For credential evaluation of Chinese higher education diplomas, we check 2 things:

Accreditation of the education institution and programme

The Ministry of Education accredits all higher education institutions. The Academic Degree Committee, which is part of the China State Council (the highest-ranking public body in China), accredits all degree programmes taught by higher education institutions. The Committee decides whether the degree programmes it has reviewed satisfy the quality requirements for the conferral of bachelor’s degrees, master's degrees or doctorates. See also this government information: Regulations on Academic Degrees of the People’s Republic of China.

Quality of the institution

Quality assurance in higher education is the task of, among others, the Higher Education Evaluation Center of the Ministry of Education 教育部高等教育教学评估中心, HEEC). In addition, the Chinese government has invested in various projects to improve the quality of education, see the description of Project 211, Project 985 and Double First Class below.

Project 211, Project 985 and Double First Class

There are 3 projects in which selected higher education institutions receive extra money from the Chinese government. With this support, institutions must improve their education in order to compete internationally on quality.

  • Project 211 and Project 985 (both closed in 2017)
  • Double First Class (双一流 shuang yiliu)

Project 211

In 1992, the Chinese government introduced ‘Project 211’ (211工程, 211 gongcheng). The number ‘21’ represents the 21st century, and the ‘1’ stands for the 100 institutions selected for participation in the project. The project was closed in 2017.

You can find a list of Project 211 institutions on the website of the Ministry of Education (in Chinese) and an overview of the English and Chinese names of these institutions via Overview of higher education institutions.

Project 985

In May 1998, the Chinese government introduced ‘Project 985’ (985 工程 985 gongcheng) both as part of and as a follow-up to Project 211. The project awarded a number of prominent institutions participating in Project 211 additional financial support from the government, with the aim of generating first-class research institutes. Project 985 was closed in 2017.

You can find a list of Project 985 institutions (in Chinese) on the website of the Ministry of Education.

Double First Class

After the completion of Project 211 and Project 985, the Chinese Ministry of Education has made a new selection of institutions called Double First Class (双 一流 shuang yiliu). In September 2017, the Ministry published 2 lists of higher education institutions and programmes that have to become the best in the world:

  • • First Class Universities with 42 universities;
  • • First Discipline Universities with selected programmes from 140 different universities.

Please see Overview of higher education institutions for a translated list of the 42 First Class Universities. You can request the translated list of First Discipline Universities via our contact form.