Southwest Agricultural University was founded in 1950 as Southwest Agricultural College. In 1950, in a nationwide movement of introduction of the Soviet Union higher education model, the College was merged with other agriculture-related programs from several other institutions. In 1985, the College was renamed Southwest Agricultural University in the recognition of its importance for China's higher education by the National Council of China. Southwest Agricultural University is among the first institutions that were allowed by the Chinese government to confer advanced degrees, including Master and Doctorate. In 2005, it was merged with Southwest Normal University and renamed Southwestern University.