Peking University (), colloquially known in Chinese as Beida ( , B id ), is a major research university located in Beijing, China, and a member of the C9 League. It is the first established modern national university of China. It was founded as Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the ancient Guozijian ( gu z ji n). By 1920 it had become a center for progressive thought. Today, many national and international rankings frequently place Peking University as one of the best universities in China. In addition to its academics, Peking University is especially renowned for the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture on its campus grounds.
Peking University's West Gate, one of the symbols of the university campus
Throughout its history, the university has educated and hosted many prominent modern Chinese thinkers, including figures such as: Lu Xun, Mao Zedong, Gu Hongming, Hu Shih, Li Dazhao, and Chen Duxiu. Peking University was influential in the birth of China's New Culture Movement, May Fourth Movement, the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 and many other significant events.
Peking University was established in Beijing on July 3, 1898 during the Hundred Days Reform and was originally known as the Imperial University of Peking () to replace the ancient Guozijian ( gu z ji n). In 1902, the Faculty of Education was spun off to become today's Beijing Normal University, the best teacher's college in China. In 1912, following the Xinhai Revolution, the Imperial University was renamed "National Peking University" (). The famous scholar Cai Yuanpei was appointed president on January 4, 1917, and helped transform the university into the country's largest institution of higher learning, with 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students. Cai, inspired by the German model of academic freedom, recruited an intellectually diverse faculty that included Hu Shi, Chen Duxiu, and Lu Xun. In 1919, students of Peking University formed the bulk of the protesters of the May Fourth Movement. Efforts by the Beiyang government to end the protests by sealing off the Peking University campus led to Cai's resignation. In 1920, Peking University became the second Chinese university to accept female students, after Nanjing University. Peking University's Institute for Chinese Classics in 1924 After the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937 (and the resulting expansion of Japanese territorial control in east China), Peking University moved to Changsha and formed the Changsha Temporary University along with Tsinghua University and Nankai University. In 1938, the three schools moved again, this time to Kunming, and formed the National Southwestern Associated University. In 1946, after World War II, Peking University moved back to Beijing. At that time, the university comprised six schools (Arts, Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture), and a research institute for humanities. The total student enrollment grew up to 3,000.
In 1952, three years after the People's Republic of China was established, Yenching University was merged into Peking University and Peking University lost its "national" appellation to reflect the fact that all universities under the new socialist state would be public. In 1952 Peking University moved from downtown Beijing to the former Yenching campus. The first disturbances of the Cultural Revolution began at Peking University in 1966; education there ceased between 1966 and 1970.
In 2000, Beijing Medical University was merged into Peking University and became the Peking University Health Science Campus. Peking University now has eight affiliated hospitals and 12 teaching hospitals.
In 2001, Peking University set up a satellite campus in Shenzhen. The university's second business school was launched on this campus in 2004 and was renamed HSBC School of Business in 2008.
The Weiming Lake, located in the middle of the university campus One of the administrative buildings with the huabiao Peking University during spring A stone bridge inside the campus Many domestic rankings place Peking University amongst the top universities in China. In 2010, the Chinese University Alumni Association in partner with China Education Center ranked Peking University 1st among national universities in the country, while the China University Ranking placed Peking University 2nd among universities in China, behind Tsinghua.
The Times Higher Education placed Peking University as the 49th best university in the world in their 2011 rankings, while the QS World University Rankings placed the University at 46th worldwide in 2011.
Peking University is a national key university. The university consists of 30 colleges and 12 departments, with 93 specialties for undergraduates, 2 specialties for the second Bachelor's degree, 199 specialties for Master's degree candidates and 173 specialties for Doctoral candidates. While in a leading position of basic sciences research and teaching, the university has gained itself very successful development of applied sciences. At present, Peking university has 216 research institutions and research centres, including 2 national engineering research centres, 81 key national disciplines, 12 national key laboratories. With 4.5 million holdings, the university library is the largest of its kind in Asia.
The university has made an effort to combine the research on fundamental scientific issues with the training of personnel with high level specialized knowledge and professional skill as demanded by the country's modernization.
Peking University has been becoming a center for teaching and research, consisting of diverse branches of learning such as pure and applied sciences, social sciences and the humanities, and sciences of management and education.
Over the past century, more than 400 Peking University alumni had become presidents of other major Chinese universities, including former Tsinghua President Luo Jialun, Renmin University President Yuan Baohua, Zhejiang University President Qian Sanqiang, Fudan University President Zhang Zhirang, Nankai University President Teng Weizao, Chinese University of Science and Technology President Guan Weiyan and many others.
Campus, art and culture
The campus of Peking University was originally located north of the Forbidden City in the center of Beijing, and was later moved to the former campus of Yenching University in 1952. The main campus is located in northwest Beijing, in Haidian district, which was concentrated with many well known colleges and universities.
