According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, SUSTC is a platform to experiment Chinese higher education reform. The governing and management of the university will resemble more to Western universities. The governments of the city of Shenzhen and Guangdong province are also investing heavily in SUSTC. Thus far, SUSTC has 12 departments, 17 academic programs and 26 research centers.
Despite being a public university, SUSTC is administrated by the government of Guangdong province instead of the Chinese Ministry of Education.