Nanjing University: Wikis


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Nanjing University
Shield of Nanjing University
Motto 誠樸雄偉 勵學敦行
Motto in English Sincerity, Austerity, Majesty, Greatness, Endeavor to Learn, Urge to Act [1]
Established originated in 258, and established as a modern school in 1902 and refounded in 1915 after three years close[2]
Type National university
President Chen Jun (陈骏)
Faculty 3,000
Undergraduates 12,200
Postgraduates 9,900
Location Nanjing, Jiangsu,  People's Republic of China
Campus Urban: Gulou Campus
Suburban: Xianlin Campus
Affiliations WUN
Website (Chinese)

Nanjing University (abbr NJU or NU, simplified Chinese: 南京大学traditional Chinese: 南京大學pinyin: Nánjīng Dàxué; colloquially 南大, Nándà) is a national comprehensive university located in Nanjing, an ancient capital of China. It is regarded as one of the best and most selective universities in China. Its history dates back to the first year of Yong'an reign (258 CE), making it one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the world. It became a modern Chinese university in the early 1920s.



North Great Building (北大楼)

Nanjing University was refounded in 1915 with the name Nanjing Higher Normal School (南京高等師範學校) on the site of former Nanking Imperial University. Imperial Nanking University, the predecessor of Nanjing University, was originally founded in the first year of Yong'an reign (CE 258) under the Kingdom of Wu by the emperor Sun Xiu, and the first president was Wei Zhao. The Imperial University in Nanking (南京太學, Nanking Taixue) was reestablished by Jin Dynasty's emperor Sima Rui in 317 and 155 new rooms were built in the campus. Like its original forerunner Shang Hsiang (上庠) founded by Yu (禹, 21st century BCE) in Zhongyuan, the earliest recorded imperial higher school, it was the Kingdom's central university, with the role of educating literate and virtuous citizens and educating leaders to govern and serve the kingdom. In 470 during the Song Dynasty, the Imperial Nanking University became a comprehensive institution combining higher education and research and consisted of five divisions: Literature, History, Confucianism, Xuan Study and Yin Yang Study,[3] and it was the first research educational institution in history.[4] In the period the faculty members included such scholars and scientists as Zu Chongzhi, Ge Hong, Wang Xizhi.

南雍祭酒 湛若水 (Zhan Ruoshui, former president)

In the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, the Imperial Central University in Nanking was the world's largest higher education institution, with about 10 thousand students, many of whom came from a number of other countries. Wu Cheng'en and Zheng Chenggong studied there around the time. Each time when Nanking became a non-capital city, the Nanking Imperial University was changed to be Nanking Academy. The Nanking Imperial Central University (南京國子監, Nanking Guozijian) was changed to Nanking Academy (江寧府學, Jiangning Fuxue) in 1650 after Qing Dynasty replaced Ming Dynasty.[5]

The Sanjiang Normal College under new educational system was established to replace the traditional Chinese school Nanking Academy in 1902. 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 was founded to replace Liangjiang Higher Normal School, Jiang Qian was appointed as the first president, and the school established the 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 headquarter in the school in 1918. Its members were main force that established "Academia Sinica" (中央研究院) which was later moved to Taiwan and known as the "Chinese Academy of Sciences" (中国科学院) in mainland China. Numerous Chinese modern science pioneers converged there to found many sciences in China. It became the Chinese cradle of modern science. Hereafter, many graduates achieved pioneering works in many fields for Chinese scientific enterprise. For instance, among 81 academicians of "Academia Sinica" elected for the first time in 1948, 5 entered or graduated from the university in the year 1920. More than half of the leading Chinese scientists whose works were published on internationally renowned scientific journals in the early period of Chinese modern science were graduates or academics of Nanjing University.

