Beijing Normal University
|Latin: Universitas Normalis Pechinum|
Motto in English
|Learn, so as to instruct others; Act, to serve as example to all.|
|President||Dong Qi (董奇)|
|Location||Beijing, People's Republic of China|
|Campus||Urban, 738,779 m2 (7,952,150 sq ft)|
Beijing Normal University (BNU, simplified Chinese: 北京师范大学; traditional Chinese: 北京師範大學; pinyin: Běijīng Shīfàn Dàxué), colloquially 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 even after such schools gained university status and expanded to offer courses other than education-related fields. The term reflects BNU's heritage as a former unit of the Imperial University of Peking dedicated to training schoolteachers.
Prof Qi Dong (董奇), a well-known scholar in Child Psychology was appointed as the President since July, 2012.
The University grew out of the Faculty of Education, Imperial University of Peking 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 University of Peking 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.
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 Hepingmen campus to the newly established campus at Beitaipingzhuang and remains there since.
Historically, students at Beijing Normal University played a significant role in patriotic and social 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.
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.
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%.
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:
|Marxist Philosophy||Physical Chemistry|
|Ancient Chinese History||System Science|
|Theory of History||Theoretical Physics|
|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.
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). 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.
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's degree (Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education).
Schools and Departments
- Faculty of Education
- School of Chinese Language and Literature
- School of Law
- School of Economy and Business Administration
- School of Foreign Language & Culture
- School of Life Science
- School of Chemistry
- School of Resources
- School of Geography
- Department of Astronomy
- School of Mathematics
- School of History
- School of Philosophy
- Department of Physics
- School of Psychology
- School of Social Development and Public Policy
- School of Arts and Mass Media
- School of Environment
- School of Sociology
Beijing Normal University has many different other majors that are not mentioned above.
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.
In 2002, a sister campus was established in the coastal city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province.
- Mo Yan, writer, 2012 Nobel Literature Prize laureate
- Liu Xiaobo, writer and a leading dissident, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate
- Chai Ling, dissident, student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests
- Wu'erkaixi, dissident, student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests
- Yuan Guiren, professor of philosophy, the current Minister of Education in the People's Republic of China
- Xu Jialu, professor of Chinese, politician, former vice chairman of National People's Congress
- Yu Dan, professor, well known for her popular yet controversial lectures about Analects broadcast on China Central Television
- Su Tong, novelist
- Xie Jun, chess grandmaster
- Lang Ping, gold medalist in 1984 Summer Olympics women's volleyball, former head coach of the U.S. women's national volleyball team
- Chen Yibing, gymnast, 2008 Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics gold medalist
- Wang Xiaodong, biochemist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, fellow of United States National Academy of Sciences, currently Director and Investigator at The National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing (NIBS, Beijing)
- Timothy Geithner, the 75th United States Secretary of the Treasury. He was a language student studying Mandarin in 1982 as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College.
- Weidong Li, professor of astronomy, the first Chinese astronomer to discover a supernovae since 1054 A.D.
- Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator from New York. Attended as an undergraduate in Dartmouth College's FSP program.
- Min Weifang, former CPC Secretary of Peking University, serving from 2002 to 2011. He is a graduate from Education Department and had earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University
- QS World University Ranking: 252th (7th in China) 
- Academic Ranking of World Universities: 201-300th (7th-12th in China) ) 
- Humanities and Social Sciences overall ranking in China: 3rd 
Affiliated high schools
- Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
- The High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University
- The Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
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