Xiangtan University is one of China's first educational institutes authorized to award master's degree and is also among the earliest schools approved to enroll overseas students. In the evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Education, the university's undergraduate education was rated as excellent in 2002 and 2008. It was also awarded as the university with typical experience in graduation and employment for college students. It has been chosen by Guangzhou Military Region as a base for the selecting and training of reserve officers, and by No. 61046 Troop under the PLA Headquarters of General Staff as a base for the training of postgraduates.
Up till now, the university has received nearly 1,500 international students from such countries as France, Britain, Spain, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia, India, the United States, Cameroon, and Ghana, who came here for long or short term programs. A multi-level talent cultivation system has taken shape, involving trainees taking part in long or short term Chinese language training as well as students seeking for undergraduate, master's or doctor's degrees. Great progress has been made in international students' affairs since the university was admitted to Chinese Government Scholarship. From 2013 to 2020, the university saw a growing number of international students and especially students with degree education. Xiangtan University has been approved by Hanban (the Confucius Institute) Headquarters to receive Confucius Institute scholarship students and has been authorized to enroll Chinese language trainees from partner institutions for one semester or one academic year program, pushing the scale of international students to a new level.
The university commits itself to improving the quality of international education by carrying out a series of reforms while taking into account of the characteristics of international students especially those with degree education. Initiatives have been firstly piloted in some important majors and reaped fruitful results, including curriculum reform, bilingual teaching, and "one-to-one" supervisor system. At present, almost all majors in colleges of Xiangtan University (foreign languages excluded) are covered in the international programs, including 8 first-level and 74 second-level disciplines for doctor's degree, 30 first-level and 190 second-level disciplines for master’s degree, 13 disciplines for master's professional degree, and 11 postdoctoral stations. The university also offers diversified degree or non-degree learning and training programs for short-term students, language learners, scholars, general advanced students, preparatory undergraduates, exchange students, students for college diploma, bachelor's, master's or doctor's degree, advanced senior students and visiting scholars.
In order to standardize the administration of international students and improve the international education, the university has issued Administrative Provisions on Acceptance of International Students by Xiangtan University and formulated Guidance and Suggestions on Training Program of International Student Education with Record of Formal Schooling by Xiangtan University. The moves are in an effort to highly value teaching quality and emotional and cultural development, as well as foster a favorable environment for international students to study and live in.