Guo Bingwen was an extremely influential university president, appointed in 1919 after Jiang Qian. He insisted on the university’s independence and academic freedom. Liu Boming advocated liberty education, scholar spirit and pure learning ethos. Tao Xingzhi changed former Instruction Approach to the Approach of Unity of Teaching and Learning, and adopted the Discipline-elective and Cause-credit-elective system. Tao Xingzhi, is famous for proposing The Audit Law for Women Students (《規定女子旁聽法案》) on December 7, 1919. He also proposed that the university to recruit female students. He was supported by Guo Bingwen, Liu Boming and famous professors such as Lu Zhiwei and Yang Xingfo. Finally, the meeting passed the law and decided to recruit women students next year. Nanjing Higher Normal Institute became the first in China to recruit coeducational students and enrolled eight women students in 1920. In 1921 the school became National Southeastern University (國立東南大學). The earliest modern scientific research laboratories and groups in China were established at the university. It integrated teaching and research, and was regarded as the earliest modern Chinese university.[6] The Faculty of Business established in 1917 was moved to Shanghai to establish the first business school in China.

In October 1921, "Hsuehheng Society" (學衡社) was founded in the university which was the focus of the "Hsuehheng School" included the scholars Liu Yizheng, Liu Boming, Mei Guangdi, Wu Mi and Hu Xianxiao. They tried to reinvigorate traditional Chinese culture and start to publish the monthly "Critical Review" (Xueheng, 學衡 in Chinese) in January 1922. 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 famous scholars visited and instructed there, including the American educationist Paul Monroe, W. H. Kilpatrick, E. L. Thorndike, philosopher John Dewey, writer Pearl Buck, British philosopher Bertrand Russell, German philosopher Hans Driesch and the Indian (also Bengali) poet Rabindranath Tagore.

Nju snow campus.jpg

The "Chinese Association of Natural Science" (中華自然科學社) was founded at the university in 1927. In August 1928 the school became National Central University (國立中央大學). During the Anti-Japanese War between 1937 and 1945, the university moved to Chongqing. The "Natural Science Forum" was founded by the university faculties in 1939 and then they founded the "China Association of Scientific Workers" (中國科學工作者協會) in 1944. In 1958 the associations were merged to be the "China Association for Science and Technology" (中國科學技術協會) in Beijing, which later became "Chinese Academy of Science". The "Natural Science Forum" was renamed "Sept. 3rd Forum" and later again renamed "Sept. 3rd Society" in 1945. The "Sept. 3rd Society", or called "Jiusan Society", is a China organization for intellectual groups.

In 1949, the central government of the Republic of China retreated from Nanjing to Taipei, and the National Central University was renamed National Nanjing University (國立南京大學) by the new government. In 1952, many departments and colleges of former Nanjing University moved out and formed many new independent colleges and universities, and 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). National Central University was reinstated in Taiwan under the ROC in 1962.

In 1976, the faculties and students of the university launched the "Nanjing 3.29 Movement" to oppose the Cultural Revolution, spreading countrywide. In 1978, Hu Fuming, a faculty member of the Philosophy Department of Nanjing University, wrote and published the historic article entitled "Practice is the Sole Criterion for Testing Truth". It led to the nationwide "Debate on Standards for Judging the Truth" and promoted the ending of Cultural Revolution and the coming of reform era.

Many faculties, departments, institutes and schools have been refounded and originally founded since 1978.


Old Great Hall (大礼堂)

Nanjing University has been at the forefront of developments in teaching and research in China. It was the first institution in the country to adopt student-centered teaching methods. It was the first co-educational Chinese university. It was the first Chinese university to provide doctoral education. It has been a pioneer in many fields in China, such as literature, art, history, philosophy, religion, sociology, biology, astronomy, physics, geoscience, computer science and business studies.

Schools and Departments

  • School of Humanities
    • Chinese, History, Philosophy, Religion
  • School of Foreign Studies
    • English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, International Business
  • School of Science
    • Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy
  • School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
    • Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Polymer material
  • School of Geoscience
    • Earth Science, Atmosphere Science, Urban & Resources Science
  • School of Technology
    • Computer Science & Technology, Electronics Science & Engineering, Material Science & Technology
  • School of Business
    • Business Administration, Finance, Economics, Accounting, International Trading, Electronic Commerce,Marketing
  • School of Public Administration
    • Politics, Government Administration, Information Management
  • School of Social and Behavioral sciences
    • Sociology, Social work and Social policy, Psychology
  • School of Journalism & Communication
  • School of Law
  • School of Life Sciences
  • School of Medicine
    • Clinical Medicine; Dentistry; Basic Medical Science; Laboratory Medicine
  • School of Environment
  • School of Architecture
  • Software Institute
  • Department of Intensive Instruction
  • Education, Gymnastics, Art
  • Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Science
  • 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, International Affairs, Anthropology, Agriculture, Space Science, Engineering Management, etc.


