Beijing Normal University

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Beijing Normal University
BNU logo 2.png
Latin: Universitas Normalis Pechinum
Motto 学为人师,行为世范[1]
Motto in English
Learn, so as to instruct others; Act, to serve as example to all.[2]
Established 1902
Type Public
President Dong Qi (董奇)
Academic staff
Students Over 20,000
Undergraduates 8,600
Postgraduates 9,900
Location Beijing, People's Republic of China
Campus Urban, 738,779 m2 (7,952,150 sq ft)
Website Chinese Version
English Version

Beijing Normal University (BNU, simplified Chinese: 北京师范大学; traditional Chinese: 北京師範大學; pinyin: Běijīng Shīfàn Dàxué), colloqiually known as 北师大 or Beishida, is a public research university located in Beijing with strong emphasis on basic disciplines of humanities and sciences. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in China.

A normal school referred to an institution that aimed to train school teachers in the early twentieth century, and this terminology is preserved in the official names of such institutions in China.

Prof Qi Dong (董奇), a well-known scholar in Child Psychology was appointed as the President since July, 2012.


National Peking Normal University, in 1920s

The University grew out of the Faculty of Education, Imperial Capital University that was established as China's first modern university on the initiative of the emperor of Qing Dynasty after the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898. In 1908 the Faculty of Education was named as the Imperial Capital School of Supreme Teacher Training, and was separated from the Imperial Capital University which then developed to Peking University, another prestigious university in China.

After the Republic of China was established, the Imperial Capital School of Supreme Teacher Training was renamed Peking Normal College in 1912. The college had its first graduate programs in 1920 and began to recruit female students in 1921. In 1923 it was renamed again as Peking Normal University, and became the first normal university in Chinese modern history. The Peking Women’s College of Education merged into Peking Normal University in 1931.

Memorial for three students killed in March 18 Massacre, 1926

When the communists established the People's Republic of China in 1949, the capital of Peking was renamed Beijing and the university was consequently renamed as Beijing Normal University. During a national initiative of university rearrangement in 1952, Fu Jen Catholic University merged with Beijing Normal University. In 1954, it moved from He Ping Men to the newly established campus at Bei Tai Ping Zhuang and remains there since.

Historically, students at Beijing Normal University played a significant role in patriotic and democratic movements, particularly in the May Fourth Movement in 1919, the Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. The New York Times once described it as "one of the most progressive institutions" in China.[3]


The university was chosen as a Project 211 institution in 1996. In 2002 it signed an agreement with Ministry of Education and Beijing Municipal Government, and became the 10th university on the list of Project 985 to get special support from the Chinese Government, aiming to be a world prestigious university.[4]


During its centennial celebration in 2002, an asteroid discovered in 1996 was named after the university as 8050 Beishida.

After a special visit of Premier Wen Jiabao on May 4, 2006 to Beijing Normal University, the Chinese government implemented the Fee-Waiver Policy for teacher training programs in six normal universities that are supervised by the Ministry of Education, including Beijing Normal University.

The university also lays distinct emphasis on educational equality. The 2009 demographic composition data shows that 40% of its enrolled students are from western China, almost one third are from rural areas, a quarter are from low-income families, and ethnic minorities comprise for more than 10%.[5]


So far the university has altogether 55 undergraduate degree programs, 162 master programs, and 100 doctoral programs. Sixteen of them are honored as national key disciplines (see below), including 5 general disciplines and 11 specialized disciplines, and are recognized as among the top ranked in China:

Education Psychology
Chinese Mathematics
Geography Cell Biology
Marxist Philosophy Physical Chemistry
Ancient Chinese History System Science
Theory of History Theoretical Physics
Folklore/Anthropology Environmental Science
Ecology Educational Economics and Management

There are 74 research laboratories, including 4 National Key Labs (see below), 7 Key Labs of Ministry of Education, and 5 Key Labs of Beijing Municipality. Key research centers and bases include 7 key research bases in humanities and social sciences of Ministry of Education, 2 research centers of Engineering & Technology of Beijing Municipality, 3 research centers jointly-established with Beijing Municipality, and more than 40 other research centers of all kinds. Furthermore, the university has an institute for Proteomics which is the only one established in universities by Ministry of Education. Besides, the university has established a Science Park which covers an area of 6 hectares.

Mu Duo Gilded Bell
National Key Laboratories
National Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning
National Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology
National Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science
National Key Laboratory of Water Environmental simulation

The university has an annual research funding in sciences of over RMB 100 Million. In 2010, 150 projects were funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, with a record high amount of RMB 62 millions (compared with 44.7 millions in 2009 and 37 millions in 2007).[6] The research funding in humanities and social sciences has increased rapidly in the recent five years with RMB 150 Million in total, which tops the third place nationally. Since 2002 the annual increase has been over RMB 30 Million and equals to RMB 40,000 per capita. As a university strong in basic theory and research, it is fairly fruitful in fund raising for humanities and social sciences.

