In modern times, Wuhan has been one of China's key science and education centers. Currently, the comprehensive strength of Wuhan's science and education programs and institutions rank third in the nation. Wuhan is home to 79 universities and colleges, for which it ranks fourth in the country. With 1.2 million university students, Wuhan ranks first in the world in university student population and is indeed a "City of Higher Education."

The city and its universities are testaments to each other's lustrous history. This city's many universities and colleges have helped to forge the culture and soul of Wuhan.

During the late Qing Dynasty, Zhang Zhidong served as the leader of Hubei Province for 17 years; he mended causeways, constructed factories, built railroads, and financed education, which started a spectacular modernization process here in Wuhan. In 1890, Zhang Zhidong established some academies and institutions that offered different educational programs, such as general education, military education, industrial education, and normal education. The number of students sent out from Hubei to study abroad in the late Qing Dynasty was one of the highest in the country.

Wuhan University

Wuhan became a prosperous industrial and commercial center after it opened as a treaty port. During the late Qing Dynasty, because of this city's achievements in the field of education, Wuhan became one of China's important education and technology centers.

With a total of 79 universities and colleges, Wuhan is home to many famous universities, including Wuhan University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Central China Normal University. Among this city's universities, seven are

"Project 211" schools, two of which are also "Project 985" schools. Both projects aim to promote the Chinese higher education system by funding universities with the potential to become world-class in the 21st century.

With its 120-year history, Wuhan University, which is located beside the East Lake and at the foot of Luojia Hill, is the most prestigious university in Central China. Known as the "University in the Forest," Huazhong University of Science and Technology is one of the best science and engineering universities in China; it has established many major national science and technology facilities, such as Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics (WNLO) and Pulsed High Magnetic Field Facility (PHMFF).

Furthermore, Wuhan has more than 100 scientific research institutions and more than 40 key national laboratories and national engineering research centers, which conduct research in a range of different fields and disciplines.

These numerous universities, colleges, and research institutes cultivate a significant number of local talents. In Hubei, there are 63 academicians from both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. In geomatics alone, there are 11 local academicians working both inside and outside of Wuhan; this number accounts for more than half the total number of researchers working in this field in China.