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Gong Qihuang
Message from the President
Welcome to Peking University!
Originated as the Imperial University of Peking in 1898, Peking University was China’s first national comprehensive university and the supreme education authority at the time. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, it has developed into a comprehensive university with fundamental education and research in both humanities and science. The reform and opening-up of China in 1978 has ushered in a new era for the University unseen in history. And its merger with Beijing Medical University in 2000 has geared itself up for all-round and vibrant growth in such fields as science, engineering, medicine, agriculture, humanities and social sciences. Supported by the “211 Project” and the “985 Project”, the University has made remarkable achievements, such as optimizing disciplines, cultivating talents, recruiting high-caliber teachers, as well as teaching and scientific research, which paves the way for a world-class university.

Peking University is a cradle of top-quality and creative students, a major source of cutting-edge science and knowledge innovation, and a key bridge for international exchange. It has six faculties, namely Humanities, Social Sciences, Economics and Management, Science, Information Technology and Engineering, as well as Health Science. It consists of 55 schools and departments, 60 research entities, and ten affiliated hospitals. There are more than 48,600 students (including nearly 2,500 international students) as well as over 12,600 faculty and staff members including over 123 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Peking University stands at the forefront of global academic research and fosters talents that lead the world to the future. By refining its system of international education, it nurtures talents for and around the world. With undergraduate education as its cornerstone, it integrates general and professional education, creates a general education system that covers the entire undergraduate education, cultivates top-notch students of basic disciplines, and promotes cross-disciplinary programs, all in an effort to invigorate quality and efficient undergraduate education. It explores different approaches for educating different postgraduate students, equips them with cross-disciplinary knowledge and capabilities, optimizes disciplines and specialties, and establishes a postgraduate education system for developing first-rate leaders.

While devoted to teaching and research as always, Peking University is committed to developing cross-disciplinary education and seeking new ways to refine the disciplines towards the greater goal of building a human community with a shared future and meeting national strategic needs. It advances regional and country-specific studies to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and explores new academic research modes that offer China’s insight into the world. It is furthering the project of Clinical Medicine + X, planning the research in core carbon-neutral science and technology, bolstering the project of Digital Intelligence+ to empower traditional disciplines with digital intelligence, and boosting research in such emerging fields as digital humanities.

Since 1998, Peking University has received more than 110 heads of state and government, and other political dignitaries as well as nearly 30 Nobel laureates, partnered with nearly 400 universities and research institutions in more than 60 countries and regions, and cooperated closely with many world-class research universities. In May 2019, it released a document entitled “International Development Strategy of Peking University: In Pursuit of Global Excellence”. With a vision of innovation, openness, distinction and diversity and emphasis on leading and shaping cooperation, the University has advanced collaborated scientific research globally, cultivated world-class talents, created a global academic community, established unique paradigms for international exchange, evolved into an international intellectual pinnacle, and upgraded the system for global collaboration.

We welcome students and teachers of different countries and cultures to “Yan Yuan” (the campus of Peking University). Let us work together for cultural exchange, social progress and a community with a shared future.

                                                                                 Professor GONG Qihuang
                                                                                 President, Peking University
                                                                   Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences
PKU Today
In recent years, Peking University has entered a new stage of development. It has made remarkable achievements in disciplinary development, student training, faculty building, and scientific research, which has laid a solid foundation for building Peking University into a world-class university.
PKU History

Founded in 1898, Peking University was originally known as the Imperial University of Peking. Its establishment signified the complete collapse of the old feudal educational system that had lasted for several thousand years, and at the same time, the birth of a brand-new educational system that met the demands of development in a new age. Following China’s defeat in the First Sino Japanese War (1894-1895), initiatives were introduced to replace the outdated education system with a more modern one. In 1898, amid intensifying internal and external crises, Emperor Guangxu issued his first reform decree, declaring the establishment of the Imperial University of Peking. The University was China's first modern institution for higher education, and in its early days, it also served as the highest Administrative Office for Education.

On May 3, 1912, the government of the Republic of China ordered the Imperial University of Peking to be renamed Peking University, and the general superintendent to be renamed president. Yan Fu, a famous scholar, became the first president of Peking University. He overhauled the university curriculum in accordance with the modern academic system and the common practice of higher education around the world, while also opening new courses to introduce new ideas in the West. On May 4, an anti-imperialist political protest, also known as the May Fourth Movement, broke out. It grew out of initial demonstrations that had been led by students from Peking University. As its principal architects and supporters, Peking University students played a leading role in this revolutionary movement. The May Fourth Movement ensured that the University's students would not only play a huge role in China's development but would also become pioneers of progressive thought and patriotic sentiment.

After the nationwide restructuring of schools and departments in 1952, Peking University merged with Yenching University, becoming a comprehensive university focusing on the fundamental teaching and research of Humanities and Sciences. Peking University's international status is increasingly important as countries around the globe seek to realign their economies for a future driven by the principles of knowledge and innovation. Following the centennial celebration on May 4, 1998, Peking University, with tremendous support from the whole country, launched the goal of building a world-class university. On April 3, 2000, Peking University merged with Beijing Medical University. The combination further broadened the disciplinary structure and paved the way for the reform of medical education.

In recent years, Peking University has entered a new stage of development. It has made remarkable achievements in disciplinary development, student training, faculty building, and scientific research, which has laid a solid foundation for building Peking University into a world-class university. Like any institution, Peking University has gone through changes and reforms from its founding to the present day, yet it has remained a leader in Chinese higher education. Just as it was from its founding, Peking University continues to be a role model for the entire nation and set the standard of excellence in China.

Global Excellence Strategy
On its 121st founding anniversary, Peking University officially released the "Global Excellence Strategy", an international blueprint implemented to respond changes in the new era, expand its reform and broaden Peking University’s global presence.
The planning process for this newly implemented strategy lasted for a year. During this period of time, 10 drafts were produced, with each undergoing multiple revisions. The strategy carries out the global vision of the University and embodies the spirit of exploration. It is Peking University’s milestone to promote the reform and development in the new era on a global scale.
Chair of the Peking University Council
Hao Ping
Vice Chair of the Peking University Council
Gong Qihuang,
Chen Baojian,
Gu Tao
Gong Qihuang
Executive Vice President
Qiao Jie
Vice President
Wang Bo,
Zhang Pingwen,
Sun Qingwei,
Ning Qi,
Dong Zhiyong,
Zhang Jin
Founding Year
CAS/CAE Academicians
Full-time Students
Undergraduate Programs
Ph.D. Programs
International Students
Library Collection(k)
Last update:
December 2020