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[Anniversary 2013] About Beida: 1936-1997

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A special edition of Peking University News in commemorating the 115th anniversary of the university (PKU/Beida).  

 


 

Peking University, May 4, 2013: Below are nine official English introductions to Peking University (PKU/Beida), 1936-1997, in original form. Significant textual errors have been marked.

 

Courtesy of the Peking University Archives and Museum of Peking University History.

 

 


1936
THE NATIONAL UNIVEBSITY OF PEKING:
- of all the educational institutions here the best known is the National University of Peking, popularly called "Pei-ta". Owing its origin to the Reform Movement of 1898, it is the oldest government University, as well as the first university of the modern type in China. At present the University is composed of three YUANS, or Colleges, i.e., the College of Science, the College of Liberal Arts, and the College of Law.

 

The College of Science consists of five departments: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Geology and Biology. The Department of Geology has its own new building – Hall of Geology – since Oct. 10th, 1935; while the other four departments occupy the University second compound.

 

In the College of Liberal Arts, there are also five departments of instructions Philosophy, History, Chinese Literature, Foreign Languages and Literature, and Education.

 

The Law College has three departments: Law, Political Science and Economics. At present both the Colleges of Liberal Arts and Law are situated in the University first compound, the well-known "Red Building."

 

In these Colleges, there is a fairly well distributed number of courses, all are adequately equipped from the point of view of faculty, tho materially, there is room for betterment.

 

The University maintains a rather high standard, each year there are more than 4000 high-school graduates competing for the Entrance Examinations, but no more than 300 are luckily admitted, i.e., less than ten per cent. At present, the university enrollment is about 1,200 each year.

 

In spite of the disturbing political situations in the north and the consequent unrest among the student body in the past four years, the University has, however, been able to show a slow but steady progress both with regard discipline and administration.

 

Within the last year, the University has also been able to complete three of her projected series of buildings, – the University Library, the Hall of Geology and the New Dormitory, – all are equipped with up-to-date appliances and provided with modern facilities.

 

 


June, 1956: A Brief Description of Peking University
Peking University was founded in 1898; it has a history of 58 years. In the May Fourth Movement of 1919, which was the beginning of the Chinese New Democratic revolution, the progressive force of Peking University played a very active part. At that time Chairman Mao Tse-tung, Mr. Li Ta-chao, one of the founders of the Communist Party of China, Mr. Lu Hsun, a well-known writer and thinker, were all working in Peking University. Our university steadily held on to this glorious revolutionary tradition in the democratic movements throughout the 30 years from the May Fourth Movement up to the victory of our revolution in 1949.

 

A readjustment of colleges and universities were brought about in the summer of 1952 to secure a more clear-cut division of work, The present Peking University, reorganized on the basis of the science and arts faculties of the original Peking, Tsing Hua, and Yenching Universities, is a new type of University. To it is entrusted the task of training specialists for research and teaching work in the field of theoretical sciences and basic sciences (both natural and social). Peking University now has altogether 14 departments: mathematics and mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology and geography, history, Chinese language and literature, Russian language and literature, oriental languages, western languages end literature, philosophy, economics, law and library science. Besides these, there is a special training course for foreign students in the Chinese language. At present there are 1,071 teachers, 8,011 students including 385 research students. Women students are about 21.5%. Students of worker or peasant origin are around 22%. Of the 310 foreign students from the Soviet Union, from people’s democracies of Asia and Europe, and from many other countries, 99 have been matriculated in the various departments. Affiliated to the University is a short term middle school for workers and peasants, admitting cadres who have taken part in the revolution and workers from productive industry|. They prepare themselves in the middle school for enrolment in universities where they will graduate as trained personnel of worker and peasant origin ready to take part in construction work of a higher level.

 

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, Peking University has advanced in every respect. The student enrolment is 3.4 times that at the time of Liberation. Teachers are 5 times as many. In the past 3 years new buildings amounting to over 134,000 square metres have been constructed, which exceeds by 50% of the sum total of the building area of the 30 preceding years. Our books have increased, from 1,000,000 at the time of Liberation to about 1,800,000 volumes. Laboratories have increased from 20 to 49. Our students, in common with students of other institutions of higher learning, enjoy education at government expenses. They get room and medical free. Those who are in difficult circumstances may apply for subsidies sufficient for defraying their expenses on food. Upon graduation they are given work by the government in accordance with their aptitude and inclination. The students raise their marks of examination year by year; in the final examination of the last semester, 80% of the marks were either "excellent" or "good".

 

 

1958: THE PAST 60 YEARS OF PEKING UNIVERSITY (1898-1958)


Peking University has reached this year its sixtieth anniversary.

 

It was not accidental that the Metropolitan University [sic] – the original Peking University, was founded in Peking 60 years ago; it was the result of the struggle of the bourgeois democratic thoughts against the feudal rule of the time. After the Opium war in 1840, China began to sink into a semi-feudal and semi-colonial status. The Chinese people, including the young bourgeoisie, was then under the dual oppression of feudalism and imperialism. The defeat of China in the Sino-Japanese War in 1894-1895 aroused a nation-wide indignation at the corruption of the government and an urgent demand for reform. The reformists Kang Yu-wei, Liang Chi-chao, Yen Fu and others advocated enthusiastically the so-called "New Politics and New Education". Under the pressure of public opinion, the Ching Dynasty was forced to make some compromises and established in Peking the Metropolitan University in 1898 to spread modern sciences and culture. In 1911 [sic] when the Ching Dynasty was overthrown the Metropolitan University was renamed Peking University [sic].

