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Nanjing University or Nanking University, located in Nanjing, China, is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in China. Following many changes through dynasties since CE 258, it was established as a modern school in 1902 in late Qing dynasty, and became a modern university in the early 1920s, the early years of Republic of China, being the first Chinese modern university with the combination of education and research, and also as a pioneer laying the foundations for the establishment of the modern educational system in China. Before the eve of establishment of People's Republic of China in 1949, the name was changed from National Central University to Nanjing University.
Nanjing University is a top comprehensive research university. It is a member of "China's Ivy League", C9 League, and Yangtze Delta Universities Alliance. It is a national university directly under the Ministry of Education of China, largely funded by national and Jiangsu provincial governments, also with other income sources including donations. Nanda mainly has two campuses: Xianlin campus, located in northeast of Nanjing south of the Yangtze River, which is the home to most undergraduates and large part of graduates, and Gulou campus, located in the centre of Nanjing City.
南雍祭酒 湛若水 (Zhan Ruoshui, former 'president')
Nanking Imperial University, the predecessor of today's Nanjing University, was initially founded in the first year of Yong'an reign under the Kingdom of Wu by Emperor Jing of Wu, with the role of educating students in the Confucian learnings, Six Arts, and the first president was Wei Zhao (韋昭). In the first year of Jianwu reign (317), Taihsueh (太學) campus was built in today's Fuzimiao (夫子廟) area on the banks of Qinhuai River, and Nanking Imperial University began recruiting students from common families instead of only from noble families. Like its forerunner Chengjun (成均) and succeeding Shang Hsiang (上庠) founded by Yu (禹, 21st century BCE) in Chungyuan, the earliest recorded imperial higher learning institutions and their successors, it was the Kingdom's central university, which after Han dynasty excellent students from local schools could be selected to attend to pursue further education.
In 470 during the Former Song dynasty, the Imperial Central University (Zongmingguan) became a comprehensive institution combining higher education and research, with five divisions: Literature, History, Confucian Study, Xuan Study and Yin Yang Study. The campus of School of Literature and School of History were located in today's Nanjing University Gulou campus, west to Gulou (鼓樓) mountain, and the campus was moved to today's Chaotian Palace (朝天宮) area at the time when Wang Jian (王儉) was university president and the areas of study were narrowed, with a heavy focus on Confucian classics. In the period the faculty members included such scholars and scientists as Zu Chongzhi (祖沖之), Ge Hong (葛洪), Wang Xizhi (王羲之), and students included such figures as Xiao Daocheng, Emperor Gao of Southern Qi who studied at School of Confucian Studies, and Zhong Rong, a founding scholar of poetics who graduated from division of literature.
In 937 when campus of the imperial national university was again in Fuzimiao area, Li Shandao, a scholar of the university, established another national school Lushan National Academy outside the capital city Nanking which is called Bailudong Shuyuan (White Deer Grotto Academy), a famous academy that hosted many renowned scholars including Zhu Xi, Lu Jiuyuan and Wang Yangming.
In 1381 the Imperial University (國子監 Kuotzuchien or Guozijian) moved campus from Nanking Fuzimiao area to south of Qintian Mountain (欽天山) and Xuanwu Lake, which at its peak spanning 10 Li and hosting near 10000 students, and around there were institutes including Qintian Jian (Imperial Astronomy Institute) and Taiyi Yuan (Imperial Medical Institute). In 1403 Peking Guozijian (Beijing Guozijian, Imperial University of Peking) was established. The Imperial University of Nanking (南京國子監) developed and flourished in the period, consisting of six schools: three basic level colleges (Chengyi, ChongChih, Guangye), two middle level schools (Hsiudao, Chenghsin) and one advanced level school (Shuaihsing), altogether 4 years to complete according to the system, one and a half years for the former two levels and one year for the latter level, to achieve 8 credit points a year and then upon graduation Chushen (qualification, diploma) would be awarded, with subjects including Confucian classics, history, literature, mathematics, law, calligraphy, equestrianism and archery, etc. Yongle Encyclopedia was completed in Imperial Nanking University in 1408 after five years compilation, 9169 scholars selected from nationwide took part in it, thereinto 2180 were student scholars of the university. The publishing house of the imperial university of Nanking had been a publishing centre for several hundred years. Wu Cheng'en and Zheng Chenggong studied there during the Ming dynasty.
