Sichuan University (SCU) is one of China’s top universities, falling under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Education. Located in Western 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 Sichuan University 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 capitalcity of Sichuan Provinceknown as “the land of abundance”. It consists of three campuses of Wangjiang, Huaxi and Jiangan, covering an area of 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 thatcomprises three former 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 ofSichuan University dates back to as early as 1896 when Lu Chuanlin, Governor of Sichuan, founded Sichuan Chinese and Western School on 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 multi-disciplinary engineering universities established through a restructuring program of colleges and universities. The former West China University of Medical Sciences, originally West China Union University, was established by western Christian missionaries in Chengdu in 1910. It was not only one of the first universities in the western tradition, but also one of thepioneering 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 then 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. The second merger took place in 2000 when Sichuan University and the former West China University of Medical Sciencesjoined together. “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,” commented Li Lanqing, a former Vice Premier. During the May 12th Wenchuan earthquake relief period, CPC and state leaders including Wu Bangguo and Wen Jiabao visited 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 Gu Jiegang, writer Li Jieren, esthetician Zhu Guangqian, physicist Wu Dayou, 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 the contemporary history of China, Wu Yuzhang and Zhang Lan, for example. Among the outstanding alumni are 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, bothrenowned writers, as well as national hero Jiang Zhujun. Over 50 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering graduated fromSichuan University, and 36 out of 50“Sichuan Cultural Celebrities”, nominated in 2001, were also alumni of the university.
Sichuan University has a comprehensive range of disciplines covering 12 categories: humanities, science, engineering, medicine, economy, management, law, history, philosophy, agriculture, education and art. It consists of 31 colleges, including a postgraduate college and an overseas education college. A total of 44 disciplineshave been authorized by the state to grant doctoral degrees. Altogether, the university offers 349 doctoral programs, 443 master programs, 32 professional master’s programs, 134 undergraduate programs, and 37 post-doctoral research stations. It also has 46 national key disciplines and 4 national key cultivated disciplines.
Sichuan University takes pride in its large pool of prominent scholars and professors. By the end of 2015, there were 5,238 full-time teachers. Among them, there were 1,611 professors, 15academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering, 6 Outstanding Professors, 65 experts recruited through the “Thousand Talents Plan” (including 30 through “Thousand Youth Talents Program” and 2 through“The Recruitment Program of Global Experts”), 38 distinguished professors and 13 Chair professors of the Changjiang Scholars Program, 44 winners of The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars,9 Chief Scientists of 973 Project who led 12 National Basic Research projects, 27 winners of The Key Project of The National Social Sciences Program Fund, 12winners of the National Award for Distinguished Teachers, 9 winners of the National Innovation Talents Promotion Plan “The Youth Scientific and Technological Innovation Leading Talents” and 86 experts recruited from the “Thousand Talents Plan” ofSichuan Province.
In its long history as an institution of education, Sichuan University has formed a rich cultural heritage and laida solid foundation in education. The university motto is as follows, “Sea, all water, receives all rivers; Utmost wit listens to all sides”;and the following four words embodies the university—precision, diligence, truth-seeking and innovation.
To achieve the goal of building the university into a first-class comprehensive research-oriented university, Sichuan University has shaped, in recent years,its own concept of higher education that promotes individualism, scholarship and excellence. It has developed a new management mechanism, in which teachers conduct education activities, students function 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 who have a profound humanitybackground, trustworthy expertise, a strong sense of innovation and a broad international horizon”.
The current student body includes approximately 37,000 undergraduate students, over 20,000 master and PhD candidates and more than 3,000 international students and students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Since 2003, the university has been honored with 25 National Teaching Achievement Awards, 33National Excellent Courses, 9 National Video Open Courses, 31 Collectible Resources Sharing Classes and 23 doctoral dissertations that areincluded in the Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations.
Sichuan University has exhibited great strength in research and made remarkable achievements over the years. It has 13 key national laboratories and engineering centers, 4 state-level international scientific and technological cooperation bases, 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, 19 National Engineering Practice Education Centers, 1 National Experimental Teaching Center Of Virtual Simulation, 1 National Teacher Teaching Development Demonstration Center,1 National Base of Culture-Oriented Quality Education for College Students, 9 National Off-campus Practice Education Bases for College Students, 4 key National Research Bases for Philosophy and Social Sciences, 2 National Drug Clinical Trial Institutes, and 1 National Drug Clinical Research Base. Since 2005, the university has won 39 awards in three major national award categories for science and technology. In 2015, the research funding of the university exceeded 1.82 billion RMB, the number of papers published ranked the 4th and the number of SCI papers ranked the 5thin China. In the field of humanities and social sciences, experts of the university compiled, edited and published several extensive collections and anthologies, including a Chinese Dictionary, The Complete Works of Song Dynasty, A History of Chinese Taoism, and Ru Zang(Collected Works of Confucianism).
Sichuan University has actively promoted both national and regional socioeconomic development, and is constantly building its capacity to serve 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 country. In 2012, it was named The National Class A (Excellent) University Science and Technology Park 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 6,000 corporations of more than20 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and more than 150 cities at home and abroad. In addition, the university has established about one hundred high-level university and enterprise collaboration platforms for production, education and research. During the past five years, it has undertaken more than 13,000 projects in technological development, transfer, service and consulting projects for domestic and foreign enterprises. 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 248 renowned colleges and universities as well as research institutes from 32 countries and regions. It has established well-rounded joint education programs of at different levels and in variousforms with 213famous universities from over 31countries, including United States, Australia and some European countries. The University has established five Confucius Institutes in collaboration with five universities in South Korea, the US and Belgium. It has set up the Jiuzhaigou International Research Center for Ecology, Environment and Sustainability in a joint effortwith 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 85,000 objects, the Natural Museum, over 860,000 animal and plant specimens, and the Archives and History Exhibition Center, over 250,000 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, Adult Education College and Distance Learning College.
Looking ahead, Sichuan University shoulders 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 more brilliant chapters in its history—inheriting legacy whilst looking to a bright future of innovation and new possibilities.