Introduction to Hunan University

Hunan University (HNU) is situated in Changsha, a renowned historical and cultural city. It is adjacent to the rippling Xiangjiang River on its front and picturesque Yuelu Mountain at its back. It is reputed as an "Ancient Millenarian Academy and Famous Centennial University".

Originated from Yuelu Academy, founded in 976 AD., HNU is an institution of higher education run at a permanent location for the longest time in China. It has maintained cultural education for thousands of years and illustrated an embodiment of China's higher education development and rare history in the world's higher education. HNU was reconstructed into the Hunan Institute of Higher Learning in 1903; renamed Hunan University in 1926; and was designated as one of the 16 state universities in 1937. After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Li Da, one of the major founders and early leaders of the Communist Party of China, was appointed as the first president of HNU. Late Chairman Mao Zedong inscribed the name of the university. In 2000, HNU and the Hunan Institute of Finance and Economics merged to form the HNU of today. Since the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, HNU has been designated as a state key university and listed under the "Project 211" "Project 985" and "Project Double First-Class". Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected HNU on September 17th, 2020. He spoke highly of personnel cultivation and cultural inheritance of the university, and put forward that Yuelu Academy is the origin of the ideological line "Seeking Truth from Facts" of the Party.

Carrying forward the celebrated traditions of quality education and personnel cultivation, HNU has been continuing the essence of the motto "seeking truth from facts, and daring to be pioneers" and the spirit of "to be profound, intelligent, diligent, and dedicated in the pursuit of knowledge". A number of celebrities who had made tremendous and historical contributions in Chinese history were fostered, including Wang Fuzhi, Tao Shu, Wei Yuan, He Changling, Zeng Guofan, Zuo Zongtang, Guo Songtao, Tan Sitong, Huang Xing, Cai E, Yang Changji, Mao Zedong, He Shuheng, Cai Hesen, Deng Zhongxia, and Li Da. Forty-two faculty and alumni members have been elected as members of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering. These symbolized "the Kingdom of the Chu, the home of talents".

HNU has 27 colleges and schools. The professional disciplines cover twelve subject categories: philosophy, economics, law, education, literature, history, science, engineering, management, medicine, arts, and interdiscipline. A system of academic disciplines with a solid foundation of sciences, strong engineering strength, featured humanistic and social science, emerging life and medical science, and active emerging interdisciplinary study has taken shape. HNU offers 80 undergraduate programs, 37 first-level disciplines authorized to confer master's degrees, and 30 first-level disciplines to confer doctorates. Chemistry, mechanical engineering, and electric engineering are listed as "world-class disciplines" of the Ministry of Education.

The full-time students total more than 37,000, of which over 22,000 are undergraduates, and 15,000 are postgraduates. HNU has two 2.0 bases of the Ministry of Education for top-notch student cultivation programs in basic disciplines and four national experiment and teaching demonstration centers. The Marxism School of HNU was selected as a national essential school on Marxism. Over the past five years, HNU has won 16 National Teaching Achievement Awards, and four national awards for teaching materials construction. It was approved as a pilot university involved in the national plan for strengthening basic academic disciplines. Fifty-four undergraduate majors were shortlisted for the first-batch national first-class majors, and 70 undergraduate courses were selected as the national first-class undergraduate courses. HNU students won 9 national gold awards in the "Internet+", and "Challenge Cup" and its upgrading version "Chuang Qing Chun" China College Students' Entrepreneurship Competition. HNU attaches great importance to international exchange and cooperation. It has established cooperation relationships with over 130 overseas universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, National University of Singapore, and Imperial College London, and enrolled international students from over 80 countries and regions. 

HNU has a staff of more than 4,300, of whom over 2,300 are full-time teachers. The HNU faculty has received 297 national high-level talent awards, including six full-time memberships in the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering; 29 National Science Foundation Awards for Distinguished Young Scholars; and 45 National Science Foundation Awards for Excellent Young Scholars. Five teachers have received National Outstanding Teacher Award. In addition, HNU has six innovative research groups supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), 13 national teaching groups and one innovative team recognized by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. 

Strong research lays a solid foundation for fruitful achievements of results. HNU has six state key laboratories; two national engineering technology research centers; one state engineering research center; two state energy R&D and innovation platforms; one integrated platform for major sci-tech breakthroughs approved by the Ministry of Education; three national-level international cooperation centers; one key discipline laboratory of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense; thirteen key laboratories and engineering research centers of the Ministry of Education; six discipline innovation and talent introduction bases in higher educational institutions under the Ministry of Education; and, one key laboratory of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In the past five years, HNU has 11 research projects winning the national science and technology awards, and nine projects being granted with the humanities and social sciences awards of the Ministry of Education. HNU has been integrating production, education, and research, and made solid efforts in promoting commercialization of research findings. It has a national-level science and technology park, and was approved by the Ministry of Education as one of the first batch of university bases for commercialization of research findings and transfer of technologies, and a national demonstration university of intellectual property. The National Supercomputing Center in Changsha, the third supercomputing center in China, is operated and managed by HNU. The new generation of supercomputer Tianhe in the center reaches a computing performance at world-class and domestically-leading level. In 2023, the center was approved to build a national open innovation platform for a new generation of AI public computing power. 

Elegant landscapes and a rich cultural atmosphere are integrated in the campus. HNU is located in a national 5A-level scenic area, covering 2.41 million square meters, with the school buildings occupying 1.35 million square meters. Harmonious combinations of ancient architectural complex and modern buildings, natural sceneries, and cultural landscapes make HNU the "most poetic and picturesque university in China".  

Evolved from an ancient academy to a modern university, HNU has firmly pursued excellence and been in the front rank in China's higher education. At this new historical starting point, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, HNU will firmly take root in China, remain devoted to building itself into a world-class university with Chinese characteristics and profound historical and cultural inheritance, and cultivating a new generation of young people capable of shouldering the mission of national rejuvenation.

(Update: January, 2024)

  • Address: Lushan Road (S), Yuelu District,

  • Changsha, Hunan Province

  • Zip Code: 410082

  • Email:  

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