Each time when Nanking became a non-capital city, the Nanking Imperial University was changed to be regional Nanking Academy. The Imperial Nanking University was changed to Nanking Academy (江寧府學, Jiangning Fuxue) in 1650 after Qing dynasty replaced Ming dynasty, and in 1865 after Taiping Rebellion the academy was relocated to Chaotian Palace. The ancient school history was recognized during ROC. In 1954 the school authority controlled by CPC decided to set the year starting to establish the modern new type school Sanjiang Normal College as the school's new founding year.
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In 1902, Sanjiang Normal College under new educational system, using Japanese modern higher institutions of learning as references, was beginning to be established to replace the traditional Chinese school Nanking Academy, and was opened in the next year, with campus constructed south to Qintian Mountain. The name was changed to Liangjiang Normal College in 1906, and the new president Li Ruiqing established the first faculty of modern art in China.
In 1915 after the Republic of China replaced Qing dynasty, the Nanking Higher Normal School (南京高等師範學校) was founded to replace Liangjiang Higher Normal School which was closed three years before due to Xinhai Revolution, Jiang Qian (江謙) was appointed as the president. The school established the China's first faculty of modern gymnastics (physical education) in 1916.
The "China Science Society" (中國科學社), a major science organization in the modern history of China, founded its headquarter in the school in 1918. Its members established "Academia Sinica" (中央研究院) which was later moved to Taiwan and known as the "Chinese Academy of Sciences" (中國科學院) in mainland China. Numerous Chinese modern science pioneers, most of whom studied in America and some European countries such as Britain, France and Germany, converged there to found many fields of science in China. It became the Chinese cradle of modern science. Among 81 academicians of "Academia Sinica" elected for the first time in 1948, five entered or graduated from the university in 1920. More than half of the leading Chinese scientists whose works were published in scientific journals in the early period of Chinese modern science were graduates or academics of Nanjing University.
Kuo Ping-wen(Guo Bingwen, 郭秉文), an influential university president, was appointed in 1919 after Jiang Qian. The school meeting passed The Audit Law for Women Students (《規定女子旁聽法案》) on December 7, 1919, as result of efforts of the educationist T'ao Hsing-chih(Tao Xingzhi, 陶行知), as well as the president Guo Bingwen, and the professors including Liu Boming (劉伯明), Luh Chih-wei (Lu Zhiwei, 陸志偉), Yang Hsingfo (Yang Xingfo, 楊杏佛), etc., and then decided to formally recruit female students. The school became the first higher learning institution in China to recruit coeducational students. It enrolled eight women students in the first year 1920, and in addition, more than 50 female auditing students were admitted.
In 1921 the National Southeastern University (國立東南大學) was founded, and in 1923 Nanking Higher Normal School was merged into it. In the autumn of 1921, the Faculty of Business established in 1917 was moved to Shanghai to establish the first business school conferring degrees in China. The university consisted of five colleges (or schools) at the time: Liberal Arts (including departments of Chinese literature, foreign literature, history, philosophy, psychology，mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, geoscience, and the Department of Politics, Law and Economics), Education, Agriculture, Engineering, and Commerce (or Business, including departments of general commerce, business administration, accounting, finance, economics, international trade, etc.). The earliest modern scientific research laboratories and groups in China were established at the university. It integrated teaching and research, with status of university's independence and academic freedom, and was regarded as the earliest Chinese modern university. The university along with its affiliated primary school and middle school served as a pioneer and model which laid the foundations for the establishment of modern educational system (壬戌學制, Renhsü Hsüehchih, 1922) in China, and in addition, its experimental kindergarten (Gulou Kindergarten) founded in 1923 was later also adopted as the model for Chinese kindergartens (Kindergarten Courses Standards by Ministration of Education, 1932), including its teaching system, teaching materials, teaching methods and teaching tools. In October 1921, "Hsuehheng Society" (or Xueheng Society, 學衡社) was founded in the university which was the focus of the "Hsuehheng School" included the scholars Liu Yizheng (柳詒徵), Liu Boming (劉伯明), Mei Guangdi (梅光迪), Wu Mi (吳宓) and Hu Hsien-Hsu (Hu Xiansu, 胡先驌). They reinvigorated Confucian culture and humanism and published the monthly "Critical Review" (Xueheng, 學衡 in Chinese) in January 1922. It enabled Nanjing University to become a center of Confucian thought and humanistic scholarship. During this period, Nanjing University was known as the foremost "Oriental Education Centre" and recognized as an academic and cultural exchange centre for east and west. Many scholars visited and instructed there, including the American educationist Paul Monroe, W. H. Kilpatrick, E. L. Thorndike, philosopher John Dewey, British philosopher Bertrand Russell, German philosopher Hans Driesch and the Indian (also Bengali) poet Rabindranath Tagore.