The Peking University's campus site is also situated near the Summer Palace and the Old Summer Palace; the area is traditionally where many of Beijing's most renowned gardens and palaces were built. The Peking University campus is situated on a former royal garden The Department of Foreign Languages The university campus is located in the former site of the Qing Dynasty royal gardens and it retains many traditional Chinese-style landscaping including traditional houses, gardens, pagodas as well as many notable historical buildings and structures. There are several gates that lead into campus - East, West and South gates, with the West Gate being the most well known for the painted murals on its ceiling. Peking University is known throughout China, along with its neighbour, Tsinghua University, for their beautiful campuses. The university campus is surrounded by Weiming lake.
The university also hosts many museums, such as the "Museum of University History" and the "Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archaeology". Notable items in these museums include funerary objects that were excavated in Beijing and date back thousands of years from the graves of royalties of the Warring States period. There are ritual pottery vessels as well as elaborate pieces of jewelry on display. There are also bones of human remains set up in the traditional burial style of that period.
Beyond its main campus, Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) is located in Xue Yuan Rd. where the country's most distinguished colleges are located. The PKUHSC's campus is less aesthetically appealing than the main Peking University campus, but is nonetheless a fitting site for academics and research.
In 2001, Peking University's Shenzhen campus, the Shenzhen Graduate School, opened its doors. The campus is located in the northwest part of Shenzhen City.
In 2008, the THE-QS World University Rankings ranked the Peking University as the 23rd best university in the world in arts and humanities; it is also the highest ranked university from Asia in this field. The Peking University was previously ranked as the 18th (2007 rankings), 10th (2006 rankings), 6th (2005 rankings), and 7th (2004 rankings) best arts and humanities university in the world.
A performance of Kunqu
at the Peking University
Peking University is well known for its contribution to modern Chinese literature, poetry and art, and for the publications of groundbreaking modern Chinese books such as Hong Zicheng's A History of Contemporary Chinese Literature. Peking University has participated in many joint art-research projects, such as the Center for the Art of East Asia (CAEA) with the University of Chicago, and developing the "Peking University, Department of Digital Art and Design" with UNESCO. Peking University also partners with Stanford University for its Asian cultural studies programs such as "The Stanford Program in Beijing" and "The Stanford-Peking University Summer Program", which encourages Stanford students interested in exploring Chinese language, history, culture, and society to study on campus at Peking University. It also maintains a joint institute with the University of Michigan, which provides joint academic programs to students from both schools.
China Center for Economic Research
The Computer Science Building Office buildings
The Director of China Center for Economic Research, Professor of Economics of Peking University and Professor of the graduate school of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences is Prof. Fan Gang. Dr. Fan had more than 100 academic papers published in both Chinese and English academic journals, more than 200 articles in newspapers and magazines and had also published several books.
Justin Lin, the founding director of the institute, is the World Bank's chief economist. His appointment marked the first time the post went to a candidate outside Europe or the United States.
The dormitories for international students at the main campus are located at "Shao Yuan". Every year, Peking University has approximately 2,000 international students studying on the Beijing campus and about 50 at the HSBC Business School, located at the Shenzhen Campus. Its international students are made up of students from most countries in the world including most of Western Europe, North America, South America, all parts of Asia, Australia as well as many countries in Africa.
In 2005, Peking University and Cornell University signed an agreement formally establishing the China and Asia-Pacific Studies major at Cornell, which requires students to spend a semester studying at Peking University while working at internships. One year later, Peking University launched a joint undergraduate program with Yale University; students will spend a semester overseas, living and studying together with the host institute's students. Peking University's School of International Studies also launched joint degree programs with London School of Economics and Waseda University. Peking also has a longstanding relationship with Stanford University, and Stanford is currently constructing the Lee Jun Sen Stanford Center at Peking University, which will serve as a joint research center, and base for Stanford students and scholars at Peking. The HSBC Business School has joint degree programs with University of Hong Kong and Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Notable faculty, administrators, and alumni
Peking University has produced many notable people, especially prominent thinkers in modern China. These include figures such as Hu Shi, Li Dazhao and Lu Xun. Peking University also has two Nobel Prize winners, Tsung-Dao Lee and Yang Chen Ning, although both conducted their Nobel winning work at Universities in the US. Since 1948, 586 Peking University alumni have been selected into the renowned Academic Division of the Chinese Academy of Science ( ), overshadowing any other universities in China.
Beida students and May Fourth Movement
Peking University is the home to communist, nationalist and liberal thoughts in modern China. Mao Zedong, Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, all founders of the Communist Party of China, either taught or held offices in the university. Lu Xun, a notable contemporary writer and influential figure of the Chinese New-Culture Movement, which took place in 1919 and sparked China s anti-imperialism and anti-feudalism march, was also attached to the university. During the Cultural Revolution, Peking University philosophy faculty Nie Yuanzi notoriously published the first big-character poster. Peking University students also led at the Tiananmen Square Protest of 1989 for democracy.
Boya Pagoda by the Weiming Lake, one of the landmarks on the campus
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