The Growing Power of China’s Elite Universities
China’s top universities are becoming more like America’s. Future elites are more likely to be credentialed technocrats than ambitious local players or industrial engineers.
China’s elites are undergoing a transformation. Now more than any time in the history of the People’s Republic of China, the elite class relies on a narrow set of elite universities for its reproduction. These include Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Renmin University, which are all in Beijing, as well as Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. Though these institutions have been prominent for generations, they are now significantly more important than other Chinese universities. They increasingly serve as loci for central elite coordination and some are becoming more powerful in their own right.