Chinese universities can use 建立于1926年 or 创立于1926年 or 创办于1926年to say "established in 1926." Are there significant differences between these?

Also, is there any standard short form comparable to the English abbreviation "est. 1926"?

Searching on Google shows the various options described in the comment and the answer are almost equally common, both in connection with 大学 and without that. The results seem to be heavily influenced by machine translated web pages, so may not be reliable.

What stood out to me was that results for 创立 immediately gave much more reference to prestige universities than others I tried. That may just be chance. But Siyi Deng also suggested this was the most prestigious--and prestige is the point of anything to do with trademarking.

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    Generally speaking, they are interchangeable unless you wanna quibble. Still, 创办 can be better for universities. 创立 is better for brands or business. 建立 is more general. For a concise translation I prefer using 建于1926.
    – John
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 1:32
  • why not 成立?:searching jukuu with "university established" yields 2 examples with 成立: 于一九七二年成立,成立于1997年
    – user6065
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 8:31

1 Answer 1






are all acceptable, but for university I believe 创立于 is the most accurate one, the 立 here adds a subtle preeminence hint, and the 创 implies hard working.

In contrast, 创办于 does not have the "greatness" flavor, and 建立于 can be used for any institute in general.

I don't think there is an abbreviation that can convey the same implications.

  • some abbreviations I can think of: 建于, 始于, only saves 1 character, not very compelling IMO.
    – Siyi Deng
    Commented Nov 2, 2015 at 23:19
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    I don't agree about the part of "创 implies hard working". No matter "创" or “建”,even “开办/成立”,they are all just means the starting/creating phase, you should not reflect to English words or other western language words. In the other hand, 建 implies creating from zero(including infrastructure construction usually), other words doesn't contain this kind of meaning.
    – thinwa
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 10:24

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