Tsinghua University Story

Tsinghua University: the Best in China

Asia Universities

China is increasingly standing out in the international academic scene. Just to give you an idea, according to QS World University Rankings 2021, the country has 26 universities among the top 500 in the world. Brazil, for example, has only 5. And among all these institutions, one stands out even more: Tsinghua University, which is currently one of the 15 best in the world. Learn more about it now!


Tsinghua University’s 395-hectare campus is located in Beijing (capital of China), in the Haidian district, an area mostly made up of university buildings and various academic institutes, including Peking University, which is the second best in the country.

With a mix of old buildings in classical Chinese style and modern buildings influenced by Western architecture, as well as several gardens and parks, it has been chosen by Forbes magazine as one of the most beautiful university campuses in the world.

One of the few buildings of the institution that is not actually on campus is the Institute of Nuclear Technology and New Energies, an important center of technological production at the national level.

Tsinghua University Campus


Tinghua University was founded in 1911 from a series of facts that are at least curious. At the beginning of the last century, China was going through a period marked by national unrest and conflicts with foreign powers that ended up culminating in the Boxer Levant, an anti-Christian and above all anti-Western popular movement.

However, these revolts were eventually suppressed by an international colonialist force that ended up being known as the Alliance of Eight Nations, a group formed by countries like Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Germany and the United States.

As punishment for defeat, the Qing dynasty, which ruled China at the time, was sentenced to pay damages to all member countries of the alliance, including about $ 30 million to the United States. However, after many negotiations between President Theodore Roosevelt and the Chinese ambassador to the United States (Qing Liang Cheng), it was decided that this amount would be reduced to $ 10.8 million, provided that the rest of the $ 30 million was used to create scholarships for Chinese students in the USA.

It was from this money that Tsinghua College emerged, still only as a preparatory school for students selected by the Chinese government to be sent to the United States.

The building where Tsinghua College was located remains intact! (Photo: Jucember / Wikimedia)

In 1925, the first undergraduate courses of 4 years and 3 years later appeared, the institution was renamed Tsing Hua National University.

Between the 30s and 70s, the institution witnessed and was also impacted by several conflicts, wars, regime changes and social revolutions. During the height of Soviet influence in the 1970s, it began to serve as a polytechnic institute with a focus only on Engineering and Natural Sciences.

It was only after the 1980s that the university absorbed other areas of knowledge, incorporating a multidisciplinary system focused on collaboration between different schools and colleges. In this context, several schools that had previously been detached, such as the Academy of Arts and Design and the School of Law, were reintegrated.

Tsinghua University Story

Internal organization

Currently, the structure of Tsinghua University consists of 23 schools and 58 university departments; 35 research centers; 41 research institutes and 167 laboratories. Altogether, 51 bachelor’s programs, 139 master’s programs and 107 doctoral programs are offered.

The 23 schools that make up the institution are as follows: Humanities; Social Sciences; Economics and Administration; Information Science and Technology; Arts and Design; Sciences; Civil Engineering; Environment; Journalism and Communication; Right; Electrical engineering; Public Policies and Management; Aerospace Engineering; Aeromechanical Engineering; Medicine; Pharmaceutical Sciences; Architecture; Interdisciplinary Information Sciences; Materials Science and Engineering; Life Sciences; Physical Engineering; Chemical Engineering and Marxism.


According to the QS ranking, Tsinghua University is the 15th best institution of higher education in the world, ahead of, for example, famous universities like Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, University of Toronto, University of Tokyo, Sydney University, NYU and UCLA. In the survey, it is immediately below the EPFL, which is considered the second best university in Switzerland.

The Gate, a great symbol of the university (Photo: Denise Chan / Flickr)

In the ranking of employability , also carried out by QS, which assesses the way universities are seen by the job market, Tsinghua does even better, occupying the sixth overall position! It is in front, for example, of Cambridge and Oxford (the two great British universities), in addition to Princeton, University of Chicago and ETH Zurich, among others.

The university’s areas of knowledge with the best international evaluation are Engineering and Technology, respectively; Material Sciences; Civil and Structural Engineering; Environmental Studies; Architecture; Electrical and Electronic Engineering; Chemical engineering; Computer Science and Information; Systems; Mechanical Engineering; Natural Sciences; Physics and Astronomy; Statistics and Operational Research; Art and Design; Chemistry and Mathematics.


Tsinghua University has one of the most traditional (and contested!) Scholarship programs in the world: Schwarzman Scholars. Inspired by the traditional Rhodes Scholarship, from the University of Oxford, each year this program selects between 150 and 200 students from all over the world to do a 1-year master’s degree at the institution.

This is such an important and renowned program that fellows have an exclusive residential building for them on the university campus!


With an impressive annual budget of nearly $ 4.5 billion, Tsinghua University has an academic body of just over 3100 professors, about 4100 administrative staff and 36300 students (15570 undergraduate and 19311 graduate).