What is the acceptance rate for foreign students at Peking University?

In recent years, the acceptance rate of international students at Peking University is around 15 percent, and the acceptance rate changes from year to year

What is the acceptance rate for foreign students at Peking University


Peking University, located in the heart of Beijing, is not only one of China’s oldest institutions but also a leading global academic entity. With its vast history and prestige, it’s no wonder students from all over the world aspire to join its esteemed alumni. The globalization of education has made it paramount for universities to open their doors to international talent, adding diversity and fostering a global perspective among students .

Background of Peking University

Founded in 1898, Peking University stands as an emblem of China’s long-standing commitment to excellence in higher education. Originally named the “Imperial University of Peking,” it was the foremost establishment to promote modern education in China. Today, its legacy continues with its dedicated faculty, cutting-edge research facilities, and vibrant student community. The picturesque Weiming Lake and the traditional Chinese architecture of its historic buildings make the campus an epitome of the seamless blend of the ancient and the modern.

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Historical Acceptance Rates at Peking University

Peking University has, over the years, maintained its reputation as a sought-after educational institution not only in China but worldwide. Its acceptance rates reflect its prestige, as thousands vie for a limited number of seats each year. Below, we’ll delve into the acceptance rate trends of the past decade and compare them with other prominent Chinese universities.

Historical Acceptance Rates at Peking University

Trends over the past decade

  • 2013: Peking University’s acceptance rate hovered around 7%. A slight uptick from the previous year, which was attributed to the expansion in the number of programs offered to international students.
  • 2014: With the introduction of new postgraduate courses, the acceptance rate rose slightly to 7.5%.
  • 2015: The rate dropped to 6.8% as the university became more selective in its admissions process, focusing on the quality of applicants.
  • 2016: The rate remained steady at around 6.7%, reflecting the university’s consistent standards.
  • 2017: With a surge in global university rankings, Peking University witnessed an influx of international applicants, pushing the acceptance rate down to 6.5%.
  • 2018-2020: Over these years, the acceptance rates oscillated between 6% and 6.4%, showcasing the stable demand and high competition for seats.
  • 2021: Marked by the challenges of the global pandemic, the acceptance rate rose to 7% due to certain restrictions on international travel and uncertainties.

Comparative data with other leading Chinese universities

University Description Acceptance Rate Over the Past Decade
Tsinghua University Known as China’s MIT 6% – 7.5%
Fudan University Based in Shanghai 8% – 10%
Zhejiang University A prestigious institution in Hangzhou, with a focus on engineering and technology 8.5% – 11%

Acceptance rates for foreign students at other top Asian universities

University Country Acceptance Rate for Foreign Students
Tokyo University Japan 12%
National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore 8%
Tsinghua University China 7%
Seoul National University (SNU) South Korea 9%
University of Hong Kong (HKU) Hong Kong 11%
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Delhi India 4%
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore 9%
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals Saudi Arabia 15%

Factors Influencing Acceptance Rates

The acceptance rates of universities, especially premier institutions like Peking University, are influenced by a myriad of factors.  Let’s dive deep into the aspects that play a pivotal role in determining the acceptance rates.

Course and program demand

The popularity of certain courses can drastically affect the acceptance rates. For instance:

  • Courses in emerging fields like Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, and Quantum Computing have seen a surge in demand due to their relevance in the contemporary job market.
  • Traditional courses like Literature, Philosophy, and History, while still holding their prestige, might not experience the same intense competition as the newer, more industry-relevant courses.
  • Additionally, interdisciplinary courses that merge different fields, such as Bioinformatics or Neural Engineering, have started to attract a broader set of applicants, intensifying competition.

Applicant pool quality and diversity

A university’s acceptance rate is also indicative of the applicant pool’s quality and diversity:

  • Peking University, being a global institution, attracts talent from all over the world. When there’s a rise in high-achieving students applying, acceptance rates naturally dip due to the stiff competition.
  • Diversity in terms of nationality, background, and life experiences also plays a role. Universities often prioritize creating a diverse campus, enriching the learning experience for all.