 

Peking University has a glorious revolutionary tradition. Under the influence of the great October Revolution, Li Tah-chao, professor of Peking University, and other vanguard revolutionists started to propagate Marxism and organized Marxist groups in China. About a year and a half after the victory of the October Revolution, the May 4th Movement, the beginning of the New Democratic Revolution of China, was launched in Peking, and the vanguard role in this movement was taken by the progressive teachers and students of Peking University. Shortly before the May 4th Movement, Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the Great leader of Chinese people, had done in Peking University active work in propagating Marxism.

 

After the failure of the First Revolutionary war of China in 1927, during the reactionary rule of Kai-shek for more than twenty years, the progressive teachers and students of Peking University fought heroically and unflinchingly, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, for democracy, liberty and national independence. They took an active part in the December 9th Movement against the Japanese aggression in 1935, the December 1st Movement protesting against the civil war and demanding democracy in 1945, and the various revolutionary student movements from 1946 to 1948.

 

During the Anti-Japanese War, Peking University was moved to Kunming in Yunnan province, and incorporated with two other universities, Tsing Hua and Nan Kai, to form the South-western Associated University [sic]. It became the centre of the December 1st Movement.

 

During the reactionary regime before 1949, especially under the rule of Chiang Kai-shek, Peking University was under the oppression of reactionary forces, and lost its freedom in its teaching and scientific activities. A few scholars, who stood by the revolutionary government, such as Hu Shih, took hold of the University and did their best to spread their idealistic educational ideas and reactionary culture views, while Marxist scholars were persecuted politically and their academic activities ruthlessly suppressed. As for the numerous honest scholars, who were dissatisfied with the reactionary rule, although they did make certain contributions with their researches, their achievements were greatly hammered by the divorce of learning from practical social activities.

 

At the beginning of 1949, the teachers and students of Peking University welcomed the liberation of Peking with great enthusiasm and joy.

 

In the course of the three years from 1949 to 1952, many teachers and students of Peking University took an active part in various mass movements, such as the study of revolutionary theories, the land reform, the campaign to aid Korea against American imperialism, the San-Fan and Wu-Fan movements, the ideological reform, etc. Their patriotic ardour was raised to an unprecedented height, and their common goal was: "to serve the people whole-heartedly".

 

After the liberation, the People’s Government readjusted the colleges and departments among the institutes of higher learning with a view to avoid the unreasonable overlappings and repetitions in the Old educational system, and to concentrate both teaching staff and material facilities, in order to provide more favourable conditions for training personnel for the national construction at a greater speed and on a larger scale. The colleges of medicine, agriculture and engineering, and the greater part of the college of law of Peking University were amalgamated with the corresponding colleges of other universities to form new universities or independent colleges, while its colleges of arts and natural sciences and the remaining part of its college of law were incorporated with the corresponding colleges of Tsing Hua, Yenching and other universities to form the new Peking University in 1952. Its principal task is to train specialized personnel in the fields of basic science (including both natural sciences and social sciences). The new Peking University moved in 1952 from Sha-tan in the city to the former campus of Yenching University in the north-western suburbs of Peking.

 

At present, there are 14 departments in Peking University, namely, mathematics and mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, geology and geography, philosophy, economics, law, Chinese language and literature, Russian language and literature, oriental languages, western languages and literature and library science. The university has at present over 1,200 teachers, five times more than before liberation, and over 8,000 students, three times more than before liberation. Books in the library have increased from 1,000,000 volumes before liberation to 1,800,000 volumes at present. Laboratories have increased from 20 before liberation to 127.

 

To turn the old University of capitalistic nature into a socialist university, and to train qualified personnel to meet the needs of national socialist construction, Peking University has carried out since 1952 a series of reforms in the teaching system, curriculum, teaching methods, organizations, etc., in accordance with the basic principle of "applying the advanced experiences of the Soviet Union to the actual conditions in China". Besides, the University has made great efforts to promote the scientific researches to raise the academic level of the teachers. Within the period of the first 5-year-plan of the socialist construction of China, i.e. from 1953 to 1957, about 4,000 students and 225 post-graduates were graduated from Peking University. They are now either doing research work in the various scientific and cultural organizations or teaching in the higher institutes or middle schools. They are contributing their share to the cause of science and culture of the country.

 

Since last May, Peking University has carried on the Rectification Movement to overcome the bureaucratism, subjectism and sectarianism of the upper or lower leading personnel. Both teachers and students have received in this Movement a pro-found socialist education. They are making great efforts to reform themselves, improve their working discipline, and raise their ideological and scientific level. They are striving strenuously to fulfill their glorious task of trianing more and better qualified personnel to meet the needs of the socialist construction of their fatherland.

