White Deer Studio, a 1,000-Year-Old Chinese College

White Deer College (白鹿书院), in Jiangxi Province, was a private university established 1,000 years ago with its heyday during Song and Ming dynasties.

In classic China (before the middle 17th century), there were two kinds of tertiary education facilities: state-sponsored university and private colleges.

The students of the former were selected nationwide. Not only they needed to pay no tuition fees but were eligible for free accommodation and living allowances. Once successfully graduated, they were usually offered a job at a central government office.

The enrollment requirements for the latter were more flexible, depending on each college’s own established standards and rules.

However, the admission to prestigious colleges like White Deer Studio could even be more stringent than that of the state university. And certainly more expensive.


  • Anonymous

    You have such deep affinity with China,must had lived before in ancient China 😊

    • I believe it should be the case 😂

      When I read the early Ming history, particularly at the turn of 1400, for the first time, many names seemed to be so familiar to me.

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