According to the national census data of 1990, there was an average of 544 citizens in Dongguan with a secondary education to every 100,000 (the population was 1.3 million). This was lower than the national average. However, the manufacturing industry needed more than 1,000 people with a higher education background to every 100,000. The solution to solve the conflict between the lack of talents and the developing manufacturing industry was to have a university in Dongguan.
To establish a university required 80 million RMB, which was difficult to get from the provincial and national government at that time. Dongguan city decided to raise the money itself. The municipal government appropriated 40 million RMB, the other government departments subsidized around 4.23 million, and overseas Chinese donated another 40 million, to establish the first university in Dongguan in 1992, the Dongguan University of Technology. It is important for a city to have access to higher education to develop talents for economic growth. Since then, with the effort of the whole city, five universities have been established in Dongguan.