Project 985

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Map showing major universities in Mainland China. Universities of Project 985 are marked in blue (C-9 league schools are marked in red and all of them are Project 985 schools too.)

Project 985 (Chinese: 985工程; pinyin: Jiǔbāwǔ gōngchéng) is a project that was first announced by CPC General secretary and Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the 100th anniversary of Peking University on May 4, 1998, to promote the development and reputation of the Chinese higher education system by founding world-class universities in the 21st century.[1] The name derives from the date of the announcement, May 1998, or 98/5 according to the Chinese date format.[2] The project involves both national and local governments allocating large amounts of funding to certain universities[3] 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.[4] According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018/19 and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019/20, most of these 39 universities in Project 985 are considered as among the top 500 universities in the world.[5][6]

In 2009, the original 9 founding member universities of Project 985 formed the C9 League,[4] which is referred to as the Chinese equivalent of the US Ivy League.[7] By the end of the second phase of the project, 39 universities were sponsored. It was announced in 2011 that the project had closed, and no new schools would be able to join.[8]

In September 2017, a related plan called the Double First Class University Plan was announced.[9][10] It was unclear whether this plan represents a new way of ranking universities in China,[9] or replaces Project 211 and Project 985.[10]

List of sponsored universities[edit]

There are 39 universities sponsored by Project 985.[11][12] The project also assigned funding to each university.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Project 985,The University of Edinburgh
  2. ^ "Project 211 and 985". China Education Center Ltd. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  3. ^ "985工程". Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "International Rankings and Chinese Higher Education Reform". World Education News and Reviews. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "ARWU World University Rankings 2019 | Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019 | Top 1000 universities | Shanghai Ranking - 2019". Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  6. ^ "World University Rankings". Times Higher Education (THE). August 20, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  7. ^ "9所首批"985工程"建设高校签订《一流大学人才培养合作与交流协议书》". Archived from the original on October 15, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2009.
  8. ^ "Ministry of Education: no new "211" "985" project of the school". Archived from the original on May 11, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "China to develop 42 world-class universities". People's Daily. September 21, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "双一流大学 (shuāngyīliú dàxué): Double top university plan". Archived from the original on September 25, 2017.
  11. ^ "985工程一期重点共建". Ministry of Education PR CHINA. Retrieved August 28, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "985工程二期重点共建". Ministry of Education PR CHINA. Retrieved August 28, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "985工程重点共建协议对各大学的定位". Retrieved August 28, 2010.