The first modern Chinese university was established in 1895, during the last imperial dynasty. Organizationally deriving from the medieval European university, the early Chinese universities lacked two salient institutional elements, namely institutional autonomy and academic freedom, in the borrowing process from the West via Japan (Hayhoe, 1999; Altbach, 1998). In the Republic Era (1911–1949), Chinese higher education flourished with distinctive dynamics from Christian private universities, private universities funded by local entrepreneurs and national public universities. After 1949, Chinese universities in the New China were restructured by the Chinese Communist Party after the former Soviet Union model and required to be ideologically conforming and educationally specialized. Since the Open-up and Reform policy (gaige kaifang) was implemented in 1978, Chinese universities have changed continously and grown into the largest higher education system in the world.