 


THE CAMPUS AND ITS BUILDINGS
The campus of Peking University is situated in the north-western suburbs of Peking, an area renowned in old days for its gardens and parks. The garden named Shao Yuan, which was built over 340 years ago at the end of the Ming Dynasty and modelled on South China scenery, was at the south-western corner of the present campus. The garden around the present Unnamed Lake, which is the best scenic-spot on the campus, was laid out at the beginning of the Ching Dynasty at about the same time as when Yuan Ming Yuan and other gardens were built. It was then called Shu Chun Yuan. The lake is surrounded by a series of undulating hillocks like belt. There are on the campus other smaller gardens such as Wei Hsiu Yuan, Ching Chun Yuan, Lang Jun Yuan and Chen Tze Yuan, which were also the former summer residences of members of the imperial house or the aristocracy of the Ching Dynasty. All these are the creation of the labouring people. In 1860 when the British and French aggressors burned Yuan Ming Yuan, many neighbouring gardens were also destroyed. In 1920, Yenching University, founded by the American missionaries, built its campus at this place, thus the grounds for pleasure of the feudal aristocrats became a base of the cultural aggression of the imperialists. After the liberation of Peking, these old grounds, built up by the labouring people, came back to their own hands and became in 1952 the campus of Peking University, which serves the people.

 

Since 1952, the campus has been extended on a large scale. The total floor space of the new buildings exceeds 210,000 sq. metres, about twice the total floor space of the buildings of the former Yenching University. Already 42 buildings for dormitories, reading rooms and canteens and 8 buildings for classrooms and laboratories arc erected. A big physics laboratory of 19,500 sq. metres of floor space and a mechanics laboratory of over 4,000 sq. metres of floor are under construction.

 

A new library, too, of 24,000 sq. metres of floor space, containing 2,600 seats, will soon be built. 
 

 

1979: A Brief Account of Peking University
Peking University was founded in 1898.

 

It has a history with a glorious revolutionary traditon. In 1918 and 1920, Chairman Mao, the great leader of the Chinese people, came twice to Peking University to study and propagate Marxism, and was engaged in revolutionary activities. The University is also the cradle of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal May 4th Movement waged in 1919.

 

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, in accordance with the Party’s policy that "Education must serve proletarian politics and be combined with productive labour" and "must enable everyone who receives an education to develop morally, intellectually and physically and become a worker with both socialist consciousness and culture", the University has carried out systematic transformation in the educational system, in teaching contents and teaching methods, and achieved great progress and development.

 

Peking University is a comprehensive university. Its basic task is to train researchers in natural sciences and social sciences and teachers for colleges and universities, and to carry out scientific research and develop sciences with results of high standard. It now has 22 departments of natural sciences, social sciences and languages. They are the Departments of Mathematics, Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Geography, Geo-physics, Radio and Electronics, Technical Physics, Computer Science and Technology, Psychology, Chinese Language and Literature, History, Philosophy, Economics, Law, International Politics, Library Science, Oriental Languages and Literature, Western Languages and Literature and the Russian Language and Literature.

 

To strengthen scientific research, 11 research institutes have recently been set up. They are the Institutes of Mathematics, Solid State Physics, Theoretical Physics, Heavy Ion Physics, Physical Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Computer Science, Remote Sensing Technique, Asian and African Studies, History of Philosophy of Foreign Countries, and Southern-Asian Studies.

 

In the year 1978 and 1979, the student body consists of 6,783 undergradustes, 462 postgraduates and 608 students in refresher courses. Besides, there are 138 foreign students from more than 30 countries. The number of teachers and research workers amounts to 2,700. The campus occupies an area of 150 hectares, with a building space of 400,000 square meters. The library has a collection of 3,100,000 books, with 2,400 seats in 31 reading rooms.

 

During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, Peking University was severely sabotaged by Lin Piao and the "Gang of Four", with its teaching work and scientific research badly damaged. Since the last two years, encouraged by the general tasks of the new period, the teachers and students of the whole university have tried to eliminate the pernicious influence of Lin Piao and the "Gang of Four”, carried out completely and precisely the system of educational thinking of Chairman Mao, adjusted the work of the University, transformed the system of enrollment, enhanced teaching quality, carried out scientific research and thus scored initial success They are now striving to build the University into both a centre of education and a centre of scientific research and to contribute positively to the realization of the "four modernizations".

 

 

1980: Introduction
Peking University was founded in 1898.

 

Its history is closely related to that of the development of modern China's politics, ideology, culture and sciences. Yan Fu and Cai Yuanpei, famous educationists and ideologists; Mao Zedong, Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu, founders of the Chinese Communist Party, and Lu Xun, a great writer and chief commander of the Chinese New Culture Movement, either taught here or held offices here. During the Chinese Democratic Revolution, Peking University played a very important role in opposing old morals and old culture, in advocating science and democracy, and in disseminating Marxism. The University was also the cradle of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal May 4th Movement, which took place in 1919.

 

Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the University has implemented the Party's policy on education, carried out a systematic transformation of the educational system, the teaching contents and teaching methods, and achieved great progress and development in all respects.

 

The task of Peking University is to train research workers and college teachers in liberal arts, natural sciences, applied sciences and social sciences, to carry out scientific research projects and to make contributions to the development of national economy, sciences and civilization in China.

