Yuelu Academy








EnerEnv'2003 Conference About Hunan University
Hunan University
           October 11-14, 2003, Changsha, China

     Hunan University, situated at the foot of the picturesque Yuelu Hill and on the west bank of the rippling Xiang River in Changsha, Hunan, is one of the key universities directly affiliated with the Ministry of Education. It is a time-honored key university in China originating from the Yuelu Academy and is now included in the ¡°Project 211¡± of the state.

Yuelu Academy
Hunan University traces its origin to the Yuelu Academy founded in 976 A.D. and regarded as one of the four most prestigious ancient academies of the Song Dynasty. Its educational and cultural activities continued all through the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. In 1903, the Yuelu Academy was transformed into Hunan Institute of Higher Education. It was officially named Hunan University in 1926 and promoted to Hunan National University in 1937. For more than one thousand years, academic and educational activities have kept uninterrupted here, hence the name ¡°one-thousand-year-old institution¡±. During the Southern Song Dynasty when the famous idealist philosopher Zhang Shi was presiding over the Yuelu Academy, the influential ¡°Huxiang School of Thought¡±, a renowned school in the Chinese academic history, was formed and the fine tradition of ¡°Patriotism¡± and ¡°Practicalism¡± was adopted.

In the course of its development from the Yuelu Academy to Hunan University, this time-honored institution has committed itself to fostering people of great talent for the society and has produced large numbers of figures of outstanding talent. Among its prominent students are Wang Fuzhi, a celebrated Materialist thinker in Chinese history; Wei Yuan, a reformist enlightenment thinker who first advocated the idea of learning from the West; Zeng Guofan, the first Chinese to initiate the Westernization Movement and make arrangements for a modern factory; Zuo Zongtang, a national hero who arranged to build China¡¯s first navy and took great pains to defend and develop Xinjiang; Guo Songtao, China¡¯s pioneer in foreign affairs and its first ambassador to a foreign country; Cai E, a major leader in China¡¯s Old Democratic Revolution; proletarian revolutionaries such as Cai Hesen, Deng Zhongxia, and Xie Juezai; Zhang Fengkeng, the first Chinese to set foot on the Antarctica; and Ci Yungui, chief designer of the Giant Galaxy Computer. The late great leader Chairman Mao Zedong, one of the major founders of new China, resided here several times when he was studying in Changsha, seeking ways for the salvation of the country and its people with his comrades. In 1950, at the request of Li Da, a noted philosopher, educator and the first president of Hunan University after the founding of New China, Chairman Mao Zedong inscribed the name of the university. In 1953, in the restructuring of China¡¯s universities, Hunan University was changed to Central-South Institute of Civil Engineering and then to Hunan Institute of Technology. It recovered its name of Hunan University in 1959. From 1963, the university was affiliated with the Ministry of Mechanical Industry. In 1998, it became a university directly affiliated with the Ministry of Education. And in April 2000, in the readjustment of the management and structure of institutions of higher education, Hunan University and Hunan College of Finance and Economics merged to form a new Hunan University. In June 2000, with the approval of the Ministry of Education, Hunan University started to run its graduate school on a trial basis, and in February 2001, it became a university to receive heavy investments from both the Ministry of Education and Hunan Province.

Hunan University is now a comprehensive and well-coordinated university featuring studies in engineering, with a strong foundation in science, a unique cultural background in liberal arts and its own characteristics in economics. It has now 25 colleges and departments and a graduated school, offering 43 undergraduate programs, 67 master programs, 3 first-order disciplines authorized to confer Ph.D. degrees, 21 second-order disciplines authorized to confer Ph.D. degrees and 6 post-doctoral programs, and 3 academic degree authorizations. It has a staff of over 4200, including a faculty of 1,600, of which are more than 800 full and associate professors, 4 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and 6 members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. The student body totals more than 34,000, of whom are 17,000 undergraduate students and 2,100 graduate students. It covers a total area of 1,014,000 square meters with a construction area of over 700,000 square meters. The university library has a collection of 2,380,000 volumes with disk retrieval services and computerized management for book circulation. It has also built its campus computer trunk network and an interactive multimedia teaching system based on the campus network and has realized the multimedia teaching of common basic courses.

