Sichuan University is one of China’s key universities under the direct supervision of Ministry of Education. Located in West China, it is identified as a key high-level comprehensive research university under Project 985 and Project 211. The Chairman of the University Council of SCU is Professor Yang Quanming, and the President is Professor XieHeping, an Academicianof the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Sichuan University is located in Chengdu, a famous historic and cultural city known as “the land of abundance”. It consists of three campuses of Wangjiang, Huaxi and Jiangan, covering an area of 7,050 Chinese mu (or 470 hectares) and boasting254 hectares of floor space. The university campuses, with their favorable environment and beautiful landscape, make a wonderful place for learning and doing research.
Sichuan University is an institution that has a series of mergers involving three national universities: the former Sichuan University, the former Chengdu University of Science and Technology, and the former West China University of Medical Sciences. The history of Sichuan University dates back to as early as 1896 when Lu Chuanlin, Governor of Sichuan, founded Sichuan Chinese and Western Schoolon the orders of Emperor Guangxu. It is the earliest higher education institute in southwest China. The former Chengdu University of Science and Technology was one of the earliest multidisciplinary engineering universities established through a restructuring program of colleges and universities. The former West China University of Medical Sciences was originally West China Union University, which was established by western Christian missionaries in Chengdu in 1910. It was not only one of the first universities of western tradition, but also one of the first universities to offer postgraduate programs in China.
In 1994, the former Sichuan University and the former Chengdu University of Science and Technology merged into Sichuan United University, and in 1998, it was renamed Sichuan University. CPC and state leaders including Jiang Zemin and Li Peng wrote congratulatory messages and gave their best wishes on the merger of the two universities. In 2000, Sichuan University and the former West China University of Medical Sciences merged and formed the new Sichuan University. “Sichuan University is a pioneer in the institutional reform of higher education. It’s one of the first universities being reformed and has made historic contributions to the reforms of higher education in China,” Li Lanqing, a former Vice Premier commented. During the May 12th Wenchuan earthquake relief effort, CPC and state leaders including Wu Bangguo and Wen Jiabao paid visits to Sichuan University.
Sichuan University enjoys a long tradition in education and boasts many renowned scholars. Over the past century, the University has attracted masters such as historian GuJiegang, philosopher FengYoulan, writer Li Jieren, esthetician Zhu Guangqian, physicist Wu Dayou, biologist Tong Dizhou, botanist Fang Wenpei, public health expert C. C. Chen, and mathematician Ke Zhao. The administrators of the University include some of the most important names in contemporary history of China, Wu Yuzhang and Zhang Lan, for example. The school has many famous alumni, including Zhu De, one of the founding fathers of the People’s Republic of China, Yang Shangkun, a former Chairman of China, GuoMoruo and Ba Jin, renowned writers, as well as national heroes Jiang Zhujun and Mao Yingcai. Over 50 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering are alumni of Sichuan University, and among the 50“Sichuan Cultural Celebrities”nominated in 2001, 36 were alumni of Sichuan University.
Sichuan University has a comprehensive range of disciplines covering 12 categories, namely, humanities, science, engineering, medicine, economy, management, law, history, philosophy, agriculture and education. It consists of 31 colleges, including a postgraduate college and an overseas education college. Sichuan University has 44 disciplines authorized by the state to grant doctoral degrees. Altogether, the university offers 349 doctoral programs, 443 master programs, 32 professional master’s programs, 133 undergraduate programs, and 37 post-doctoral research stations. It also has 46 national key disciplines and 4 national key cultivated disciplines.
Sichuan University has a large pool of prominent scholars and professors. At the end of 2014, there were5,049 full-time teachers. Among them, there were 1,493 professors, 14 Academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, 6 Outstanding Professors, 61 experts recruited through the 1000 Elite Program, 38 professors and 13 Chair professors of the Changjiang Scholars Program, 9 Chief Scientists of 973 Project, 43winners of Young Scientists Fund and 12winners of National Award for Distinguished Teachers.
In its long history as an education institution, Sichuan University has formed rich culture heritage and solid foundation of education. The school motto goes as follows, “The ocean is inclusive because it embraces hundreds of rivers.” The spirit of Sichuan University is embodied in the following words--precision, diligence, truth-seeking and innovation.
