The recent rankings of Chinese universities have led Beijing’s top tier higher education institutions, Peking and Tsinghua universities to fall behind some of the nation’s less-prestigious institutions.
The rankings – which looked at a group of universities that the government wants to be world-class in the near future – rated institutions based on four criterias including students’ extracurricular activities and student growth.
Tsinghua University ranked 16th with 72.7 out of 100 points, while Peking University came in 21st with 71.4 points in the rankings, published by Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, a joint venture by Xi’an Jiaotong University and England’s Liverpool University.
The rankings report noted that in many cases, higher education institutions that excel in research and development typically face challenges in teaching. This can be attributed to the overwhelming pressure to publish academic journals, thereby taking educators’ focus away from students.
Peking and Tsinghua are among the 42 universities identified by the central government in hope to becoming world-class institutions by 2050. Another 96 were entrusted to enhance their research and teaching facilities in certain fields in correspondence to preeminent global universities.
Chinese universities are often appraised by the government based on the number of academic papers, books and inventions produced by their faculty as well as criteria such as the ratio of faculty to students. However, there has been a lack of focus towards the improvement of teaching quality because it is challenging to measure its quality.