 

There are 25 departments in the university. Among them 12 departments are of natural and applied sciences (Mathematics, Mechanics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Technical Physics, Geophysics, Radio-Electronics, Geology, Geography, Computer Science and Technology, Psychology) and 13 departments are of liberal arts and social scienes (Chinese Language and Literature, History, Archaeology, Philosophy, International Politics, Economics, Law, Sociology, Library Science, Oriental Languages and Literature, Western Languages and Literature, Russian Language and Literature, English Language and Literature). In addition, there are two independent teaching and research groups on Marxism-Leninism and Physical Education, offering courses of common requirement such as Philosophy, Political Economy, History of the Chinese Communist Party, and Physical Education. To strengthen scientific research, a number of research institutes have recently been set up, such as the Institute of Mathematics, the Institute of Solid State Physics, the Institute of Theoretical Physics, the Institute of Heavy Ions Physics, the Institute of Physical Chemistry, the Institute of Molecular Biology, the Institute of Computer Science and Technology, the Institute of the Application of Remote Sensing Technique, Center of Environmental Science, the Institute of Afro-Asian Studies, the Institute of Foreign Philosophy, the Institute of South Asian Studies, the Institute of Marxism and Leninism Studies, the Institute of International Law, the Institute of Economic Law, the Institute of Chinese Classics, the Institute of Higher Education, the Institute of Population Theory, Center of Comparative Literature Studies, German Language Center, Center of American Studies, and Center of Chinese Medieval History Studies. The university publishes two learned journals: Peking University Academic Journal (Natural Science Edition, Bimonthly) and Peking University Academic Journal (Social Science Edition, Bimonthly).

 

The university offers a four-year curriculum for undergraduates and a two to three years curriculum for the Master Degree program, and two to three years more for the Doctor Degree Program.

 

Since 1977, the enrolment system based on the national unified examination has been restored and strictly followed. To meet the requirements of modern socialist construction, many newspecialities, such as applied mathematics, applied chemistry, applied biochemistry, management of national economy, international law, economic law, sociology, political science, etc., have been strengthened or set up. In addition, to satisfy the urgent need of the state, short-term special courses have been sponsored. In order to improve the quality of education, basic courses have been stressed, the number of optional courses have been increased and the training of students' ability for problem-analysis and problem-solving has been paid attention to, so as to enable them to develop initiative and enthusiasm in moral education, intellectual education and physical education. During these years, the scientific research work of this university has been developed greatly, a large number of textbooks, teaching materials, treatises and scientific papers have been published and a considerable number of research results have received state awards. In the field of international academic exchange, Peking University has taken part in academic exchange and cooperative programs with 44 universities throughout the world.

 

Following the policy of "Being oriented to modernization, to the world and to the future," the university is undergoing a process of readjustment and reform so as to raise the quality of teaching and promote research in an attempt to build itself into a socialist university with Chinese characteristics and make still greater contributions to the socialist modernization of our country. 
 

 

1988: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION OF PEKING UNIVERSITY
Peking University is one of the universities directly under the State Education Commission of the People’s Republic of China.

 

Peking University has descended from Jing Shi Da Xue Tang (the Metropolitan University) [sic], which was a product of the Reform Movement of 1898. On July 4, 1898 [sic], under the impetus given by such leading reformers as Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao, the Qing Government decided to set up the Metropolitan University, which opened in December that year. Thus the Metropolitan University became not only the most prestigious institution of higher learning, but also the highest administrative organization of education in China.

 

In May, 1912, after the Revolution of 1911, the “Metropolitan University” was renamed “Peking University” [sic]. Yan Fu, a celebrated educationist and ideologist, became the first president of the university. In 1917, the presidency was taken up by Cai Yuanpei, another outstanding educationist, scientist and democratic revolutionary, who played an active role in the reform and development of the university during his tenure of office. By 1919, the university had become the country's largest institution of higher learning, comprised of 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students.

 

As the cradle of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal May 4th Movement in 1919, Peking University has had a glorious revolutionary tradition. It was the centre of the Chinese New-Culture Movement and the initial base for disseminating Marxism-Leninism in China. Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao, and Mao Zedong, founders of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Lu Xun, a great writer, thinker and chief champion of the Chinese New-Culture Movement, all either taught or held offices in the university. In order to carry on the revolutionary tradition of the May 4th Movement, the university decided, after New China was founded, that the 4th of May be set as the date on which to celebrate the anniversary of its founding.

 

During the Anti-Japanese War, Peking University moved to Kunming, a city in Yunnan Province, and formed, together with Tsinghua University and Nankai University, the National Southwestern Associated University [sic]. In 1946, after the victory of the War, Peking University returned to Beiping (then the name of Beijing, or Peking). At that time, the university comprised the Schools of Arts, Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture, as well as a research institute for the humanities. The total enrollment of students grew to 3,000.

 

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the leaders of the Communist Party and the People’s Government showed great concern for the development of Peking University. Chairman Mao Zedong wrote three letters to the teachers and students of the university, encouraging them to unite and strive for the construction of New China. Premier Zhou Enlai visited the university six times for inspection and gave speeches to the faculty and students. In June, 1951, Professor Ma Yinchu, a well-known economist, was appointed the first president of Peking University after the founding of New China. In order to promote the development of higher education and quicken the training of personnel with specialized knowledge and skill by pooling the country’s manpower and material resources, the government carried out in 1952 a nationwide readjustment of colleges and universities. The Schools of Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture, as well as certain departments and sections of Peking University, either became independent institutes and colleges or were incorporated into other universities. The departments of the Schools of Arts, Science, and Law of Tsinghua University and Yenching University, together with the related departments and sections of Fujen University, Zhejiang University, and Zhongfa (the Franco-Chinese) University, were amalgamated into Peking University.