The university became the capital national university after Nanking was made the capital by Nationalist Government, initially renamed National Dyisyi Chungshan University (or called National Nanking Chungshan University) in June 1927 when National Southeastern University merged eight public schools in Jiangsu province, and was renamed Jiangsu University in February 1928, and in May 1928, it was renamed National Central University (國立中央大學). At the time there were eight colleges (or schools): Humanity, Social Science, Natural Science, Engineering, Education, Commerce, Agriculture, and Medicine. The College of Commerce moved to Shanghai in 1921 and College of Medicine established in Shanghai in 1927 were split from the university in 1932. In 1935 College of Medicine was again established, in Nanjing. During the Anti-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945, the university moved to Chongqing, while the College of Medicine and Department of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Medicine of College of Agriculture moved to Chengdu. The Chinese Association of Natural Science (中華自然科學社) was originated at the university in 1927 and adopted the name next year, the second largest scientific organization in China in 1949, after China Science Society. China Association of Scientific Workers (中國科學工作者協會) was founded in the university in 1944. China Science Society and the associations were merged to be the China Association for Science and Technology (中國科學技術協會) in 1958 in Beijing. The Natural Science Forum was originated by the university faculties in 1939, which was later renamed Jiusan Forum (Sept. 3rd Forum) and became Jiusan Society in 1945, an organization for intellectual groups in China. In the united college entrance examinations beginning in 1937, about two-thirds of students put the university as the first choice. Luo Fuxin (羅福鑫), the first blind college student in China, was enrolled by the university in 1942.
In 1949, during the late time of Chinese Civil War, the central government of the Republic of China retreated from Nanjing and the National Central University was renamed National Nanking University (National Nanjing University, 國立南京大學) after Nanjing was controlled by CPC army, before the establishment of People's Republic of China. In 1952, many colleges and departments, mainly colleges of education (or teacher, normal, including art and physical education departments), engineering, agriculture, and medicine, were split from Nanjing University, and many new independent schools were formed, including Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing Institute of Technology which was located at former Nanjing University site and later renamed Southeast University, etc. At the same time, University of Nanking (金陵大學), a private university established in 1888 and sponsored by American churches, was merged into Nanjing University (南京大學), which lost its "national" appellation in 1950 to reflect the reality that all universities in the PRC would be public, and Nanjing University moved campus to the site of University of Nanking where was west to Gulou Mountain and was also once the site of imperial Nanjing University in ancient times. A separate National Central University was reinstated in Taiwan by its old alumni association in 1962.
In 1976, the faculty members and students of the university launched Nanjing Anti Cultural Revolution Force Movement which was called "Nanjing Incident" by the authorities of the time, spreading countrywide. In 1978, Hu Fuming, a faculty member of the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University, wrote the historic article entitled "Practice is the Sole Criterion for Testing Truth", and after being published it led to the nationwide "Debate on Standards for Judging the Truth", and thus liberated thought and promoted the ending of Cultural Revolution and the coming of reform era.
