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Introduction to Hunan University

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Hunan University is situated at the foot of the picturesque Yuelu Mountain and on the west bank of the rippling Xiangjiang River in the historically and culturally renowned City of Changsha, capital of Hunan Province. It enjoys the title of an "Ancient Millenarian Academy, Famous Centennial University". As one of the key and most comprehensive universities affiliated with the Ministry of Education, it has been included in the state's "Project 211" and "Project 985" for priority investment and construction. Professor Jiang Changzhong is the Party Secretary of the CPC Hunan University Committee and Professor Duan Xianzhong the President.

Hunan University, an extension of one of the four famous Academies of the Song Dynasty, dates back to the period of the founding of Yuelu Academy in 976 AD. The university has maintained the glorious culture and education standards inherited from the historical institute in the process of the numerous changes faced with during the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It was reconstructed into Hunan Institute of Higher Learning in 1903, renamed Hunan University in 1926, and subordinated to the Republic of China's Ministry of Education as one of several state universities in 1937. After liberation and the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Central People's Government appointed Li Da, a well-known philosopher and educator, as the first President of Hunan University. Chairman Mao Zedong inscribed the name of the University. In 1953, when readjusting China’s higher education institutions, Hunan University was named the Central-South Institute of Civil Engineering. Later it was renamed Hunan Polytechnic College, and was finally, named Hunan University in 1959. Since 1963, the University has been affiliated with the Ministry of Mechanical Industry and in 1978 it was approved as a key and comprehensive university of China, and became directly affiliated with the Ministry of Education in 1998. In 2000, Hunan University and Hunan Institute of Finance and Economics merged to give shape to a new wide-ranging Hunan University.

Carrying forward the celebrated traditions of quality education and personnel cultivation, Hunan University continues to focus on the essence of its motto "Seeking Truth from Facts; Daring to be Pioneers" and the style of "Be Profound, Intelligent, Diligent and Dedicated in the Pursuit of Knowledge". It has adopted distinctive teaching style featuring "solid foundation, active thinking, strong adaptability, and good comprehensive quality". Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the university has produced numerous senior professionals, of whom large numbers of the graduates have grown into academic experts, entrepreneurs and high ranking officials in government and private sectors, while 27 alumni members have been elected as academicians of the Chinese Academy of Science and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The employment rate of the fresh graduates keeps a record of over 90%.

The University has Graduate School and 23 colleges and departments. Professional disciplines involve 11 subject categories, namely philosophy, economics, law, education, literature, history, science, engineering, management, medicine and arts, which offer 25 first-order disciplines authorized to confer Ph.D. degrees, 41 first-order disciplines authorized to confer Master's degree, and 22 academic degree authorizations, 2 key first-order disciplines and 14 key second-order disciplines honored at the national level, as well as 25 post-doctoral programs.

It has a staff of over 4,000 with a faculty of more than 1800, of which, over 1,100 are professors and associate professors, 6 are members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, 3 are invited-members at both Chinese Academies of Sciences and Engineering, 41 are members of the state's Thousands Talents Program, 10 are members of the state’s Ten Thousand Talents Program, 18 are distinguished professors of the Changjiang (Yangtze River) Scholars Programme, 21 have been honored with financial support from National Outstanding Youth Fund, 5 are members of the Academic Degree Commission under the State Council, 23 are members of the state's Outstanding Talents Project of the 21st century,134 are reputed as New Century Excellent Talents in support programs of the Ministry of Education, 49 are members of Hundred Talents Program of Hunan Province, 15 are chair Professors of the Lotus Scholarship Program of Hunan Province,201 are Council Experts for Special Allowance, 4 are winners of the National Distinguished Teacher Prizes, 2 innovative research groups are supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 8 innovative teams are supported by Program for Cheongkong Scholars and Innovative Research Team in Universities, and 11 groups are supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province.

The student body totals nearly 30,000, of which over 20,600 are undergraduates and 14,000 are graduates.