 

After the nation-wide readjustment of colleges and universities, Peking University became a comprehensive university which emphasized the teaching and research of the basic sciences. It was comprised of 12 departments and 33 specialities of both liberal arts and science, as well as some separate teaching units, such as the Teaching-and-Research Groups of the Chinese Revolutionary History and of the Basic Theories of Marxism-Leninism, the Premedical Course and the Preparatory Courses of Chinese Language and Literature for overseas Chinese and foreign students. Along with the progress of the socialist revolution and construction of our country, Peking University was constantly developing. By 1962, its total enrollment had grown to 10,671 undergraduate students and 280 graduate students. During the sixteen years from 1949 to 1965, the university trained for the country more than 30,000 undergraduates and over 2,000 postgraduates, among whom most have become the core members on all fronts in our country.

 

Since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China was held, Peking University has made even greater progress in its construction and reformation, and has taken on a promising new look.

 

Having extensively readjusted and reorganized the departments, sections and specialities, the university is now comprised of 28 departments, 81 specialities for undergraduates, 125 for Master candidates and 75 for Doctoral candidates. It has also set up a Graduate School, a School of Adult Education and a School of Economics.

 

While still paying much attention to the basic sciences, the university has also emphasized the promotion of technical sciences and applied subjects in the humanities: it now contains altogether 29 research institutes and 14 research centres. Also, Peking University has set up both the “Beijing Institute of Modern Physics,” headed by Professor T.D. Lee, the world-famous physicist and Nobel Prize winner, and the “Centre of Condensed Matter and Radiation Physics,” run by the Chinese Centre of Advanced Science and Technology under the international scientific organization, “The World Laboratory.” The present Peking University has achieved an effective combination of the training of personnel with higher specialized knowledge and professional skill demanded by socialist modernization with the research of important scientific problems. It strives not only for the simultaneous improvement of teaching and scientific researches, but also for the interaction and mutual promotion among various subjects. Thus the university, as a centre both for teaching and for research, has created advantageous conditions for the growth of new subjects and disciplines. Now Peking University has been transformed from a university of Arts and Science into a new type of comprehensive university, consisting of such diversified branches of learning as pure and applied sciences, social science and the humanities, and sciences of management and of education. It has indeed become a comprehensive university with the largest number of departments, sections and specialities in the country.

 

In the past, Peking University enrolled mainly undergraduate students, and the total enrollment at one time amounted to over 10,000. In recent years, it has increased the proportion of graduate students (both Doctoral and Master candidates) and set up a separate Graduate School, and in addition, it has developed adult and continuing education programs. At present, the total number of the enrolled students is more than 20,000, which can be broken down to about 9,000 undergraduates, over 2,800 postgraduates, 500 or so foreign students from 61 different countries and regions, and over 8,000 students in the cadre-training classes, the teacher-training courses, the evening schools, and the correspondence schools.

 

Peking University now possesses a faculty of 2,800 teachers, consisting of not only a number of senior professors of high academic standing and world-fame, but also a host of middle-aged academic leaders with creative power working at the forefront of teaching and research. Most of the newly promoted professors and associate professors are young and middle-aged faculty members, and those who are below the age of 55 account for 63% of the total present professoriate.

 

In recent years, the university has made preliminary reforms in its teaching administration. It has fully revised the teaching project, which not only strengthens the teaching of basic courses but also enriches and renews the contents of courses. The aim of such a project is to cultivate both the students’ practical abilities and their creative power and to create favourable conditions for the students to learn and practice in more extracurricular activities. In order to carry out the principle of teaching the students in accordance with their aptitude, the university has put into practice a credit system, which allows the students to select their own courses provided that they fulfill the requirements for their majors. The students are encouraged to select out-of-major or out-of-department courses. The system also enables those who have earned enough credits ahead of the required time to graduate earlier. Undergraduates of good character and scholarship can be recommended in the graduating year to continue their studies for Master’s Degrees without taking examinations. The spirit of “Being diligent, rigorous, realistic and creative in studies” is being energetically advocated.

 

Significant progress has also been made in the field of scientific researches. In the Science departments, while emphasis is still laid on the research of basic sciences, much attention has been paid to the promotion of applied research and development, especially to the research and advance of multidisciplinary modern and high technology. In the departments of Arts, research projects of theoretical problems and issues concerning current affairs have increased remarkably to meet the practical needs of the construction of the “Four Modernizations.”

 

Since 1978, 193 celebrated experts and scholars have been invited from the whole country to be part-time professors of Peking University. In 1985, Mobile Stations for Post-Doctorate Scientific Research were set up in such disciplines as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mechanics, and Atmospheric Sciences, admitting those who have received Doctor Degrees both at home and abroad to do further research work and to foster academic exchanges. Peking University has not only established ties with dozens of universities and colleges in other countries, but has also been engaged in academic exchanges with quite a number of scholars and specialists as well as academic organizations from different countries and regions. It has thus served as an outstanding base for the training of high-level personnel with specialized knowledge and skill and for the promotion of advanced scientific research.

 

Peking University has a beautiful campus, which is located at Hai Dian, an area in the western suburbs of Beijing renowned in the old days for its gardens and parks. To the north of the campus are the remains of the Yuan Ming Yuan Palace, and to the west is the Summer Palace. The lovely campus itself, with attractive scenery, is a fine place for studies.

