China’s AI Schools Are Accepting Applications: Here’s a List

The opportunities for studying AI at Chinese higher learning institutes have never been better or more varied. More than 70 Chinese universities and colleges have introduced AI-related majors, and 283 universities are licensed to offer data science programs. The Ministry of Education’s AI Innovation Action Plan for College and Universities, aims to “make Chinese colleges and universities as the world’s leading AI innovation centers and a hotbed for AI talent by 2030.” Institutions dedicated to artificial intelligence research have also blossomed in China.
Getting in the door however can be tough. Candidates must not only score high on their entrance exams, it’s also helpful if they have distinguished themselves in STEM-related competitions like the International Mathematical Olympiad. But with high stakes come high returns: AI graduates are paid drastically more than students in most other academic disciplines. 
As reported in Chinese media 36kr, Masters and Phd students in related majors are getting four to five job offers from BAT behemoths Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and unicorn startups. Applicants for a Tencent entry-level machine learning researcher position in Beijing paying US$90k annual salary must be PhD candidates graduating from one of China’s top 39 universities, or hold a Master’s degree from Peking or Tsinghua University.
So it’s time to hit the books! The following list looks at emerging AI education opportunities in China, with rankings from

Tsinghua University Institute for Artificial Intelligence — CSRankings (Asia): #1

Location: Beijing 
Established: 2018–06–28
Highlight: Tsinghua recently hired Google’s AI Chief Jeff Dean as a member of the Tsinghua University Advisory Committee on Computer Science. There will be incoming collaborations with Google, Tencent, Sogou, Horizon Robotics
Focus: Fundamental theoretical study aimed at strengthening interdisciplinary collaboration and advancing the industrialization of AI

Zhejiang Sci-Tech University Artificial Intelligence Institute

Location: Hangzhou
Established: 2018–06–25
Focus: Personal customization robotics, wearables, underwater robotics, big data, intelligent software research

Jilin University: School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Changchun
Established: 2018–05–26
Focus: Theoretical AI research, AI+enterprise, interdisciplinary research

Liaoning Technical University Tencent Cloud School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Fuxin 
Established: 2018–05–17
Enterprise Partner: Tencent 
Highlight: First AI school in Liaoning province 
Focus: Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, internet+

Tianjin University: School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Tianjin
Established: 2018–05–16
Focus: Cognitive computing, machine learning, intelligent speech processing, natural language processing

Nankai University School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Tianjin 
Established: 2018–05–16
Focus: Specialized robotics, healthcare tech, smart city, fintech

Harbin Institute of Technology Institute of Artificial Intelligence — CSRankings (Asia): #28

Location: Harbin
Established: 2018–05–05
Focus: AI and machine learning fundamentals, intelligent control theory, brain sciences, machine perception and pattern recognition, natural language processing and knowledge engineering, hybrid intelligent systems, automated intelligence, and AI applications (smart manufacturing, intelligent civil engineering, fintech & e-commerce, smart pension, and remote sensing)

Nanjing Turing Artificial Intelligence Institute

Location: Nanjing 
Established: 2018–04–20
Partners: Tsinghua University Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences (IIIS), Nanjing Government 
Focus: Current projects include big data, AI drug discovery, medical imaging, legaltech, e-government

Changchun University of Science and Technology School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Changchun
Established: 2018–04–16
Highlight: Integration of AI education with optoelectronics, precision manufacturing, information and communication technology, quantum computing and nanotechnology
Focus: Machine recognition and reasoning, machine learning, natural language understanding, computer vision, robotics, game theory, ethics

Nanjing University School of artificial intelligence — CSRankings (Asia): #15

Location: Nanjing 
Established: 2018–03–06
Government Partner: Nanjing municipal government 
Enrollment: 60–100 undergrad admissions for 2018 
Focus: Machine learning and data mining, intelligent systems and applications, knowledge representation and reasoning, in addition to interdisciplinary research in fintech and biotech