Many faculties, departments, institutes and schools have been re-founded or initially founded since 1978, with law reestablished in 1981 and medical school in 1987. In 2009, Xianlin Campus was opened, replacing Pukou Campus which was put into use in 1993, and Pukou Campus became the campus of Jinling College which was founded by Nanjing University. The Xianlin campus is a main campus along with Gulou campus.
More than 1500 years ago, ancient University of Nanjing founded the earliest faculties of literature, history, etc.. In modern times, Nanjing University established Chinese first faculties of art, gymnastics, biology, psychology, business management, etc.. Its faculties, departments and schools have been changed and evolved timely. For example, in 1921, the university consisted of 5 schools: liberal arts, education, agriculture, engineering and business, in 1928 the school of liberal arts had become three schools, and the university consisted of 8 schools: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, education, agriculture, engineering, business and medicine, and now, many former departments of humanities, natural sciences and social sciences have become schools.
The system of academic degree or diploma has also been changed. In the early years of ROC the university adopted the system similar to western especially American universities and began to award bachelor's degree. The university founded China's first modern laboratories in physics, chemistry, etc.. In 1922, the university professors founded The Biology Research Institute of Science Society of China, the first modern scientific research institute in China, integrated with the university's biology department. With the aid of Rockefeller Foundation, Science Centre was constructed in 1924 and completed three years later. In 1926 the university passed The General Regulation of Graduate Institute. China's first doctor's degree was awarded by the school of medicine of the university in 1931. Soon the educational system was changed. In the early 1980s after a period of transformation, universities in mainland China resumed to award doctor's degrees, and graduate and undergraduate education were integrated into departments and schools. Nanjing University is the first in mainland China to award doctor's degrees in such fields as Chinese studies, world history, computer science.
Schools and departments
Current schools and departments
- School of Liberal Arts
- * Chinese Language and Linguistics; Literature; Philology; Drama Arts
- School of History
- * Chinese History; World History; Archaeology
- Department of Philosophy; Religion
- School of Foreign Studies
- * English; Russian; Japanese; French; German; Spanish; Korean; International Business
- School of Government
- * Politics; Government Administration; Labor, Personnel and Social Security; Diplomacy and International Affairs
- School of Law
- School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
- * Sociology; Social Work and Social Policy; Psychology; Anthropology (institute)
- School of Business (NUBS)
- * School of Management: Business Administration; Human Resource; Accounting; Marketing & Electronic Commerce
- * School of Economics: Economics; Industrial Economics; International Economics & Trading; Finance
- Department of Information Management
- School of Journalism and Communication
- Department of Mathematics
- School of Physics
- * Physics; Modern Physics; Photoelectricity Science; Acoustic Science and Engineering
- School of Astronomy and Space Science
- * Astronomy; Space Science
- School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- * Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Polymer
- School of Geoscience
- * School of Atmosphere Science: Meteorology; Atmosphere Physics
- * School of Earth Science and Engineering: Earth Science; Water Science; Geology Engineering and Information Technology
- * School of Geography and Ocean Science: Land, Natural Resources and Tourism; Earth Information Science; Coast and Ocean Science
- School of Life Sciences
- * Biology; Biochemistry
- School of Medicine
- * Clinical Medicine; Dentistry; Basic Medical Science; Laboratory Medicine; Public Health and Medicine (institute)
- School of Environment
- School of Architecture and Planning
- *Architecture; Urban Planning and Design
- School of Electronics Science and Engineering
- * Electronic Engineering; Micro-electronics and Optoelectronics; Informational Electronics; Communication Engineering
- Department of Computer Science and Technology; Software Institute
- College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
- * Materials; Energy; Quantum Electronics and Optical Engineering; Biomedical Engineering
- Institute of Education (Graduate School of Education)
- Institute for Gymnastics
- Institute of Arts
- Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Science
- School for Basic Sciences Education
- International School
- School for Overseas Students Education
- Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies (Hopkins-Nanjing Center)
- Other research and education institutes in areas such as African Studies, Judaic Studies, Agriculture, Engineering Management, etc.