University’s strategic goals and quotas

The long-term vision and strategic objectives of the university can also shape acceptance rates:

  • If the university decides to increase its international footprint, it might accept more foreign students, potentially changing the acceptance rate dynamics.
  • On the other hand, certain quotas for domestic students, especially considering regional representation, can also influence the overall acceptance rate. Programs aimed at uplifting students from underrepresented regions or backgrounds can have a significant impact.
  • Lastly, collaborations and partnerships with other global institutions or industries can sway the acceptance rates based on the specific terms of such partnerships.


Application Process for Foreign Students

Pursuing higher education at a prestigious institution like Peking University is a dream for many international students. However, the application process can often be rigorous and daunting. Understanding the necessary steps and requirements can be instrumental in ensuring a smooth application journey. Let’s break down the essential components of the application process for foreign students.

Required documents and prerequisites

For a successful application, students need to ensure they have the following:

  • Academic Transcripts: These should include grades from high school or the last attended institution. Universities often require translated and notarized versions if the original is not in English or Chinese.
  • Language Proficiency: Depending on the medium of instruction, students might need to submit scores from language tests like IELTS for English or HSK for Chinese.
  • Letters of Recommendation: At least two recommendation letters from teachers or professionals familiar with the student’s academic or work performance.
  • Statement of Purpose: A detailed essay outlining the student’s academic interests, reasons for choosing the particular course, and future aspirations.
  • Passport Copy: A clear copy of the student’s valid passport.

Examination and Interview Process

  • Entrance Examination: Some courses might require students to sit for an entrance examination. This could be subject-specific or a general aptitude test.
  • Interview: After the initial screening, students might be invited for an interview. This could be in person, telephonic, or via video conferencing platforms. The interview assesses the student’s fit for the course, their motivation, and depth of knowledge in their chosen field.

Examination and Interview Process

Tips and recommendations for prospective applicants

For those aspiring to study at a top-tier institution, here are some valuable tips:

  • Start Early: Begin the application process well in advance. This gives you ample time to gather all required documents, take necessary tests, and seek guidance.
  • Research Thoroughly: Understand the course structure, faculty, and potential career opportunities post-graduation. Platforms like Wikipedia can provide a broad overview of higher education systems.
  • Seek Guidance: Connect with current students or alumni to get a firsthand account of their experience. They might provide insights not available on official platforms.
  • Stay Authentic: While it’s essential to put your best foot forward, ensure your application truly reflects who you are. Institutions value authenticity and passion.

How does this rate compare to other top Chinese universities?

Compared to Tsinghua University's 6% and Fudan University's 9%, Peking University sits in the middle range for acceptance of foreign students.

What is the average tuition fee for foreign students at Peking University?

The average tuition fee for foreign undergraduate students is around ¥85,000 (about $13,000) per academic year.

How long is the average duration for a bachelor's degree for foreign students?

The typical duration for a bachelor's degree at Peking University is 4 years.

What advantages do foreign students have studying at Peking University?

Studying at Peking University offers foreign students access to top-tier faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and a rich cultural exchange experience.

Are there any scholarships available for foreign students?

Yes, Peking University offers the "Beijing Government Scholarship" which can cover up to 100% of tuition fees based on the student's academic performance.

What is the age limit for applying to undergraduate courses at Peking University?

There's no strict age limit, but most foreign undergraduate students are typically between 18 to 25 years old when they enroll.

What materials are required for foreign student applications?

Commonly required materials include academic transcripts, language proficiency tests (like IELTS or HSK), letters of recommendation, and a statement of purpose.

Are there any drawbacks or challenges for foreign students studying in China?

Some students mention challenges like language barriers or cultural adjustments, but many also state that these challenges enhance their overall experience.

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