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Chinese Universities - Project 211 and Project 985

Project 211 is a project of National Key University and college initiated in 1995 by the Ministry of Education of the China, with the intent of raising the research standards of high-level universities and cultivating strategies for socio-economic development. During the first phase of the project, from 1996 to 2000, approximately US$2.2 billion was distributed.

China today has more than 117 institutions of higher education (about 6 percent) designated as 211 Project institutions for having met certain scientific, technical, and human resources standards and offer advanced degree programs). Project 211 schools take on the responsibility of training four-fifths of doctoral students, two-thirds of graduate students, half of students from abroad and one-third of undergraduates. They offer 85% of the state's key subjects, hold 96 percent of the state's key laboratories, and utilize 70% of scientific research funding

The name “Project 211” comes from an abbreviation of the 21st century and 100 – the approximate number of participating universities.

Project 211 universities:

Project 985 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. The project involves both national and local governments allocating large amounts of funding to certain universities, 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.

When first announced in 1998, the project funding was made available to an elite group of 9 universities. These 9 universities made up the C9 League in 2009 ,  which is the Chinese equivalent of the U.S. Ivy League. By the end of the second phase of the project, 39 universities were sponsored. It was announced in 2011 that the project has closed the door, no more new schools can join.