Nanchang University (NCU) is a comprehensive university listed among the “the World First-class Disciplines” in the national “Double First-Class” Initiative of China, the only “211 Project” national key university in Jiangxi Province which is co-constructed by the Chinese Ministry of Education and Jiangxi Province, and the overall construction university of Jiangxi Province high-level universities construction project. Located in Nanchang, the City of Heroes, NCU consists of 4 campuses, which are Qian-Hu main campus, Qingshan-Hu campus, Dong-Hu campus and Poyang-Hu campus. Among them, the Qian-Hu main campus covers an area of more than 288 hectares and a building area of 1.5 million square meters.
The history of NCU dates back to Jiangxi Medical College, Jiangxi University and Jiangxi Industrial University, which were originated from Jiangxi Public Medical College and National Chung-cheng University founded in 1921 and 1940 respectively. In 1993, Jiangxi University merged with Jiangxi Industrial University to form Nanchang University, which created a precedent for the reform of the national higher education system. In 2005, NCU and Jiangxi Medical College merged to form the new NCU, unveiling a new page of reform and development. Over the years, leadership of Central Party Committee and Central Government, the Ministry of Education, Jiangxi Provincial Party Committee and Jiangxi Provincial Government have attached great importance to the construction and development of NCU. “Nanchang University has unlimited prospects”, President Xi Jinping said when he first visited NCU in October 2008. In February 2016, President Xi visited Nanchang University again and delivered an important speech on the roles of universities played in scientific research innovation and talent cultivation. President Xi encouraged NCU to take a developing path of innovation and motivated the students to cherish time and fulfill dreams.
NCU has five faculties, namely Humanities, Social Sciences, Science & Technology (Division I), Science & Technology (Division II), and Medicine. It has 132 undergraduate programs with 12 subject categories, 3 national key (fostering) disciplines, 22 first-level subjects with doctor’s degree authorization, 3 categories of doctor’s professional degree authorization, 11 postdoctoral scientific research stations; 51 first-level subjects with master’s degree authorization, and 30 categories of master’s professional degree authorization. NCU has 5 affiliated hospitals, and 9 national clinical key specialist disciplines. The subject of Materials and Engineering was selected as a national “double-first-class” construction subject. 10 subjects rank among the first 1% of ESI in the world, in which the subject of Food Science and Engineering rank among the first 1‰ and is rated as A in the national fourth-round of subject overall level assessment.
The main campus of NCU has 4,358 staff members (2,717 are full-time teachers, and 1,638 of them have titles of professors or associate professors). Among them, there are 2 academicians of CAS, 1 academician of CAE, 3 dual-employed academicians, 1 academician of International Academy of Food Science, 75 national-level talents, 1 national excellent doctoral dissertation supervisor, 1 member of the discipline review group of the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council, 2 national-level teaching teams, and 2 pilot construction sites of virtual teaching and research. NCU takes talent cultivation as its central task and considers fostering virtue through education as its fundamental mission. In recent years, a batch of advanced groups and models with professional ethics and dedication to the fostering of virtue through education has sprung up in NCU. For example, the Party Branch of Department of Critical Care Medicine at the First Affiliated Hospital has been accredited as the National-Level Advanced Grass-Roots Party Organization, National Silicon-Based LED Engineering Technology Research Center as the Advanced Collective in the National Education System, Engineering Mechanics Experiment Center as the Pioneer of National Workers, the team of teachers in the major of Food Science and Engineering as the Advanced Collective of Huang Danian-Style Team of Teachers in National Colleges and Universities, Jiang Fengyi and Zhu Xingen as national outstanding members of the Communist Party of China, Zou Defeng as the winner of the Florence Nightingale Medal (the highest honor award in the international nursing field; Wang Yu, Model Teacher in Jiangxi Province, and Shi Qiujie as the “motherly doctoral supervisor”, who represents the “four loves” spirit (love CPC and China, love job and dedication, love NCU as family, and love students as children) of NCU teachers.
The main campus of NCU has 34,087 full-time undergraduates, 16,538 graduates of all categories and 1,762 oversea students. NCU actively promotes the reform of talent-cultivation models, namely the model of top-notch talent cultivation which features “three rules, three transformations, and three combinations”, the model of practical talent cultivation which treasures excellent talents, and the model of inter-disciplinary talent cultivation which stresses on double-degree and major-minor system. There are 4 curricula selected into national ideological politics demonstrative curricula, 4 distinguished teachers and teams into national ideological politics demonstrative curricula, 1 textbook into the First National Textbooks Construction Award for National Excellent Textbooks, 1 teacher into Advanced Individuals in National Textbooks Construction, 1 project into “university ideological politics high-quality projects”, 1 Party branch into Hundred Graduate Model Party Branches in Chinese Colleges and Universities, and 2 postgraduate students into Hundred Graduate Model Party Members in Chinese Colleges and Universities. NCU has won 2 “National Party Building Work Benchmark Faculty”, 4 “National Party Building Work Model Branches”, and 1 National Universities “Dual Leaders” Party Branch Secretary Workshop for Teachers. Since its establishment, NCU has cultivated more than 500,000 outstanding talents and made important contributions to the national and local economic construction and social progress.