Hunan University carries forward and develops the tradition of ¡°Emphasizing foundation, quality and management¡± and has won large numbers of state-level awards for its teaching and research. It has taken great pains to carry out its teaching reforms and some of its programs are influential in the country. With the approval of the Ministry of Education (formerly called the State Education Commission), the university has set up a Basic Engineering Course Teaching Base (Chemistry), the Training Center for Orienteering of College Students of China, the State Training Center for Foreign Trade Personnel of Mechatronic Products, the Training Base of the People¡¯s Bank of China and the International Actuarial Testing Center. The university is also a pilot university for the cultural quality education of college students of China. In 1998, with the approval of the Ministry of Education, the university became a pilot university for modern distance education in China and has achieved great success in this respect.

Hunan University has carried on the educational tradition of ¡°Patriotism and Practicalism¡± to turn out professional talents for the construction of the country. It is famous for its well-balanced programs and high quality students. Its graduates are well received by the society. Its graduate students have solid foundations in the theories concerned and good ability for self-studying and thinking, making them popular with their advisors and the society. According to a rough survey, 12 of its graduates have become members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or Engineering, 8 have been appointed members of the Central Government. Among the 10 excellent innovative enterprisers for the First National Inventions Awards, two are graduates of Hunan University, and among the award winners of the first prizes for the Young Scientists Basic Research and High-Tech Development sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, there have been graduates of Hunan University. In 2000, one of its doctorate students won a national reward for the Best Doctorate Dissertations.

By taking advantage of its good foundation in research and comprehensiveness in disciplines, Hunan University has devoted itself to the solution of theoretical and practical problems existing in the country¡¯s national economic construction while constantly enhancing its basic research. It has formed research contingents in the fields of basic sciences, chemical engineering, architectural design, materials engineering & sciences, machine building & vehicle engineering, mechatronic integration & automatic control, computer application technology and environmental engineering. Meanwhile, management science and engineering, finance, accounting and so on have become major research forces in the fields of management and economics. Hunan University has undertaken a large number of national and local research programs, such as the ¡°863 Program¡± and the ¡°National Key Scientific and Technological Program¡±, and a variety of entrusted and cooperative projects. It has built the National Research Center for High Efficiency Grinding and Sharpening Technology, the Key Laboratory for Chemometrics and Biochemical Sensor Technology, the Engineering Research Center for Transmission and Transformation Technology and Equipment, the Sino-German Center for Environmental Technology (Hunan), the Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Engineering Structural Faults and Hunan Provincial Molecular Simulation Center. In recent years, Hunan University has been among China¡¯s top universities in the number of academic papers published in international academic journals, included in the three major international retrieval systems and cited by scientists and researchers all over the world. In addition, the university has won more than 500 rewards at the national, ministerial and provincial level, including the National Natural Sciences Reward, the National Invention Reward, the National Reward for the Promotion of Science and Technology.

Hunan University has made great efforts to deepen its reforms of educational system and promote joint education. In recent years, Hunan University has set up more than 10 second-grade colleges in collaboration with the local governments and industrial enterprises. The joint undertakings have extended from education to fields like research, development and rear services, thus dramatically expanding its capacity for educational activities and self development. In the reform of its educational and investment systems, the university has formed its own way of facing the society for educational activities and raising funds through various channels.

Endowed with charming natural landscapes and rich cultural traditions, Hunan University has always received great concerns from high-ranking officials of the central and local governments. Liu Shaoqi, He Long, Wang Zhen, Hua Guofeng, Hu Yaobang, Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, Zhu Rongji, Li Ruihuan, Qiao Shi, Wei Jianxing, Li Lanqing, Chi Haotian, Li Tieying, etc. have all inspected here and given important instructions to the university. They have pointed out that Hunan University originating from the Yuelu Academy has a glorious history and bright prospects for future development. With a view to shouldering the historical task of developing the ¡°one-thousand-year-old institution¡± and carrying on the fine traditional culture of the Chinese nation, Hunan University has formed its guiding educational principle and target of development¡­ following the orientation of socialist education, implementing the Party¡¯s educational policies, carrying forward the fine cultural tradition of the Yuelu Academy, taking pains to enhance the quality of education, research and educational effects, and striving to build Hunan University into one of China¡¯s first-class open and research-oriented university with considerable influence in the world and unique characteristics of the Huxiang Culture.

Hunan University (Chinese Official Website)


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