“The harsh winds of time relentlessly wash away the imprints of the era, causing the past glory and misery to quickly be forgotten by people.”

First of all, let’s say farewell to the dreadful year of 2022 together, and I wish all our dear readers a happy new year!

In the past month or so, too many things have happened. I originally wanted to say something, but it seems to be meaningless.

Today we will only talk about past romance and beauty, and this article is a sequel to “Rankings of Engineering Universities in China before Liberation.”

1. Ranking Principle. Link to heading

Currently, all university rankings adopt a weighted scoring system based on multiple evaluation parameters. This seemingly objective approach actually conceals commercial interests.

The seemingly justifiable reasons in society are often backed by business motives.

Finding a single indicator for sealing the throat with a sword is my pursuit.

In the 1980s, although there was a lot of work to be done, academic corruption and fraud were far less prevalent than they are today. In 1987, the Degree Committee published the first three batches of lists of institutions and mentors who had granted doctoral and master’s degrees. The first batch consisted primarily of undisputed academic figures from the early days of the People’s Republic of China, while the second and third batches comprised second-generation leading academics from various fields.

From my personal observation, there is no doubt about the list of these three batches of doctoral supervisors: although their knowledge may be outdated, it is highly unlikely that they are just posing as experts.

So, using the number of doctoral advisors in science and engineering as a ranking criterion to evaluate the performance of various universities in a particular year would be very reasonable.

2. Technology Ranking. Link to heading

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the ranking:

Ranking School Name Number of Doctoral Supervisors in Science and Engineering Fields
1 清华大学 127
Tsinghua University
2 北京大学 123
Peking University
3 南京大学 65
Nanjing University
4 西安交通大学 52
Xi’an Jiaotong University
5 复旦大学 49
Fudan University
6 上海交通大学 47
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
7 浙江大学 46
Zhejiang University
7 中国科学技术大学 46
University of Science and Technology of China
9 中国地质科技大学 38
China University of Geosciences
10 北京航空学院 37
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
11 北京钢铁学院 36
Beijing Institute of Iron and Steel Technology.
12 天津大学 34
Tianjin University.
13 哈尔滨工业大学 33
Harbin Institute of Technology
14 华中工学院 31
Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
14 同济大学 31
Tongji University
16 吉林大学 30
Jilin University
17 北京工业学院 29
Beijing University of Technology.
18 大连工学院 27
Dalian University of Technology
18 南京工学院 27
Nanjing Institute of Technology
20 南开大学 26
Nankai University
20 中国矿业学院 26
China University of Mining and Technology.
22 西北工业大学 25
Northwestern Polytechnical University.
23 中山大学 22
Sun Yat-sen University
24 东北工学院 21
Northeastern University of Technology.
24 兰州大学 21
Lanzhou University
26 华东师范大学 20
East China Normal University
27 北京师范大学 19
Beijing Normal University
27 华南工学院 19
South China Institute of Technology.
27 厦门大学 19
Xiamen University
27 中南工业大学 19
Central South University of Technology
31 华东工学院 18
Huadong Institute of Technology
31 武汉大学 18
Wuhan University
33 华东化工学院 17
East China University of Chemical Technology
34 国防科学技术大学 14
National University of Defense Technology
34 河海大学 14
Hohai University
34 南京航空学院 14
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
37 吉林工业大学 13
Jilin University of Technology
38 山东大学 12
Shandong University
38 武汉水利电力学院 12
Wuhan University of Water Resources and Electric Power
38 西南交通大学 12
Southwest Jiaotong University
41 华东石油学院 10
East China Petroleum Institute
41 四川大学 10
Sichuan University
41 中国纺织大学 10
China Textile University
41 重庆大学 10
Chongqing University.
45 成都地质学院 9
Chengdu University of Technology
45 成都科学技术大学 9
Chengdu University of Science and Technology
47 成都电讯工程学院 8
Chengdu Telecommunications Engineering College
47 哈尔滨船舶工程学院 8
Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute.
47 哈尔滨建筑工程学院 8
Harbin Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering
47 西北电讯工程学院 8
Northwest Telecommunications Engineering Institute
51 北方交通大学 7
North China University of Transportation
51 北京邮电学院 7
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
51 长春地质学院 7
Changchun Institute of Geology
54 湖南大学 6
Hunan University
54 南京化工学院 6
Nanjing Institute of Chemical Technology
54 武汉测绘科技大学 6
Wuhan University of Geomatics and Cartography Technology
57 杭州大学 5
Hangzhou University
57 上海机械学院 5
Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering
59 北京化工学院 4
Beijing University of Chemical Technology
59 江苏工学院 4
Jiangsu Polytechnic Institute.
59 南京林业大学 4
Nanjing Forestry University
59 山东海洋学院 4
Shandong Ocean University.
59 无锡轻工业学院 4
Wuxi Institute of Technology (WIT)
59 重庆建筑工程学院 4
Chongqing University of Architecture and Engineering.
65 北京农业工程大学 3
Beijing Agricultural Engineering University.
65 大连海运学院 3
Dalian Maritime University
65 东北师范大学 3
Northeast Normal University
65 解放军防化研究院 3
PLA Institute of Chemical Defense Research
65 南京水利科学研究院 3
Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute.
65 上海科学技术大学 3
Shanghai University of Science and Technology
65 武汉工业大学 3
Wuhan University of Technology
65 武汉水运工程学院 3
Wuhan Water Transportation Engineering College
65 西北大学 3
Northwest University
65 西南石油学院 3
Southwest Petroleum University
75 北京工业大学 2
Beijing University of Technology.
75 东北林业大学 2
Northeast Forestry University
75 东北重型机械学院 2
Northeast Heavy Machinery Institute.
75 福州大学 2
Fuzhou University
75 海军工程学院 2
Naval University of Engineering
75 合肥工业大学 2
Hefei University of Technology.
75 解放军测绘学院 2
PLA Institute of Surveying and Mapping
75 昆明工学院 2
Kunming University of Science and Technology.
75 煤炭科学研究院 2
Coal Science Research Institute
75 陕西机械学院 2
Shaanxi Institute of Mechanical Engineering.
75 上海工业大学 2
Shanghai University of Engineering Science.
75 西安冶金建筑学院 2
Xi’an University of Architecture and Technology
75 长沙铁道学院 2
Changsha Railway University
87 华南师范大学 1
South China Normal University
87 华中师范大学 1
Central China Normal University
87 解放军通信工程学院 1
PLA Communication Engineering Academy
87 南京师范大学 1
Nanjing Normal University
87 内蒙古大学 1
Inner Mongolia University
87 山东工业大学 1
Shandong University of Technology
87 陕西师范大学 1
Shaanxi Normal University
87 太原工业大学 1
Taiyuan University of Technology
87 天津轻工业学院 1
Tianjin University of Light Industry.
87 西安地质学院 1
Xi’an University of Geology

The top 8 schools from that year are the same as C9 now, but the competition for 9th place is fierce: schools such as Geology, Beihang, North Steel and Tianjin University are not inferior to Harbin Institute of Technology.

Except for Chengdu, the strength of the eight engineering colleges is very close, which is similar to today’s situation.

Although it seems that Tsinghua and Peking University are evenly matched in the field of science and technology, taking into account the formidable strength of arts and social sciences at Peking University, its comprehensive strength at that time was obviously superior to that of Tsinghua. As for Xi’an Jiaotong University, it also slightly surpassed Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The online claim that the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) was ahead of Tsinghua University and Peking University in the 1980s is not entirely objective. During an era of limited information access, many aspiring students from less developed provinces considered USTC to be the top institution with “Zhong” (meaning “middle” in Chinese) in its name, but this consensus did not exist among coastal provinces. USTC had a strong focus on physics and junior high school programs at that time.

3. Overall ranking Link to heading

The above ranking is a bit boring, because it doesn’t differ much from what everyone had imagined.