Chongqing University of Posts and Telecommunications IFLYTEK School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Chongqing
Established: 2018–02–07
Enterprise Partner: iFlytek
Enrollment: Anticipated enrollment of 1,200 undergraduates and 900 graduate students by 2020
Focus: Centres around smart technologies and data science, catering to Chongqing’s AI industrial demands and iFlytek’s technical applications

Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute of Artificial Intelligence — CSRankings (Asia): #6

Location: Shanghai 
Established: 2018–01–18
Focus: Theoretical AI research, AI chips and unmanned systems, and the internet of vehicles in application scenarios 
Highlight: The institute will conduct research with the school’s Shanghai Key Laboratory of Scalable Computing and Systems and Media Network Innovation Centre

Hunan University of Technology School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Zhuzhou 
Established: 2018–01–13
Focus: Intelligent science and technology, big data technology, robotics engineering, remote sensing technology

Soochow University Artificial Intelligence Research Institute

Location: Suzhou 
Established: 2017–11–19
Focus: Healthcare tech, robotics, AR/VR, smart city 
Enrollment: Open to undergraduate, Master and PhD applicants
Highlight: “AI + X” approach integrating AI education with mathematics, computer science, physics, biology, social sciences, and law

Xidian University School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Xi’an 
Established: 2017–11–02
Enrollment: Open to undergraduate applicants 
Highlight: The institute will conduct research with the school’s International Joint Research Center for Intelligent Perception and Computing and Joint Research Center for Intelligent Perception and Image Understanding
Focus: Perception, machine learning (deep learning), cognitive computing, video perception, smart photoelectric systems, data science, intelligent control systems for robotics, high-performance computing

University of Chinese Academy of Sciences School of Artificial Intelligence

Location: Shanghai 
Established: 2017–09–10
Host: Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Automation
Co-Founders: Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Computing Technology; Institute of Software; Institute of Acoustics; Shenyang Institute of Automation, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Institute of Mathematics and Systems Science, Chongqing Institute of Smart Green Technology

Sun Yat-Sen University School of Intelligent Systems Engineering

Location: Shanghai 
Established: 2017–05–11
Enrollment: Open to undergraduate applicants 
Focus: Intelligent information processing, including image, virtual reality, data mining and analysis, computer vision, machine learning; intelligent control technologies including motion control, smart chip, smart sensor, and equipment; intelligent system engineering including smart car, self-driving system, internet of vehicles, UAV, autonomous ship, and advanced manufacturing
Editor’s note: The above list surveys recent AI-specific institutes, and does not include long-established facilities such as the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (1956), Peking University Department of Intelligent Sciences (2002), Fudan University Institute of Science and Technology for Brain-Inspired Intelligence (2015), or Huazhong University of Science and Technology School of Automation (1973).

Localization: Tingting Cao| Editor: Michael Sarazen, Meghan Han

Follow us on Twitter @Synced_Global for more AI updates!

Subscribe to Synced Global AI Weekly to get insightful tech news, reviews and analysis! Click here !

DTalk Episode 2: DTalk @ Stanford X Foxconn

For E2, We invite the founder and CEO of Foxconn, Terry Gou(郭台铭), and Professor Jay Lee(李杰) at University of Cincinnati to share their insights on Industrial AI at Stanford University on July 6th.

Along with the development of Flying Eagle project in Wisconsin, Foxconn is giving more efforts on industrial AI research and applications. In this sharing session, Mr. Terry Gou and Professor Jay Lee will introduce to the audience on what is Industrial AI, and what kind of opportunities and challenges Industrial AI is facing when real economy is undergoing an era of digital transformation. Also in this sharing session, Foxconn sincerely invites Big Data and Artificial Intelligence talent and startups in Silicon Valley to cooperate with them to jointly develop industrial Internet and industrial intelligence.

The event is going to be in English and Chinese. Click HERE or scan the QR code to RSVP!