Beijing Normal University is also among the earliest institutions to recruit international students, and is particularly popular for its Mandarin Chinese study programs. A most prestigious program is Princeton in Beijing.[7]

Regarding international co-operation, the Beijing Normal University is part of a university consortium (together with the Danube University Krems, the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück and the University of Tampere) that offers a Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree (Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education).

Schools and Departments[edit]

The library of Beijing Normal University
  • Faculty of Education[8]
  • School of Chinese Language and Literature[9]
  • School of Law
  • School of Economy and Business Administration
  • School of Foreign Language & Culture[10]
  • School of Life Science
  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Resources[11]
  • School of Geography
  • Department of Astronomy[12]
  • School of Mathematics
  • School of History
  • School of Philosophy and sociology
  • Department of Physics
  • School of Psychology[13]
  • School of Social Development and Public Policy[14]
  • School of Arts and Mass Media
  • School of Environment

Beijing Normal University has many different other majors that are not mentioned above.

School of Arts and Mass Media music dance art art and design digital media art television media

digital media art

Professional digital media is one of the earliest culture digital media and professional personnel of the arts of and committed to training to master the digital media basic theory and advanced applications, has the artistic talent of the specialty in film and television media, animation and game, digital design, interactive media and other creative industries. Digital media after ten years of development, from the discipline construction, teacher training, textbook publishing, teaching methods, scientific research and development, training environment and practice conditions and other aspects of the formation of a scientific and complete system of art education, has developed a large number of domestic and foreign professional stage in the talents they cut a striking figure, America, Canada South Korea, Japan, Europe, and other developed countries throughout the world, whether it is for further study or employment, have shown a strong international competitiveness, into a first-class university in the world and the global top 100 enterprises in China; graduates to have shown great advantages in recent years, the research of Beijing Normal University Students in addition to the direct push, almost all entered Tsinghua University, Beijing University, people's Congress and other 985 university students choose employment; important positions in government agencies, state-owned enterprises and institutions, well-known cultural and creative enterprises. In recent years the level of professional development is rich, in the cultivation of undergraduate, master's, master's and doctoral, postdoctoral and senior visiting teachers complete set up. Digital media majors mainly four professional direction of social need of top-level design level provide talent reserves, respectively is: 1, film and television production and special effects direction; 2, the direction of animation design; 3, new media design and propagation direction; 4, the game design direction. The professional spirit of open and internationalization concept, to the future development of students as the fundamental, follow the law of art education, respect students gifted in, emphasized personal cultivation and social adaptability, take wide caliber practical talents training mode, cultivate a group and a group with the international competitiveness of outstanding graduates. Renowned campus students founded the egg network, board director of feature films on the New York Times Square big screen, go abroad to go to Graduate School entered the top ten on the list of the world's first-class schools, job candidates become world famous enterprises and media marketable talent and artistic creation active in New York, Paris, the mainstream of society. Excellent performance of the students has won high recognition and good reputation in the industry and their parents. Digital media teacher team is a vibrant professional echelon, they come from New York University in the United States, Australia Queensland University, Peking University, Tsinghua University and the Beijing Film Academy. Most teachers with doctoral degree and overseas experience. Academic leaders Xiaoyong Liang professor in the United States study and work for nearly 20 years, worked at U.S. News Corp's Fox entertainment group and New York University, involved in the production of a number of Oscar nominated and winning works.

Dance Studies

Relying on the geo-advantage of Beijing, the rich higher education resources and the information network accessible, the Department of Dance fully uses the national top position of the educational and art subjects of Beijing Normal University, learns from the advanced concepts of dance education from both domestic and overseas schools, and combines the professional training with professional skills of this major to cultivate dance teaching talents with high artistic appreciation, basic knowledge of dance and excellent professional skills. According to the report released by the Assessment Group of Chinese Universities , the dance discipline in BNU has been No.2 in three consecutive years in the ranking of Chinese undergraduate majors while in 2006 and 2008, it is ranked as No.1.Teachers in this Department are also working as: standing deputy director of the Dance Education Committee under Chinese Education Society, the judges of the Best Film Works Award and TV Series Award organized by Publicity Department of CPC Central Committee, “Chinese Undergraduate Talent Award” and “Chinese Country Youth Talent Award.” The Department of Dance has three staff rooms, namely, theoretical staff rooms, Chinese dance staff rooms and foreign dance staff rooms.


Qiu Jiduan Gymnasium and recreation complex, finished in 2008
Undergrads Dorm

The current campus was built in 1954. It is located in northwest downtown Beijing in Haidian district, between the second and third ring roads, and is the closest among all Haidian universities to Tiananmen Square.

The campus hosted the U.S. Olympic Team during 2008 Beijing Olympics.[15][16]

In 2002, a sister campus was established in the coastal city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province.

Notable alumni[edit]


  • QS World University Ranking: 252th (7th in China) [20]
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities: 201-300th (7th-12th in China) ) [21]
  • China Top 50 University Ranking (Renda): 9th [22]
  • China University Ranking (Netbig): 12th [23]
  • Humanities and Social Sciences overall ranking in China: 3rd [24]

Affiliated high schools[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°57′26″N 116°21′45″E / 39.95722°N 116.36250°E / 39.95722; 116.36250