So, wouldn’t it be more interesting to add all the doctoral advisers in the fields of science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, law, economics and social sciences, as well as research institutions?

Let’s take a quick look at the top 50:

Ranking Organization or institution. Number of Doctoral Supervisors
1 中国科学院 611
Chinese Academy of Sciences
2 北京大学 195
Peking University
3 中国社会科学院 144
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
4 清华大学 127
Tsinghua University
5 复旦大学 84
Fudan University
6 南京大学 82
Nanjing University
6 中国协和医科大学 82
China Union Medical College
8 上海医科大学 76
Shanghai Medical College.
9 北京医科大学 72
Peking University Medical College
10 南开大学 52
Nankai University
10 西安交通大学 52
Xi’an Jiaotong University
12 中国人民大学 49
Renmin University of China
13 上海第二医科大学 48
Shanghai Second Medical University.
14 上海交通大学 47
Shanghai Jiao Tong University
15 浙江大学 46
Zhejiang University
15 中国科学技术大学 46
University of Science and Technology of China
17 北京农业大学 44
Beijing Agricultural University.
18 同济医科大学 43
Tongji Medical College
19 北京师范大学 42
Beijing Normal University
20 华东师范大学 40
East China Normal University
21 吉林大学 38
Jilin University
22 北京航空学院 37
Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
22 中国地质科技大学 37
China University of Geosciences
24 北京钢铁学院 36
Beijing Institute of Iron and Steel Technology.
24 中山医科大学 36
Zhongshan University of Medical Sciences.
26 武汉大学 35
Wuhan University
27 华西医科大学 34
West China Medical University
27 厦门大学 34
Xiamen University
27 天津大学 34
Tianjin University
30 哈尔滨工业大学 33
Harbin Institute of Technology
30 华中工学院 33
Huazhong University of Science and Technology
30 中山大学 33
Sun Yat-sen University
33 同济大学 31
Tongji University
34 第四军医大学 30
Fourth Military Medical University
35 北京工业学院 29
Beijing University of Technology
36 大连工学院 27
Dalian Polytechnic University.
36 南京工学院 27
Nanjing Institute of Technology.
36 中国地质科学院 27
Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences
39 中国矿业学院 26
China University of Mining and Technology.
40 西北工业大学 25
Northwestern Polytechnical University
41 南京农业大学 23
Nanjing Agricultural University.
42 第二军医大学 21
Second Military Medical University
42 东北工学院 21
Northeastern University of Engineering.
42 军事医学科学院 21
Academy of Military Medical Sciences.
42 兰州大学 21
Lanzhou University
46 华南工学院 19
South China Institute of Technology.
46 中南工业大学 19
Central South University of Technology
48 湖南医学院 18
Hunan University of Medicine.
48 华东工学院 18
East China University of Technology
48 中国农业科学院 18
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

The first thing that catches the eye is the giant Chinese Academy of Sciences. In fact, today the number of doctoral students enrolled in the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences is also far ahead, but this training model based on more than 100 research institutes nationwide is not like traditional universities.

Back then, the top 4 comprehensive universities were undoubtedly Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University and Nanjing University. There was no dispute about it. Nankai University used to be a definite member of the top 10, but its glory gradually faded due to the decline of Tianjin’s urban competitiveness.

One notable feature of this ranking is the remarkable emphasis placed on Western medicine in the 1980s, with five medical universities and up to 321 medical doctoral advisors represented among the top 20.

And I cannot recall when it began, but medicine has become a doll that anyone can dress up.

Oops, I accidentally wrote crooked…

* * *

* * *

Time is like fine sand that we cannot grasp, no matter how hard we try to hold onto it, it still slowly slips away.

Only after the roaring and turbulent era has solidified layer by layer like lava can we see the bleak faces of nature and society.

The mountains are empty, but the water flows and flowers bloom.

This article is dedicated to the memory of my recently departed uncle, who was listed among the aforementioned doctoral advisors.