Beijing Normal University

Beijing Normal UniversityFounded in 1902, Beijing Normal University is among the long-standing teacher-training colleges and universities in China. It is one of the key institutions of higher learning in our country. Its main task is to train, for our country, middle school and college teachers characterized by all-round, i.e. moral, intellectual, and physical development, administrative personnel for educational work, scientific research workers, and workers in the fields of theories.

The University has a glorious revolutionary tradition. Its teachers and students played an important role in the student movements before liberation. Comrade Li Dazhao, a leader of the Communist Party of China in her early days and a pioneer in the revolution, once taught at the university. During those years he propagated Marxism and disseminated scientific and cultural knowledge. Lu Xun, the chief commander of China’s New Cultural Revolution, was a professor of the University from 1920 to 1926.

Since liberation, the construction and development of the university have been very much in the thoughts of the Central Committee of the Party. The Chinese characters for the name of the university, and those for that of the first of its affiliated middle schools, which serve as their respective insignia, were written by Chairman Mao. Officials were sent by Chairman Mao to find out how things were at the university. In 1952, colleges and universities throughout the country were reorganized. The university was considerably enlarged by its union with Furen University (the Catholic Furen University) and by having incorporated into it the Department of Education of the Chinese People’s University and that of Yanjing University (Today’s Beijing University.) Originally housed in a building in the centre of the city, it was moved to its new premises in Beitaipingzhuang which covers an area of 66 hectares. Since then, it has begun a new period of development for the university.

The university has at present thirteen departments. They are Departments of Education, Philosophy, Political Economy, Chinese Language and Literature, History, Mathematics, Physics, Astronomy, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Physical Culture and Foreign Languages (divided into three sections: English, Russian and Japanese). It has over 1,200 teachers and scientific workers, and many foreign teachers from various countries also take part in the teaching work. To promote international cultural and academic exchange and to strengthen its contact and friendship with the academic circles of other countries, the university sends some learned and competent teachers abroad every year for study or programme work or on a study tour, and scholars from other countries are invited to give lectures in the university.

The university has, in addition, several institutes, namely, the Institutes of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, Education, Studies of Education in Foreign Countries, History, Soviet Literature, Low Energy Nuclear Physics, and Modern Educational Technology. It also has three affiliated middle schools, an experimental primary school, and an experimental infant school, where teachers and students of the university do practical work in their study of primary and secondary education. The university edits and publishes periodicals for national circulation such as Journal of Beijing Normal University (Natural Science), Mathematics Bulletin and Foreign Languages in Schools. The university library comprises over 2 million volumes (of which about 300,000 are in foreign languages) and over 6,000 periodicals (of which about 2,400 are in foreign languages). The university library is an important means of education for the whole country.

The university admits undergraduates, post graduates and research students. The whole course of study for undergraduates covers four years, and that for postgraduates or research students two to four years. It has at present an enrolment of over 5,000 undergraduates and over 300 postgraduates and research students. Admission is granted on the basis of merit, each candidate is judged by his performance in the examinations which are conducted under the government’s centralized supervision, and by the criterion of all-round i.e. moral, intellectual, and physical development. The successful candidates live and study in the university, and enjoy free tuition, board and lodging, and medical care. Apart from specialized subjects, the undergraduates are required to take courses such as Marxist-Leninist political economy, philosophy, the History of the Communist Party of China, pedagogics, English or Russian and physical training. Upon graduation, all the students are assigned jobs by the government.

Now, the teachers and students, administrative staff and workers of the university, united as one, study and work hard for the realization of China’s modernization programme and for the training of qualified professionals and the production of fruits of scientific research.

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