In 2015, the Central Party Committee and the State Council in China announced plans for the coordination and promotion of world-class universities and first-class subject building. The new strategy of the ‘world-class university’ is also devoted to building 456 ‘world disciplines’, including those like Chinese medicine and Chinese culture often occluded in the world system. A normal university means a university that provides teacher education and also cultivates comprehensive courses across the arts and sciences. China is a country with an ancient tradition in education going back centuries, with a respect for philosophy of education based on the classic works of Confucianism from the time of the Xia dynasty. Philosophy of education is critical not only for traditional discussions of educational ethics and values but also, more widely, as a source for innovation, openness and experiment for education, learning and teaching in an era of rapid socialist modernisation.