 

The university is also equipped with relatively advanced facilities for both teaching and research. These facilities include the national key laboratories in the Computer Centre, the Audio-Visual Teaching Centre and the Audio-Visual Information System, the national key laboratories of “Protein Engineering” and “Structural Chemistry” which are in the course of being constructed, the group buildings of the science departments to be built on the ratification of the State Council during the period of the “Seventh Five-Year Plan,” as well as a university press, a library with a total floor space of 24,500 square metres, two gymnasiums, two stadiums, and four university-run factories. They provide the teachers and students with a nice environment in which to work, study, and live.

 

Following the policy of “Being oriented to the modernization, to the world and to the future,” the whole staff of the university is now working hard together on further reforms in an attempt to make greater contributions not only to the development of Peking University but also to the promotion of the country’s educational, scientific and cultural causes. By training even more specialized personnel of good character and scholarship, Peking University can excel in the construction of Chinese socialist modernization.  

 

 


   
 

1991
Peking University

Peking University, the former Jing Shi Da Xue Tang (the Metropolitan University) [sic] of the Qing Dynasty, opened in December 1898. The Metropolitan University was then not only the most prestigious institution of higher learning but also the highest administrative organization of education in China. In May 1912, the Metropolitan University was re-named “Peking University”. In 1917, its presidency was taken up by Mr Cai Yuanpei, an outstanding scientist, educationist and democratic revolutionary, who played an active role in the reform and development of the university. By 1919, the university developed into the country’s largest institution of higher learning, with 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students.

 

Peking University has a glorious revolutionary tradition. In 1919, the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal May 4th Movement was initiated from the university, which had been the centre of the Chinese New-Culture Movement and the earliest base for the dissemination of Marxism in China. Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao and Mao Zedong, founders of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Lu Xun, a great writer, thinker and chief leader of the Chinese New-Culture Movement, all either taught or held offices in the university. In order to carry on the revolutionary tradition of the May 4th Movement, the university decided, after the new China was founded, that the 4th of May be set as the date on which to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the university.

 

During the Anti-Japanese War, Peking University moved to Kunming, a city in Yunnan Province, and, together with Tsinghua University and Nankai University, formed the National Southwestern Associated University [sic]. In 1946, after the victory of the War, Peking University moved back to Beiping (then the name of Beijing or Peking). At that time, the university comprised the schools (Arts, Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering and Agriculture) and a research institute for the humanities. The total enrollment of students grew to 3,000.

 

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government carried out in 1952 a nationwide readjustment of colleges and universities with the aim to promote higher education and quicken the training of personnel with specialized knowledge and skill by pooling the country’s manpower and material resourses. After the readjustment, Peking University became a university comprising departments of both liberal Arts and Sciences and emphasing the teaching and research of basic sciences. By 1962, the total enrollment grew to 10,671 undergraduate students and 280 graduate students. During the sixteen years between 1949 and 1965, the university trained more than 30,000 undergraduates and 2,000 postgraduates, most of whom have become core members on different fronts.

 

Peking University is now comprised of 29 departments with 86 specialities for undergraduates, 132 specialities for Master candidates and 90 specialities for Doctoral candidates. While still laying stress on basic sciences, the university has paid special attention to the development of technical sciences and applied subjects in the humanities. It has now 36 research institutes and 25 research centres, and there are 42 key subjects and 4 principal laboratories of the state level which have been completed already. The university has made an effective combination of the research on important scientific issues with the training of personnel with high level specialized knowledge and professional skill as demanded by the country’s socialist modernization. It strives not only for the simultaneous improvements in teaching and research work, but also for the promotion of interaction and mutual promotion among various subjects. Thus Peking University has now become a centre for both teaching and research and a university of the new type, consisting of diverse branches of learning such as pure and applied sciences, social sciences and the humanities, and sciences of management and education.

 

Peking University used to enroll mainly undergraduate students. In recent years, it has increased the proportion of graduate students (for Doctoral or Master degrees). At present, the total number of enrolled students amounts to 17,000, including 7,000 undergraduates, 2,600 postgraduates and 500 foreign students from over sixty countries and regions.

 

Peking University now possesses a staff of 7,000 teachers and administrative workers, including over 400 full professors. Among the teachers are not only a number of senior professors of high academic standing and world fame, but also a host of creative middle-aged academic leaders who have been working at the forefront of teaching and research. Most of the newly promoted professors and associate professors are young or middle-aged scholars.

 

In recent years, Peking University has made preliminary reforms in its teaching. It has revised its teaching project in an all-round way with the aim to cultivate the students’ practical ability and creative power. As a result, the teaching of basic courses is strengthened, the content of courses is enriched and renewed, and favourable conditions have been created for the students to develop themselves in extracurricular activities. In order to apply the principle of teaching the students in accordance with their aptitude, the university has put into practice a credit system, which allows the students to select their own courses provided that they fulfil the requirements for their majors. This system encourages the students to select courses out of their respective majors or departments. According to the system, students who have earned enough credits ahead of the required time are allowed to graduate earlier. Undergraduates of good character and scholarship can be recommended in their graduating year to continue their study for Master's degrees without taking qualifying examinations. The style of “Being diligent, rigorous, realistic and creative” in learning is energetically advocated on the campus.