NCU insists in fostering virtue through education as its foundation, considers talent cultivation as its central task, and maintains teaching as its basis and undergraduate teaching as its priority. NCU adheres to the “Double Ten Thousand” Plan of the Ministry of Education. 59 national first-class undergraduate major construction centers and 26 provincial first-class undergraduate major construction centers are granted. 30 curricula have been selected as national “first-class curriculum”, with the total number ranking 37th in China. NCU has won 5 second-prize of national teaching accomplishments for two years in a row. NCU is among the first batch of reform demonstration universities for deepening the innovation and entrepreneurship education. NCU is the master node university of China Education and Research Network (CERNET) in Jiangxi Province, and the only university in Jiangxi Province to participate in the construction for China Next Generation Internet (CNGI).
NCU has 1 State Key Laboratory, 1 National Engineering Technology Research Center, 2 National-Local Joint Engineering Research Centers, 1 National Demonstration International Science and Technology Cooperation Base, 1 China-Canada Joint Laboratory of Food Science and Technology (Nanchang), 2 Innovation Centers co-constructed by the Ministry of Education and Jiangxi Province, 1 Science and Technology Achievement Transformation and Technology Transfer Base, 1 National Intellectual Property Right Information Service Center, 1 National Red Tourism and Innovative Development Research Base, 1 National Ideological and Political Workforce Training Center, 1 National Genetic Testing Application Demonstrative Center, 2 key laboratories of the Ministry of Education, 3 engineering research centers of the Ministry of Education, 1 national science and technology zone, 2 national virtual simulation experimental teaching centers, 5 national experimental teaching demonstrative centers, 2 state-level college students’ off-campus practical education bases, 4 state-level engineering practical education centers, 9 Jiangxi Province Collaborative Innovation Centers, 3 “5511” major science and technology innovation cultivation platforms, 74 provincial and ministerial science and technology platforms (excluding affiliated hospitals), and 19 provincial key research bases for philosophy and social sciences. In 2021, NCU was awarded 326 projects of the National Natural Science Foundation of China, including 1 project for National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 1 project for Excellent Young Scientists Fund, 2 key projects, 1 key project for international (regional) cooperation and exchange; and 26 projects for National Social Science Fund of China, including 1 key project for National Social Science Fund of China.
Enhancing the coordinated innovation capability, NCU has obtained a batch of original, marked and characteristic scientific research achievements. Professor Jiang Fengyi and his team’s project “silicon substrate high photosynthetic efficiency GaN-based Blue LED” won the first prize for national technological invention in 2015, which was the first time that a local institution of higher education had won the first prize since the national science and technology prize was established. Since then, the project has won many prizes for its innovative achievements for its continuous breakthrough of the “bottleneck” problems in the development of China’s LED industry and its boost for Jiangxi Province to build Nanchang Optical Valley. In 2019, among the five achievements of high luminous efficiency yellow LED technology accredited by China Illuminating Engineering Society, NCU has four internationally leading achievements and one internationally advanced achievement. The 7th China International College Students’ “Internet +” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition has set 23 Gold Awards (including 7 recommended international projects), of which NCU won 19 Gold Awards (including 7 recommended international projects) and won the championship of the finals. NCU ranked 28th on the 2017-2021 (undergraduate) List of the National College Students’ Competition published by the China Association of Higher Education, of which it ranked 9th in 2021. The high-level scientific research papers by NCU faculty members made breakthroughs and were successively published in Science and Nature’s sub-journals. NCU also carries out all-round multi-level cooperation with governments, enterprises and public institutions, promotes the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, and boosts the close combination of government, industry, university and research. In 2019 and 2020, NCU won the “advanced group” in the third-party evaluation of the effectiveness of the national targeted poverty alleviation work. The “rice and fishery project” team served the Rural Revitalization Strategy and won the “China Youth May 4th medal group”.
NCU has joined the China-Central Eastern European Countries Higher Education Institutions Consortium, the Belt and Road and BRICs International Alliance for Skills Development, China-Thailand Higher Education Cooperation Alliance, and Yangtze-Volga University Alliance, and China-Ukraine University Alliance. It is one of the founding universities of South Asia-Southeast Asia University Association, a member of the Eurasia-Pacific Uninet, a Standing Council Unit of China Education Association for International Exchange, a demonstration base of Study in China recognized by the Ministry of Education, the National Advanced Internet-based Test Site of HSK, and the only university in Jiangxi Province approved to simplify the procedures for going abroad on duty. NCU attaches great importance to international exchange and cooperation, maintaining stable exchanges and cooperative relationships with about 230 universities and research institutions in over 40 countries and regions. NCU has established Sino-German Research Institute, the Sino-Canada Joint Laboratory of Food Science and Technology (Nanchang), the International Science and Technology Cooperation Base on Food Safety, the International Food Innovation Research Institute, the International Materials Innovation Research Institute, and the first Russian language center in Jiangxi Province with Russian partners. The effectiveness and social impact of the cooperative project with Queen Mary University of London, UK, are continuously improving. NCU has co-established 4 Confucius Institutes and 2 Confucius Classrooms respectively in France, Spain and Indonesia, and established a Chinese Language Research Center in Russia. NCU has so broadened the channels of international exchange for students that more than 5,000 students of NCU have joined international exchange programs to study overseas in recent years.
In the new era, NCU persists in fostering virtue through education as its foundation, carries out three strategies (empowering NCU with talents, featuring innovation, and integrating industry and education) and abides by the development outlook of giving priority to the development of education, emphasizing the leading place of innovation, striving forward by cooperation and construction, tackling difficulties through reform and renovation, thriving the university with solid work, and elevating the quality to the top level. Being realistic and pragmatic, pioneering and innovative, NCU is striving for the grand goal of building a world-class university with Jiangxi and Chinese characteristics.
(Data by November 2023)