On April 2, 2018, the private
Westlake University was approved by China’s top education authorities.
On April 2, 2018, the private Westlake University was approved by China’s top education authorities. World-famed biophysicist Shi Yigong was elected as the university’s first president by the school board. Based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, as China’s first doctorate-granting private university, it aims to become a center of scientific research, talent training and a model for a new type of higher education in China. As of the end of May, roughly 150 PhD students had been admitted to the university. China’s private higher education sector has focused on vocational training and practical skills in the past 40 years, and it was hard to compete with public higher education institutions, which are mainly financed by the government. Westlake University has received the bulk of its funding from Hangzhou Westlake Education Foundation and the local government. High-quality, small-scale and research-oriented, it has blazed a trail in China’s higher education sector with independent admissions, modern management and academic autonomy.