 

Significant progress has also been made in the field of scientific research. In the Science departments, while emphasis is till laid on the research of basic sciences, special efforts have been made to promote applied research and new development, especially the research and advance of modern and high technology that involves different fields. In the departments of Arts, research projects of theoretical problems and issues concerning current affairs have increased remarkably to meet the needs of the realization of the “Four Modernizations”. Many of the research projects are in leading positions in their respective fields both at home and abroad. Since 1985, the university has undertaken 118 strategic research projects assigned by the state for the period of the “Seventh Five-Year Plan” and 27 major high-tech research projects of the state. During the ten years between 1979 and 1989, faculty members of the science departments published 9,868 theses and 465 monographs. They received 338 awards offered by various provinces and government departments, and won 30 prizes of the State Awards for Natural Science Development and 23 prizes of the State Awards for Science and Technology Progress. The Arts departments published 9,200 theses and 2,250 monographs, and were awarded 194 prizes by various provinces and government departments.

 

Since 1978, 193 celebrated experts and scholars have been invited from within the country to be part-time professors of Peking University. In 1985, Post-Doctorate research stations were set up in such fields as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Atmospheric Science, Geography, Mechanics and Sociology, which are open to Ph.D holders at home and abroad for their futher study and academic exchanges. The university has not only established ties with dozens of universities and colleges in other countries, but has also kept academic exchanges with quite a number of academic organizations, scholars and experts of different countries and regions. In the past ten years, the university sent 817 teachers to carry out futher study in other countries. All these have greatly contributed to the training of high-level personnel with specialized knowledge and skill and to the promotion of advanced scientific research.

 

The 170-hectare university campus is located at Hai Dian, an area in the western suburbs of Beijing renowned in the old days for its gardens and parks. To the north of the university are the remains of the Yuan Ming Yuan Palace, and to the west is the Summer Palace. The lovely campus, with its attractive scenery, is an ideal location for studies.  


Peking University
Add: 01 Lou Dou Qiao, Hai Dian Qu, Beijing, China
Postcode: 100871
Tel: 2561166
Cable: 3601 Beijing
Telex: 22239 PKUNI CN
Fax: 01-2563883, 01-2564095  
   
 

1995
Peking University
  
Peking University, the former Jing Shi Da Xue Tang (the Metropolitan University) [sic] of the Qing Dynasty, opened in December 1898. The Metropolitan University was then not only the most prestigious institution of higher learning but also the highest administrative organization of education in China. In May 1912, the Metropolitan University was renamed “Peking University” [sic]. In 1917, its presidency was taken up by Mr. Cai Yuanpei, an outstanding scientist, educationist and democratic revolutionary, who played an active role in the reform and development of the university. By 1919, the university developed into the country’s largest institution of higher learning, with 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students. Peking University has a glorious revolutionary tradition. In 1919, the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal May 4th Movement was initiated from the university, which had been the centre of the Chinese New-Culture Movement and the earliest base for the dissemination of Marxism in China. Chen Duxiu, Li Dazhao and Mao Zedong, founders of the Chinese Communist Party, as well as Lu Xun, a great writer, thinker and chief leader of the Chinese New-Culture Movement, all either taught or held offices in the university. In order to carry on the revolutionary tradition of the May 4th Movement, the university decided, after the new China was founded, that the 4th of May be set as the date to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the university.

 

During the War of Resistance Against Japan, Peking University moved to Kunming, a city in Yunnan Province, and together with Tsinghua University and Nankai University, formed the National Southwestern Associated University [sic]. In 1946, after the victory of the war, Peking University moved back to Beiping (then the name of Beijing). At that time, the university comprised six schools (Arts, Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering and Agriculture) and a research institute for the humanities. The total enrollment of students grew to 3,000.

 

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the government carried out, in 1952, a nationwide readjustment of colleges and universities with the aim to promote higher education and quicken the training of personnel with specialized knowledge and skill by pooling the country’s manpower and material resourses. After the readjustment, Peking University bacame a university comprising departments of both liberal Arts and Sciences and emphasizing the teaching and research of basic sciences. By 1962, the total enrollment grew to 10,671 undergraduate students and 280 graduate students. Since 1949, Peking University has trained for the country 73,000 undergraduates and speciality students, 10,000 postgraduates and 20,000 adult-education students, and many of them have become the backbones on all fronts in China.

 

Peking University is now comprised of six colleges and 29 departments, with 85 specialities for undergraduates, 3 specialities for the second Bachelor’s degree, 146 specialities for Master candidates and 97 specialities for Doctoral candidates. While still laying stress on basic sciences, the university has paid special attention to the development of applied sciences. It has now 45 research institutes and 52 research centres, and there are 2 national engineering research centres, 42 key national disciplines, 5 national key laboratories have been completed already, and still under construction are 6 national key laboratories and 4 state special laboratories. The university has made an effective combination of the research on important scientific issues with the training of personnel with high level specialized knowledge and professional skill as demanded by the country’s socialist modernization. It strives not only for the simultaneous improvements in teaching and research work, but also for the promotion of interaction and mutual promotion among various subjects. Thus Peking University has now become a centre for both teaching and research and a university of the new type, consisting of diverse branches of learning such as pure and applied sciences, social sciences and the humanities, and sciences of management and education. Its aim is to rank among the world’s best universities at the beginning of the next century.

