By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - When thinking of the "best" universities in China, your mind will automatically jump to Tsinghua University and Peking University. Obviously, that's because these two institutions are ranked as the top two in China. However, these aren't the only prestigious universities in China. There quite a number of small, yet influential universities that cultivate excellent graduates who play an active role in many fields.
[One of the best small, yet influential universities in China include the China Foreign Affairs University. It's hailed as the "Cradle of Chinese diplomats." The image below shows Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivering a congratulatory speech during the 60th anniversary ceremony of the CFAU in September 2015./ Source: The website of China Foreign Affairs University] According to the report of China's leading internet portal Sina on Thursday, one of the best small-scale universities in China is the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU), which is crowned as "Cradle of Chinese diplomats." It has 9 faculties that select few elite students. That's why it's not so hard for them to enter the Foreign Ministry after graduation unless they have particular reasons for being disqualified. Nearly half of the diplomats in the ministry are known to be alumni of this school. No doubt the CFAU students' average gaokao (Chinese university entrance exam) score is no way inferior to that of Tsinghua or Peking University students.
Another good example of small-scale powerful university that has a similar nature with the CFAU is the University of International Relations. The difference is that most of its graduates are engaged in research rather than field. The school selects few elite talents.
People's Public Security University of China (PPSUC) is one of the best small universities that train students into police officers. Every student can work in the police system after graduation. One of the best thing about this university is that students can find a job upon graduation.
In the field of medicine, Peking Union Medical College is among the most selective medical colleges and widely considered to be the best medical school in China. It takes pride in being established by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1917.
These schools are the result of the education authorities' effort to strengthen China's international competitive power, and they are similar with the Grandes Écoles of France that do not have large student bodies but select few hundred elite students each year. But what's different is that these Chinese schools belong to various fields and they are not concentrated in Beijing. Perhaps this is why Chinese universities are rated higher than Korean universities in terms of international competitiveness.