largest of these groups is the Project 211, which was established in 1995 to strengthen research standards in China’s top universities, with universities that exceed a threshold receiving significantly increased funds. As of 2018, 116 higher education institutions were members of the Project 211.
The second, established in 2015, is the Double First Class University Plan to create 42 world class universities by 2050. A third, more selective group is the Project 985, established in 1998. The Chinese government included 39 universities in the Project 985, and capped membership to these 39 in 2011.
The final and most selective group is the C9 League, established by the Chinese central government on May 4, 1998 as part of the Project 985 with the goal of advancing Chinese higher education by formalizing an elite group of universities to foster better students and share resources. Nine universities were selected and allocated funding, and on October 10, 2009, the relationship between these nine universities was formalized into China's C9 League.
- List of universities in China
- Ivy League, a formal grouping of elite private universities in the United States
- Group of Eight, formal group of eight universities in Australia
- Imperial Universities, a grouping of elite older universities in Japan
- Institutes of National Importance, top public universities in India.
- TU9, the alliance of nine leading Technical Universities in Germany
- SKY (universities), a group of prestigious Korean universities
- Excellence League, an alliance of Chinese universities with strong backgrounds in engineering
- Project 211, an earlier program for recognizing China's top 100 universities
- Project 985, a larger set of China's top 39 universities
- Double First Class University Plan, a scheme for improving 42 of China's top universities
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