The University has established national basic-course teaching bases in science and engineering (chemistry), national demonstration software college, national undergraduates' cultural-quality education base, 7 national-level teaching teams, 6 bilingual model courses, 6 innovation experimental talent cultivation, 4 national model experimental teaching centers, 4 national comprehensive reform pilot majors for the Program of Culturing Outstanding Engineers, and one national VR experimental teaching center.

In recent years, the University has witnessed numerous achievements, such as one First Prize and 7 Second Prizes in the National Teaching Achievement Assessment; 25 courses were rated as national Excellent Courses; 8 video courses were national Excellent Open Courses; and 22 courses were national excellent courses for resource sharing. In the past five years, students from Hunan University have won nearly 1200 awards for contests above provincial level, including first prize in the National Extracurricular Academic Science and Technology Work Competition, Champion of the CCTV Cup English Speaking Contest, first prize for the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (MCM), and perseverance award at the Formula SAE. 

Hunan University is equipped with 2 state key laboratories, 2 national engineering technology research center, one national-level international research center, one national-level international cooperation base, one state laboratory of engineering, one key discipline laboratory of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND), 5 key laboratories of the Ministry of Education, 4 engineering technology centers of the Ministry of Education, 14 key laboratories of Hunan Province, one engineering technology research center of Hunan Province, one provincial engineering laboratory, 4 key laboratories of institutions of higher learning of Hunan Province, 3 key laboratories of mechanical industry, and 15 provincial-level social science research bases. In the past decade, the university has undertaken around 10,000 scientific research projects at various levels, gained 3 second-class awards for the national natural science, 4 second-class awards for the national technological invention, one first-class award and 18 second-class awards for the national Science and Technology Advancement, one Gold Prize of China Patent Award,14 first prizes and 27 second prizes for the Outstanding Scientific Research Achievements of the Institutions of Higher Learning under the Ministry of Education, and 8 first prizes and 26 second prizes for Outstanding Achievements in Humanities and Social Sciences of Hunan Province.

Besides, a national science and technology park and 56 advance-level platforms for Enterprise-University-Research Institute have been set up, whereas an Enterprise-University-Research Institute Cooperation base has been established in Lugu High-tech Industrial Park, Changsha. The Enterprise-University-Research Institute Cooperation relationship covers 32 provinces (districts, cities) and thousands of enterprises. The National Supercomputing Center in Changsha has been put into operation, serving the governmental departments and institutes.

Hunan University enjoys academic exchanges with 140 universities and research institutes across the world. More than 300 recruited experts come every year for long or short term courses. The enrollment of overseas students from over 40 countries and regions is around 1000. Confucius Institutes of Honam University, University of Regina, and Colorado State University have been established, which make Hunan University the one who set up most overseas Confucius Institutes in the province.

The university covers a total area of 1,552,520 square meters with a construction area of over 1,024,480 square meters. Boasting a total collection of over 6.5 million books and 76 TB of digital resources (Chinese and English), the university is equipped with advanced IPv6 campus network, with 10Gb wired cable backbone network covering all the teaching buildings, office buildings and students' apartments, accompanied by simultaneous coverage of wireless campus network. The computers connected with the campus network amount to over 30, 000, enjoying a bandwidth of 5.2 G, which realizes a multi-channel informationized teaching, administration and service based on mobile technology. The digital campus of Hunan University is taking shape.

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, this institute has received great attention and high praise from the senior leaders of both the Central Government and local authority, such as Liu Shaoqi, Hua Guofeng, Hu Yaobang, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Zhu Rongji, Wen Jiabao and Li Keqiang. On their visits and inspection they have commended Hunan University with "Cradle of the Talents of Xiang and Chu", "The Kingdom of Chu, unique home of talents; today's academy of Yuelu, the prosperous cradle of all", and "Ancient Millenarian Academy, Famous Centennial University".

   

  (Update: Jan. 2016)

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