Nanjing University consists of three campuses: Gulou Campus, Pukou Campus and Xianlin Campus. The main campus, Gulou Campus, as the name indicates, 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 most of teaching and research take place, and South Garden, Nan Yuan, serves as the living area for both students and academic staff.

Pukou Campus is located in the suburban Pukou District and became part of Nanjing University in 1993. Once Pukou Campus hosted undergraduate freshmen, sophomore and junior students and was connected with the main campus by both shuttle bus and public transportation. The Pukou campus is now abandoned and become the campus of the independent Jinling College, which was founded by Nanjing University.

The newly constructed Xianlin Campus was opened in September, 2009. Line 2 of the Nanjing Subway has a stop near this campus[7], which makes the it more accessible to the downtown area.


  • In 2009 there are 2000 more students from abroad, with the largest number of students from United States of America among universities in China.

Notable people

Nanjing University alumni are active in various fields.



External links


  1. ^ Motto counterparts between English and Chinese: Sincerity (誠/Cheng), Austerity (樸/Pu), Majesty (雄/Xiong), Greatness (偉/Wei), Endeavor to Learn (勵學/Li Xue), Urge to Act (敦行/Dun Xing).
  2. ^ Since the origination in 258, the public higher learning institution at Nanjing changed in each dynasty or period. Liangjiang Higher Normal school was closed in the end of 1911 when the Qing Dynasty was overthrown. In 1915 after the Republic of China was founded, Nanking Higher Normal School was established to replace the Liangjing Normal School, and in 1949 when the Republic of China was replaced by the People's Republic of China in mainland, its name was changed from National Central University to Nanjing University. During Cultural Revolution after 1966, the university stopped recruiting students twice altogether for six years.
  3. ^ Confucianism is a culture covers a broad range of subjects such as moralities, ethics, convenance, life attitude and manner, social and political ideas. Xuan Study (玄學, Xuan Xue) is a Chinese metaphysics with the view that social and natural principle and order are uniform. Yin Yang Study (陰陽學, Yin Yang Xue) is a learning that studies the negative and positive features and changes of both nature and human beings. Yin Yang Xue supposes that Yin and Yang are two universal paired and opposite characters and elements. For instance, life world consists of Yin Jie and Yang Jie. Yang Jie is where people live and Yin Jie is where ghosts and gods live. The death of a person or an animal means that he, she or it goes from Yang Jie to Yin Jie. Human bodies are controlled by Yin Qi and Yang Qi, and the balance between them will keep a healthy body. This theory is one of the foundations of traditional Chinese medicine. According to the concept, female is Yin, male is Yang, moon is Yin, sun is Yang, cold is Yin, hot is Yang, soft is Yin, hard is Yang .... Using it to explain modern sciences, acid is Yin, alkaline is Yang, negatron is Yin, positron is Yang, antimatter is Yin and matter is Yang.
  4. ^ 總明觀不是純粹的教學機構,而是藏書、研究和教學三位一體的機構,並形成了多科性大學中實行分科教授的制度。See The History of Ancient Chinese Education, History of Chinese and Foergin Education (中外教育史之中国古代教育)
  5. ^ The ancient school history was recorded in the university's official school history book before 1949, but the school administration under CPC no longer recognized the history just as they did not recognize the traditional culture.
  6. ^ There were many comments from educators and scholars. For instance, John Leighton Stuart named it the first Chinese national modern university. The historic contributions of Nanjing University were not limited to higher education and academe. Under the leadership of Kuo Ping-wen and Tao Xingzhi, the primary school and the middle school attached to the university also became models. They laid the foundations for the establishment of modern educational system (壬戌學制, Renwu Xuezhi, 1922) in China. The Kindergarten attached to the university (Gulou Kindergarten) founded in 1923 was also adopted as the model for Chinese kindergartens in 1928, including its teaching system, teaching materials, teaching methods and teaching tools.
  7. ^

Coordinates: 32°03′22″N 118°46′30″E / 32.05611°N 118.775°E / 32.05611; 118.775



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