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A Reflection on the Effects of the 985 Project

Chinese Education and Society Volume 44, Number 5, ISSN 1061-1932


China's 985 Project, which came after the 211 Project, is a key program of the Chinese government to create world-class universities and high-level research universities. The central government invested a total of RMB32.9 billion in special funds for phase I (1999-2001) and phase II (2004-2007) of the project, assisting thirty-nine universities. After the establishment of the 985 Project, the international competitiveness and internationalization level of its participating institutions were significantly increased; there were improvements in their technological innovation capacity; and their leading position in China's higher education system was further consolidated. There are still large gaps, however, between the 985 Project schools and world-class universities in terms of leading research and top-notch researchers. The implementation of the 985 Project has not fundamentally changed the research models or research culture at the participating universities. At the same time, the selection procedures for 985 schools are not open to the public. The universities selected gain a variety of immense tangible and intangible benefits, whereas schools not selected have in many ways lost a fair opportunity to compete. (Contains 4 notes.)


Ying, C. (2011). A Reflection on the Effects of the 985 Project. Chinese Education and Society, 44(5), 19-30. Retrieved October 16, 2019 from .

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