Duxia Library in Nanjing University, Xianlin Campus, built in 2007
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Nanjing University has two main campuses: Gulou and Xianlin, and besides, there is Pukou campus. The distance between Gulou and Xianlin campus is about 18 kilometers.
Gulou Campus is located in Gulou District, at the center of Nanjing City. The main campus itself is divided into two sections by Hankou Road: North Garden, Bei Yuan, is where teaching and research take place; and South Garden, Nan Yuan, serves as the living area for both students and academic staff.
Pukou Campus is situated in the suburban Pukou District, by the northern side of Nanjing New & High-Tech Industry Development Zone, and became part of Nanjing University in 1993. Once Pukou campus hosted undergraduate freshmen, sophomore and junior students. In 2009, the Pukou campus became the campus of the independent Jinling College, which was founded by Nanjing University.
Xianlin Campus is located in the northeast of Nanjing, in the Xianlin Universities Town, south of Yangtse River and Qixia Mountain, east of Purple Mountain, and west of Baohua Mountain. The campus is home to undergraduate students and parts of graduate students. It was opened in September 2009. There is the stop of Nanjing University Xianlin Campus on Line 2 of Nanjing Subway, which enables Xianlin and Gulou campus to be connected through subway.
In Gulou campus, there are several museums including Nanjing University Museum, Museum of Art and Archaeology, Museum of Earth Science. There is Sun Yat-sen House. It's said that Sun Yat-sen, the first president (provisional president) of the Republic of China, lived there. There are also Pearl Buck House, John Rabe House, etc.. Gulou campus is now becoming mainly for professional graduate campus.
The location of Nanjing University has changed for several times, with historical campuses mainly in Fuzimiao (on the bank of Qinhuai River), Gulou, Chaotiangong and Sipailou (south of Qintian Mountain) areas. In addition, during Anti-Japanese War, its main campus moved to Shapingba, Chungking, with two auxiliary campuses, one in Bohsi, Chungking, and one in Hwahsiba, Chengdu, in some sense combined with Chongqing University and Western China University (now medical school of Sichuan University) respectively. It also deserves to mention that before the war, with the rapid development of the university, a new campus planned to cover an area of 8000 mu (about 5.3 km2) south to Niushou Mountain in the southern suburb area of Nanjing had been built for near a year. After the war, it moved back to Nanjing, making former campus Sipailou as main campus, and the new campus Dingjiaqiao was built for agriculture and medical schools. Nanjing University relocated in Gulou six years after moving back, and then near sixty years later Xianlin campus emerged. Today's Nanjing University Gulou campus is the location of Imperial University of Nanjing during Former Song dynasty in more than 1500 years ago when it was in the west of the city, and now it's in the centre of the city.
Officially translated into English as "Sincerity with Aspiration, Perseverance and Integrity". Another version is "Be Honest and Intelligent, Study Hard and Act Sincerely." The first half of this motto was the motto during the National Central University time, and the last half was quoted from the classic literature work Book of Rites. It was voted to be the motto by university students in 2002, and the then university president supported it and wrote an article to interpret it.
The translation does not fully express the meaning of the Chinese words of the motto. Motto counterparts between Chinese and English literally: Cheng (诚, Sincerity, Honesty, Integrity), Pu (樸, Simplicity, Austerity, naturally being oneself), Xiong (雄, Sturdiness, Majesty, being vigorous and keeping ideal and ambition, being firm and persistent with fortitude), Wei (偉, Greatness, having great ideal and ambition, with great mind comprehending, containing and improving world), Li Xue (勵學, Endeavor to Learn), Dun Xing (敦行, Urge to Act, Act Sincerely). The term Dun Xing comes from the context in Book of Rites: Having broad knowledge and strong learning ability and being modest, acting in sincerity and benignity and not slack, that is a gentleman (gentleperson) (博聞強識而讓 敦善行而不怠 謂之君子).
The school song, recovered in 2002, was created in 1916. It is the first school song in the modern history of Nanjing University, with the lyrics written by Jiang Qian and melody composed by Li Shutong .
