Xiangtan University (XTU) is a comprehensive and national key university. The great man Mao Zedong, who was the main founder of the CPC, the country, and the people's army, initiated its establishment in 1958. On September 10, 1958, Chairman Mao inscribed the name of the university and bade university administrators to “do their best to make a success of it”. Since its founding, XTU has inherited the revolutionary traditions, conveying Chairman Mao’s affectionate attachment to his hometown and his earnest expectations of socialist education.
In 1978, XTU was identified by the State Council as one of the first batch of 88 national key universities and one of the 16 comprehensive key universities in China, together with Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, and other famous universities. XTU, always keeping in mind the great man's entrustment, has been making great efforts to its self-development. With its own efforts, it ranked 45th among all the China’s universities as appraised by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, although it hasn’t merged with any other universities. XTU is one of the few universities in China that has been listed in both the THE and USNEWS, top two international university rankings. At present, the university is the only one in Hunan Province that was jointly built by the Ministry of Education and the People's Government of Hunan Province; and by the People's Government of Hunan Province and the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence of the PRC.
There are 10 categories of disciplines in XTU. Four disciplines such as chemistry, materials science, engineering, and mathematics, have ranked among the top 1% of the global universities and research institutions on ESI. Five disciplines have been listed in the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017. It now has 3 national key disciplines, 2 Hunan provincial superior and characteristic key disciplines, 19 key disciplines for the 12th "Five-Year Plan" period (2011-2015) in Hunan Province, 4 special national defense disciplines, 15 doctoral degree programs of first-level discipline, 31 master’s degree programs of first-level discipline, and 11 post-doctoral research centers.
There are 11 majors of XTU ranked top 10% in China, 11 national distinguished majors, 1 national pilot comprehensive reform major, and 6 majors accredited by the China Engineering Education Accreditation Association (CEEAA). It owns 2 national and local joint engineering laboratories, 1 national and local joint engineering research center, 2 key research bases for humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education, 3 key laboratories of the Ministry of Education, and 2 engineering research centers of the Ministry of Education. XTU’s number of innovation teams of the Ministry of Education, innovative research groups supported by the Hunan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China, and Hunan Provincial university science and technology innovation teams all ranked first among all the Hunan provincial level universities.
There are 1,478 full-time and 863 part-time teachers at XTU. Over 75% of the teachers hold professional titles or doctoral degrees and 25% of them have overseas experience on research and study. Among them, there are 3 Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) academicians; 2 experts of the “Recruitment Program of Global Experts”; 3 distinguished professors and 1 distinguished lecturer of the Changjiang Scholars Program (a program jointly financed by the tycoon Li Ka-shing and the Ministry of Education); 1 national outstanding young science foundation holder, and 7 national candidates of the “New Century Hundred-Thousand-Ten Thousand Talent Project”. It also boasts a large number of high-level teaching and research groups, including 31 candidates for the New Century Excellent Talents Supporting Program of the Ministry of Education; 52 experts who enjoy special government allowances from the State Council; 3 national model teachers; 9 national outstanding teachers; 4 national famous teachers; 1 national publicity and culture system talent; 1 national outstanding scientific and technological worker; 1 national intellectual property rights leading talent; 1 national patent information leading talent; and 2 winners of the Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing.
There are now 31,611 full-time students at XTU, including 6,442 doctoral and master’s degree candidates. It has been evaluated as “excellent” in terms of undergraduate teaching by the Ministry of Education for two consecutive times. The comprehensive indicator of talent training quality program ranked around 45th nationwide. It is one of China’s top 50 typical universities experienced in college graduates employment, whose first-time employment rate of graduate reached 93% or above. Since its establishment, nearly 310,000 graduates have been trained, including a raft of academic and cultural elites, and provincial and ministerial cadres. Outstanding alumni and alumna include: Ou Jinping, CAE academician; Yuan Yaxiang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), winner of the first “Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing”, and Vice Chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology; Zhou Xiangyu, CAS academician; Xu Jinchao, world-renowned mathematician; Xu Xiaoshu, famous expert in international 3D printing manufacturing and “Father of SLS”; Yu Jianjun, developer of the world's first high-strength excimer vacuum ultraviolet nitrogen atom generator; Wang Luxiang, famous planner of the Phoenix TV; Hu Min, the New Channel International Education Group Limited president; and a large number of academic and cultural elites, and provincial-level cadres, with Wan Zizi as a representative, who is one of the members of the 19th National Congress of the China born in and after 1980s and the China Youth University of Political Studies associate professor.
XTU has great strength in scientific research. In the past five years, it has undertaken more than 500 national projects; the number of papers cited by SCI and EI and the number of international citations all ranked at around 70th among all the national universities. The number of papers published on SCI and EI has took the lead in Hunan for five consecutive years. The Renmin University of China copy data citations and comprehensive index of XTU social science papers have been listed top 2% nationwide. Its five think tanks were included in the first batch of Chinese Think Tank Index (CTTI). Thirty-five XTU projects have been funded by the National Social Science Fund of China in 2017, ranking 12th nationwide and 1st across Hunan. XTU has been awarded more than 100 ministerial and provincial level or above prizes, such as the National Scientific and Technological Progress Award, the Ministry of Education Award for Excellent Research Achievements in Colleges and Universities, and the Hunan Provincial Social Science Award for Outstanding Achievements. In the past five years, more than 1,000 cooperation projects for production, education, and research have been signed, more than 2,000 patent applications have been filed, and the transformation rate of scientific research results topped in Hunan province.
XTU has gained an increasing influence internationally and domestically. It has successively established cooperation platforms and launched 30-plus international cooperation training projects with 60 universities and research institutions from more than 20 countries, including US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Uganda, Ghana, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. XTU set up Confucius institutes in Leon University in Spain and Makerere University in Uganda respectively. XTU was included into the "China-Africa Universities 20+20 Cooperation Plan" by the Ministry of Education of PRC.
（Relevant statistics updated in June 2018）