China's first modern universities very naturally developed in coastal cities, Beiyang gongxue in Tianjin in 1895, Nanyang in Shanghai in 1896, and the Imperial University in Beijing in 1898. Parallel efforts during the Cultural Revolution ended in the almost total destruction of the university system in favor of short-cycle, nonformal training classes of various kinds. China has reached a stage already whereby some dimensions of Marxist thought have been domesticated, as well as some other threads from European political and economic thought. The reform document of 1993 made a firm commitment to the abolition of the job assignment system, and called for rapid expansion of both formal and adult higher education systems in response to escalating economic change, and an apparently more stable political situation. The fascinating question is what contribution women faculty might make to the vision outlined above of multipurpose universities in the top echelon of the higher education system having a wide social influence.