The present school anniversary is on May 20 every year, which was set by the school authority in 1954 in some sense due to some ideological reasons of the time, with the starting year being 1902 when relaunching the school as a modern higher learning institution, and the day May 20 in memory of the movement of anti-hunger and anti-war initiated by the university in that day of 1947. In recent years, the date May 20 has another new meaning: in Chinese Nanjing pronunciation, 5.20, sounds like I Love You . It shows students' love to their Alma Mater.
Recent developments and present status -
The School of Modern Engineering and Applied Sciences was established in 2009, replacing former School of Technological Sciences. NU received a RMB 400 million endowment gift from enterpriser Yang Xiu on the anniversary day in 2012, 300 million was designated for the establishment of engineering school and the rest for history study development fund. The Engineering Building covering floor space of 6000 sqm was started to construct in Xianlin campus in 2014.
According to 2015 Nature Index Nanjing University is ranked No.3 in China, No.5 in Asia Pacific, No.28 in the world among all institutions (including CAS in China, CNRS in France and other national organizations), and ranked No.2 in China, No.4 in Asia Pacific, and No.23 in the world among solely universities.
Nanjing University was ranked 91-100 for World Reputation Ranking in 2017 by Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 130 by QS World University Rankings.
Domestically, according to university rankings in China, Nanjing University was generally ranked among the top 3 universities before the university merger tide occurred in the several years about after 2000, and then ranking down, even falling to No.7. Chinese university ranking by Chinese Academy of Management Science since 1995 ranked Nanjing University between 1st and 3rd before 2000 and since then between 3rd and 6th. Chinese university ranking since 1999 by the higher education publisher Netbig consistently ranked the university among the top 3 before 2005, and in the most recent ranking among the top 5. Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2003 by Shanghai Jiaotong University suggested a domestic rank of #2 to #7.
The northwestern corner of Nanjing University's Gulou campus houses most of the university's foreign students: Center for Chinese and American Studies (front left), Zeng Xianzi building (back center), Xiyuan (right).
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Herbarium - Nanjing University Herbarium was founded in the 4th year of ROC, although there were herbarium specimens in the school before. It's the first modern herbarium in China. It is located in the Tianjiabing Building.
Chinese Language and Literature （中国语言文学） - Nanjing University has a long history in the field of Chinese language and literature. The School of Literature founded by Hsieh Yuan in the 15th year of Yuanjia reign (CE 438) was the oldest literature school in ancient China. In modern times, it was the first in mainland China to have granted a doctoral degree in Chinese Language and Literature. In addition, Nanjing Universiyy is in close cooperation with the United Nations to offer a Chinese language programme. Widely recognized as one of the most eminently prestigious Schools of Chinese in the world, it was ranked with Peking University as Joint No. 1 in Chinese Language and Literature. It had produced modern China's first PhD in Chinese Language and Literature, Professor Mo Lifeng （莫砺锋).
Western literature - Nanjing University established the first department of Western literature among Chinese universities, in 1921. Two years later the department was merged with English department and other faculties including French and German and renamed department of foreign languages and literature, later known as school of foreign studies. China Association for the Study of American Literature (CASAL) is located in the school.
The Most Selective University in China - Known for its stringent admission criteria, Nanjing University was reported by national media to be the No. 1 most selective university ("the university that is the hardest to get in") in mainland China.
Overseas students - In 2012, 667 new students from abroad attended Nanda, among them about 20% from USA, 22% from Britain, France, Germany and Italy and the rest from other countries. In 2013 Nanda recruited 761 overseas students from 61 countries. In 2014, there were about 3600 overseas students, about 40% from Asia, 40% from Europe and North America, and 20% from other regions.
Nanjing University in literature, media and various related works
- Liao-Fan's Four Lessons, a book, film, drama serials. The book is written by Yuan Liaofan, a graduate of Imperial University of Nanking in Ming dynasty.
- The Girl from Purple Mountain, a story about Tsao Mei-en, who is one of the first eight Chinese female coeducational college students in Republic of China.