In recent years, in order to achieve the goal of constructing a first-class comprehensive research-oriented university, the school has formulated the modern concept of higher education that promotes individualism, scholarship and excellence. It has developed a new management mechanism, in which teachers conduct education activities, students serve as the center of education, and colleges and departments exercise management responsibilities. The university is dedicated to providing “high-quality education through an integrated multi-disciplinary approach to research and teaching,” which will help “cultivate elite members of the society with profound humanity, solid expertise, strong sense of innovation and broad international worldview”.
The current student body includes over 40,000 undergraduate students, over 20,000 master and PhD candidatesand more than 2,500international students and students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Since 2003, the university has been honored with 25 National Teaching Achievement Awards and 33courses have been named as National Excellent Courses. 23 doctoral dissertations have been includedin the Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations.
Sichuan University has exhibited great strength in research and made remarkable achievements over the years. It has 13 national key laboratories and engineering centers, 11 key laboratories and 6 engineering research centers under the supervision of Ministry of Education, and 3 key laboratories under the supervision of Ministry of Health. It also has 9 national centers for talent training, research and teaching, 8 National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Centers, 1 National Base of Culture-Oriented Quality Education for College Students, 4 key National Research Bases for Philosophy and Social Sciences, 2 National Drug Clinical Trial Institutes, 1 National Drug Clinical Research Base. Since 2005, the university has won 34 awards in three national major award categories for science and technology. In 2014, the research funding of the University exceeded 1.8 billion RMB, the number of papers published ranked the 7th in China, and the number of SCI papers ranked the 6th. In the field of humanities and social sciences, experts of the university compiled,edited and published several extensive collections and anthologiesconcerning culture, including a Chinese Dictionary, The Complete Works of Song Dynasty, A History of Chinese Taoism, and The Confucianism.Sichuan University has actively promoted both national and regional socioeconomic development, and is constantly enhancing its capacity to serve the needs of the community and the society. The University is one of the first six national technology transfer centers and was among the first four universities honored as Model Institution or Corporation of Intellectual Property Right Protection. The Science and Technology Park of Sichuan University is one of the first 15 national college science and technology trial parks approved by the state and has incubated over 50 science and technology enterprises including one publicly-listed company. In recent years, the university has established cooperative relations in production, education and research with over 5,000 corporations from more than20 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities including Jiangsu, Sichuan, Tibet, and Xinjiang. In addition, the University has established about one hundred high-level university and enterprise collaboration platforms for production, education and research. It has undertaken more than 10,000 projects in technological development and technological restructuring for over 1,000 enterprises in China. A series of major scientific and technological projects have yielded leading technologies applied in related industries.
Sichuan University has established contacts and cooperative relationships with over 216 renowned colleges and universities as well as research institutes from 32 countries and regions. It has established well-rounded joint education programs of multiple levels and forms with 209 famous universities from over 30 countries, including United States, Australia and some European countries. The university has set up the Jiuzhaigou International Research Center for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability with the University of California and the University of Washington, Sino-US Institute for University Design, with Arizona State University, Sino-German Joint Center for Energy Research, with Clausthal University of Technology, Western China Poverty-Reduction Research Center, with the State Council’s Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development, State Council’s Leading Group Office of Western China Development, UNDP and the World Bank, and Sichuan Post-Disaster Reconstruction Support and Research Center, with Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
The university libraries have a collection of over 6 million books and the Humanities Museum houses over 54,000 objects, the Natural Museum, over 860,000 animal and plant specimens, and the Archives and History Exhibition Center, over 9,000 volumes of historic archives. The university also has gymnasiums equipped with complete and advanced facilities, and other facilities and services including Campus Network, Analytical and Testing Center, Modern Education Technology Center, Intensive Language Training Center and Adult Education College and Distance Learning College.
Looking into the future, Sichuan University has the social responsibility to attract brilliant minds, nurture talents to serve the country, break new academic ground and promote scientific and technological development, whilst guiding the society. It will write up more brilliant chaptersin its history-maintaining its heritage whilst looking to a bright future of innovation and new possibilities.