Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a Chinese public university located in the city of Shanghai; it is amongst the oldest and most reputable universities in China. Shanghai Jiao Tong University was founded in 1896 through an executive decree of the Guangxu Emperor, with the initial name as Nanyang Public School. Located deep in the heart of the city, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has experienced tremendous expansion in the 120 years of existence supported by ever increasing population, demand for quality global education and the support from the Chinese government.

World Rankings

Internationally, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been ranked very highly from various ranking institutions. According to Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2014, Shanghai Jiao Tong ranked between 101-150th globally while according to QS survey, Shanghai Jiao Tong University was ranked 70th internationally. These are some of the important global studies that have analysed universities based on specific parameters like quality of faculty, quality of education, research output and performance vs size.

Population of Students

As at 2015, Shanghai Jiao Tong University had a total population of 37,452 students enrolled in 63 undergraduate programs, 250 Master’s program, 20 Professional Master Degree programs, 2 Professional PhD programs and 2 Post-doctoral programs. In Shanghai Jiao Tong University, there are non-professional model courses, laboratories and research centres offered in collaboration with government agencies. These courses have been designed to impart technical skills to working professionals with knowledge gaps. This represents the vast variety of courses offered by Shanghai Jiao Tong University staff.

There are 2,200 international students enrolled in all faculties of Shanghai Jiao Tong university’s six campuses namely; Xuhui, Minhang, South Chongqing Rd, Qibao, Shangzhong and Fahuazhen. A majority of these international students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University are from western countries like Britain, United States, France and Luxembourg, and a substantial number of other Asian countries like Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Chinese overseas territories. This figure has been projected to go up with the growing influence of China in global business and the opening up of Chinese institutions to western culture.

Key Statistics

To support this huge student population, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has 2,851 full-time faculty staffs, 872 professors and 1,137 associate professors. As proof of its credibility in research sciences, there are more than 15 faculty staff from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and over 20 research engineers from the reputable Chinese Academy of Engineering.

In 2010, Shanghai Jiao Tong University won 11 State Scientific and Technological Awards and 13 similar awards in 2012, which testifies the significant link between their research, industry and academics.

To enhance their research laboratories and capabilities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been scaling up their Research Funding kit, doubling the fund in 5 years as shown below.

Year                     Fund (CNY100 million)
2007                                  12.96
2008                                  16.55
2009                                  17.48
2010                                   23.38
2011                                    23.36

Shanghai Jiao Tong University is equally respected in the fields of co-curricular activities such as Chinese Folk Dance, Chinese classical dance and Ballet. Like in any leading global institution, these co-curricular activities bring together students from different cultures and heritage. In Shanghai Jiao Tong University; international students get an opportunity to experience Chinese cultures during such events. Summer activities like hiking, Chinese annual festivals and other Asian cultural practices make Shanghai Jiao Tong University a preferred destination for international students. Its location in the middle of such a massive transit hub makes Shanghai city a melting pot of world cultures which has been encouraged and supported by the Shanghai Jiao Tong university’s students and faculty staff.

International Summer School

In 2016, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has collaborated with UNSW of Sydney to host students in the International summer session, international research internship and the Global Summer School at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. These summer activities are produced to showcase the advancement of Chinese cultures like landscaping, arts, governance, Chinese law and society as well as their advanced scientific skills in microbiology, smart manufacturing, robotics and renewable energy. The summer school also includes a course in Chinese studies, ancient culture and food safety.

While offering opportunities for prospective students to visit and learn Chinese, Shanghai Jiao Tong University summer school also ensures that enrolled international students get a chance to experience Chinese cultural heritages over and above their recorded programs. The Global Summer School is ideal for international students interested in knowing more about China, specifically the language and the cultures.


Shanghai Jiao Tong University has set up Confucius Institutes scholarship which aims at facilitating international promotion of Chinese language and dissemination of Chinese culture. This scholarship is designed for non-Chinese learners interested in teaching Chinese languages at Shanghai Jiao Tong University or abroad. As an international student enrolled at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, The scholarship provides an ample opportunity to learn Chinese while learning about the historical heritages. As China’s global trade influence increases, the demand for Chinese speakers has increased as well. Therefore such an opportunity to learn Chinese alongside other programs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University is golden. Apart from this, there are other merit scholarships and grants at Shanghai Jiao Tong University available for Chinese and international students.


The universities position has caused various issues as it is located in the middle of a busy commercial and infrastructure expansion provides a tricky dilemma to overcome. Model universities are situated on the outskirts of the major cities so at to allow development and offer amiable studying and research environment. Shanghai Jiao Tong University has to rely on its satellite campuses to create space for future developments. This hinders fast growth. The conservative philosophy of Chinese politics, governance and social set ups trickles down to public institutions as well. This implies that international students at Shanghai Jiao Tong University brought up in liberal societies may take the time to settle and adjust to these philosophies.

Most programs at Shanghai Jiao Tong are offered in Chinese languages except few approved programs. This puts international students at a disadvantage regarding application flexibility compared to native counterparts. As with other international students globally, attending Shanghai Jiao Tong and any other Chinese university would require that students create extra time to catch up with Chinese languages so that at least they can have some latitude in terms program choices.

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