Peking University

Peking UniversityPeking 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 CaiYuanpei who were China’s famous educationists and ideologists, MaoZedong, Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu who were founders of the Chinese Communist Party, and Lu Xun who was China’s great writer and chief commander of the Chinese New Culture Movement9 either taught or held offices here. During the Chinese Democratic Revolution, Peking University played a very important role in opposing old culture, in advocating science and democracy, and in disseminating Marxism. The University was also the cradle of the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal and 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 and carried out a systematic transformation of the educational system, of 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 and social sciences, to carry out scientific research projects and to make contributions to the development of national economy, science and civilization of China.

In the years from 1949 to 1992, nearly 60,000 undergraduates and graduate students have graduated from this university. They are now scattered throughout the country, the bulk of whom have become the backbone in the industrial, agricultural, scientific, educational and cultural fields. During this period, scientific research activities were in full swing and numerous results achieved were reaching advanced standards in the country. Total synthesis of bovine insulin with full biological activity was first achieved by our research workers in collaboration with those of the Institute of Biochemistry and the Institute of Organic Chemistry under the Academia Sinica. In accordance with the policy of “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend”, extensive academic studies and discussions were carried out, resulting in a number of important achievements and publications, such as An Outline of Chinese History and History of Chinese Literature.

There are 29 departments in the university, among them 14 departments are of natural and applied sciences and 15 departments are of liberal arts and social sciences. In addition, there are two independent teaching and research groups on Marxism-Leninism, offering courses of common requirement such as philosophy, political economy, history of the Chinese Communist Party, English and physical education. To strengthen scientific research, 31 institutes and 18 re-search centres have recently been set up. The University published 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 year curriculum for the Master Degree programme, and two to three years more for the Doctor Degree programme.

In 1991, the student body totalled 20,000, including over 1,000postgraduates. Besides, there are 500 foreign students from over 60countries. The number of teachers and research workers amounts to nearly 4,000, of whom 950 are professors and associate professors. The campus occupies an area of 150 hectares, with a building space of430 9000 square metres. The library has a collection of 4.2 million volumes of books, with 2,400 seats in 16 reading rooms. Besides, there are 20 department reading rooms.

Affiliated to the University are an instrument factory and an electronic instrument factory, both of which serve the needs of teaching and scientific research and undertake the trial production or production of certain products. The University Publishing House and Press publish textbooks, teaching materials and scientific monographs of all kinds for faculty members, students and the general reading public.

In recent years, the University-has undergone a process of restoration and readjustment in its academic work, and has made important progress in the transformation of the admission system, in the improvement of the quality of teaching, and in strengthening of scientific research and international academic exchanges. The University is striving to become both a centre of education and a centre of scientific research so as to contribute positively to the transformation of China into a powerful modern socialist country which is highly democratic and highly cultured. You can refer to Peking University English index page http://english.pku.edu.cn/ for more information.

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