Henan Province – an active participant in China's “Double First Class” program

Henan province is home to more than 100 million people, making it the third most populated province in China after Guangdong and Shandong (and larger in population than Ethiopia, with a GDP the size of Thailand’s[1]). In 2015, Henan had the most Gaokao (College entrance exam) participants in China with 772,000 students sitting for the exam. While Henan has a large population and a large number of students sitting the Gaokao, Henan has only one “211 National Key University” and no “Project 985” university – the same number as much smaller provinces like Tibet, Gansu or Inner Mongolia.
 
In 2015, China set out an ambitious new higher education development scheme, known today as the “Double First Class”, which will slowly replace the “211” and “985” projects. The plan will see China develop groups of World Class Universities and First-Class Disciplines from now until the mid-21st century. The overall plan was issued in 2015 and the implementation measures were released earlier this year.
 
Henan was one of the first provinces to respond to the overall plan in 2015, publishing a detailed discipline development plan to show its commitment to grasp the opportunity of “Double First Class” to develop its high education sector.
 
In December 2015, Henan published a plan to develop Henan’s advantageous disciplines and specialized disciplines [in Chinese], together with detailed lists of the first cohort of disciplines and their respective universities (listed below).  The plan sets goals to have five National “World First Class Disciplines” by 2024 and ten disciplines in the top one per cent of Essential Science Indicators (ESI).
 
Disciplines under Henan’s plan are divided into “Advantageous Disciplines” (set to become National “World First class Disciplines”) and “Specialized Disciplines” (set to be among the best in the nation as measured by ESI). Within each group, disciplines are listed as either Type A (already established) or Type B disciplines (being developed).
 
According to the plan, Henan will provide one Billion RMB for the period 2015-2017, and 300 million RMB will be granted each year from 2018-2024. A first cohort of institutions and disciplines will be supported from 2015-2019 and a second cohort will be from 2020-2024. Universities and their respective disciplines that perform well in the first cohort will be included into the second. The mid-term assessment of the first cohort of disciplines is expected to take place later this year.
 
From an Australian perspective, Henan’s plan – and the attached list of universities and disciplines – shows those institutions in Henan that will be receiving significant Chinese provincial government investment, helping identify prospective partners for Australian universities and research organisations. Currently Henan has 83 active Ministry approved Sino-Foreign joint programs, of which nine are with Australian institutions.
 
For further enquiries, please contact the Education and Research Section of the Australian Embassy in Beijing.
 
Henan - Construction of Advantageous and Specialized Disciplines (Double First Class) – First Cohort
 
Advantageous Disciplines
University
Discipline
Type
Henan Agricultural University
Crop Science
A
Henan polytechnic University
Safety Science and Engineering
A
Zhengzhou University
Materials Science and Engineering
A
Henan Normal University
Chemistry
A
Henan University
Biology
A
Henan Agricultural University
Veterinary Science
A
Henan University
Geography
A
Zhengzhou University
Clinical Medicine
A
Zhengzhou University
Chemistry
B
Zhengzhou University
Biology
B
 
Specialized Disciplines
University
Discipline /Discipline Group
Type
Zhengzhou University 
History and culture of the Central Plains - Group
A
Henan University of Technology
Postpartum security and processing of grain - Group
A
Zhengzhou University
Cancer prevention and treatment - Group
A
Henan University
Pedagogy
A
Zhengzhou University 
Resource processing and efficient use - Group
A
Henan University
Civilization of the Yellow River -Group
A
Zhengzhou University 
Engineering Safety and Disaster Prevention -Group
A
Henan Normal  University
Frontier physics and clean energy materials -Group
A
Henan University of Science and Technology 
Mechanical Engineering
A
Henan University of Chinese Medicine 
Chinese medicine
A
Henan Agricultural University
Agricultural Engineering
A
Zhongyuan University of Technology
New textile and clothing materials and high-end equipment - Group
A
Henan University
Nanomaterials and Devices - Group
A
Henan Institute of Science and Technology
Crop science
A
Xinxiang Medical University
Psychiatric medicine - Group
A
Luoyang Normal University
Tourism management
B
Henan Polytechnic University
Science and Technology of Surveying and Mapping
B
North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power
Water Conservancy Project
B
Henan University of Economics and Law
Economic Management and Modern Service Industry - Group
B
Henan Agricultural University
Forest science
B
Zhengzhou University of Light Industry
Food science and engineering - Group
B
Zhengzhou University of Aeronautics
Aviation Technology and Economy - Group
B
Zhengzhou University
Ideology and social governance - Group
B
Henan University
Applied economics
B
Xinyang Normal University
Protection and Utilization of Agricultural Biological Resources in Dabie Mountains
B