 

Peking University used to enroll mainly undergraduate students. In recent years, it has increased the proportion of graduate students (for Master or Doctoral degrees). At present, the total number of enrolled students amounts to 21,402, including 8,686 undergraduates, 80 candidates for a second Bachelor’s degree, 2,780 candidates for a Master’s degree, 815 doctoral candidates, 7,425 students who take correspondence courses or study at the night school, and 747 international students from 62 countries and regions.

 

Peking University now has over 2,100 teachers, 380 of whom have a doctoral degree, and 1,600 of whom are full or associate professors. Among the teachers are not only a number of senior professors of high academic standing and world fame, but also a host of creative young and middle-aged experts who have been working at the forefront of teaching and research.

 

At present, Peking University has 29 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 3 academicians of the Third World Academy of Sciences, 34 members of the Academic Degree Committee of the State Council, 26 middle-aged academic leaders with outstanding contribution and 338 doctoral supervisors.

 

In recent years, Peking University has made preliminary reforms in its teaching. It has revised its teaching project in an all-round way with the aim to cultivate the students’ practical ability and creative power. As a result, the teaching of basic courses is strengthened, the content of courses is enriched and renewed, and favourable conditions have been created, for the students to develop themselves in extracurricular activities. In order to apply the principle of teaching the students in accordance with their aptitude, the university has put into practice a credit system, which allows the students to select their own courses provided that they fulfil the requirements for their majors. This system encourages the students to select courses out of their respective majors or departments. According to the system, students who have earned enough credits ahead of the required time are allowed to graduate earlier. Undergraduates of good character and scholarship can be recommended in their graduating year to continue their study for Master's degrees without taking qualifying examinations. The style of “Being diligent, rigorous, realistic and creative” in learning is energetically advocated on the campus.

 

Significant progress has also been made in the field of scientific research. In the sciences departments, while still emphasizing basic research, special efforts have been made to promote applied research and technology development, especially the research and advance of modern and high technology that involves different fields. In the departments of Arts, research projects of theoretical problems and issues concerning current affairs have increased remarkably to meet the needs of the realization of the “Four Modernizations.” During the period of the “Eighth Five-Year Plan” (1991-1995), the departments of sciences undertook a great many research assignments entrusted by the state, including 81 key applied research projects, 35 high-tech research projects, 64 key basic research projects, and 370 projects of the National Natural Science Foundation. Since 1980, Peking University has accomplished 1,895 research projects of state level or ministrial and provincial level, 1,440 of which were undertaken by the sciences departments, and 455 by the departments of Arts. By the end of 1993, the university had won 618 awards and prizes of state level or ministrial and provincial level, 357 of which were won by the sciences departments and 261 by the departments of Arts. The university faculty members have published 33,896 papers in Chinese and international academic journals (15,636 of which by the faculty members of the sciences departments, 18,260 by those of the departments of Arts) and 4,245 monographs (726 of which by the faculty members of the sciences departments, 3,519 by those of the departments of Arts). In the past ten years, the sciences departments have won 2 Awards in Mathematics of the Third World Academy of Sciences, 1 Javed Husain Award for Young Scientist granted by the UNESCO, 36 prizes of the State Award for Natural Science, 7 prizes of the State Award for Inventions, 29 prizes of the State Award for Science and Technology Progress. The departments of Arts have won 7 special prizes and 11 first-class prizes of the First Beijing Award for Philosophy and Social Sciences Achievements. With reference to the amount and the class of the awards and prizes, Peking University is at the first place among all the institutions in China. In 1994, five books published by Peking University won the State Award for Books, and the university is the only one among all the institutions in China to have won this award.

 

Since 1978, over 400 celebrated experts and scholars have been invited from within the country to be part-time professors of Peking University. In 1985, Post- -Doctorate research stations were set up in such fields as Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Atmospheric Science, Geography, Mechanics, Geology, Computer Science and Technology, Literature, History, Sociology and Economics, which are open to nearly 270 Ph.D holders at home and abroad for their further study. The university has not only established ties with dozens of universities and colleges in other countries, but has also kept academic exchanges with quite a number of academic organizations, scholars and experts of different countries and regions. In the past fifteen years, the university sent over 1,500 teachers to carry out further study in other countries. All these have greatly contributed to the training of high-level personnel with specialized knowledge and skill and to the promotion of advanced scientific research.

 

The 230-hectare university campus is located at Hai Dian, an area in the western suburbs of Beijing renowned for its gardens and parks. To the north of the university are the remains of the Yuan Ming Yuan Palace, and to the west is the Summer Palace. The lovely campus, with its attractive scenery, is an ideal location for studies.  


 


1997
Peking University: Facing the challenge of the 21st century

Congratulations on the Centennial of Peking University

Peking University is a sacred place in which beautiful scenery and outstanding expertise bring out the best in each other. In the past hundred years (1898-1998), Peking University has produced the nation’s best scientists and scholars and most distinguished thinkers, who have promoted significant social reform and development in China. The university’s strength and achievements have made it the symbol of the highest standards for China’s educational institutions.

 

Upon its centennial, Peking University continues to commit itself to the tradition of “Science, Democracy, Patriotism and Progress,” that has been handed down from generation to generation. “Diligence, Vigor, Realism, and the Quest for Innovation” continues to motivate its faculty, staff, and students to face the challenge of the 21st century.

 

 

Edited by: Chen Runxi and Zhang Shiling

Tag: Anniversary 2013