The director and founder of the MCS program, Prof. Fan Jieping, initially came up with the idea of launching the first China Studies program in China with the purpose of offering an education specifically aimed at producing China experts with practical experience. To create a master’s degree program that could cover all sorts of China-related topics scientifically, Prof. Fan gathered a team of professors from various departments and faculties of Zhejiang University (ZJU) who could contribute their knowledge and research to the program.
As a result, in 2008 Zhejiang University became the first university in China recognized by Chinese Ministry of Education (MoE) to grant a Master’s degree in China Studies. The following years would see an increase in both students, partner universities, and guest professors from all over the world, all ardent to use this unique gate to study and understand the enigmatic and inscrutable questions of China. The MCS program was later established as the Institute of China Studies, owing to the success of graduating more than 450 international students from 55 different countries as Master’s of China Studies over an almost decade long period. This marked a new milestone for China Studies as the MCS program became recognized as an official representation of education on China by Chinese MoE.