Xiangtan University (XTU) is located in Xiangtan City, the home town of Mao Zedong and a historically and culturally famous city in China. It is a comprehensive and national key university operating under the joint support of the Hunan Provincial People's Government and the Ministry of Education, and the only one exempted from large-scale merger in Hunan Province. It is one of China's first educational institutions shortlisted in the National Basic Ability Construction Project of Western and Central China. It is listed among the co-construction program between Hunan Province and the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense. It is also among the earliest schools authorized to award master's degree and approved to enroll overseas students and students of national defense. Its performance on bachelor degree education was rated as excellent by the Ministry of Education.
Chairman Mao as the leader of the country has been occupied with affairs of state. The only thing that he always kept in his mind about his hometown was the establishment and development of Xiangtan University. On September 10, 1958, the founding year, Chairman Mao inscribed the name of the university. He bade university administrators to "do their best to make a success of it". Later on, the university suspended due to certain reasons. But Chariman Mao has been concerned about the university. During his last trip back to Hunan in October, 1974, he pointed out that XTU should be reopened and revitalized.
XTU ranked about 80th among China's colleges and universities in comprehensive strength, and listed among national top 80 in postgraduate education. It covers ten categories of disciplines including literary, history, philosophy, science, engineering, medicine, economy, management, law and arts. Of all the disciplines, chemistry, materials science and engineering have ranked among the top 1% of the global universities and research institutions on ESI. XTU has 21 colleges (schools and departments), 1 independently-operated college, 85 undergraduate programs, 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, 8 doctoral degree programs of first-level discipline and 7 ones of second-level discipline, 13 master’s degree programs, and 11 post-doctoral research centers.
XTU has 1462 full-time teachers and 780 part-time teachers. Over seventy percent of the teachers boast professional titles or doctoral degrees and 25% of them have overseas experience on research and study. 307 staffs has senior professional title, and 620 hold sub-senior professional title. Among them, there is one Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) academician, one candidate of the first batch of Millions of Leading Engineering Talents of the "Ten Thousand Talent Program", one famous teacher of "Ten Thousand Talent Program", 3 Changjiang Scholarship distinguished professors (a program jointly financed by the tycoon Li Ka-shing and the Ministry of Education), 3 national outstanding young science foundation holders, one candidate of national Thousand Talent Program and one holder of Young Top-notch Talent for "Ten Thousand Talent Program".
At present, there are 31,317 full-time students in XTU, including 6,429 doctoral and master’s degree candidates, and 411 international students. 6,212 students are studying at Xingxiang College, an independently operated college affiliated to XTU. In recent years, XTU has been granted one experimental specialty of national comprehensive reform, 11 national characteristic specialties (including one national second-class characteristic specialty), 9 national quality curriculums, 9 national quality resources sharing courses, 2 national quality video open classes, 6 national teaching achievement awards, 14 kinds of teaching materials of high quality or being approved as the planned materials for national 11th Five-Year Plan. Moreover, the university has one state-local joint engineering research center, two state-local joint engineering laboratory, one national international science and technology cooperation base, two research bases for humanities and social sciences by the Ministry of Education, two engineering research centers by the Ministry of Education, and three key laboratories by the Ministry of Education. XTU’s bachelor degree education performance was rated as excellent by the Ministry of Education in 2002 and 2008. XTU was rated as excellent by Hunan Province on the quality evaluation of post graduates training in 2012. In the same year, it was listed as one of 50 universities in China set as examples in college students' employment.
In recent five years, the university has taken 499 items of state-level scientific projects, including sub-projects of major national science and technology, "863" and "973" programs, national science fund for distinguished young scholars, and key projects of national natural science foundation, and also taken 1180 items of scientific projects at provincial and ministerial level. It has been honored with over 60 awards at provincial and ministerial level, such as Outstanding Achievement Award of Scientific Research in Colleges and Universities by the Ministry of Education, second prize for Science and Technology Progress Award, first prize for Science and Technology Progress Award of Hunan Province, first prize for Natural Science Award in Hunan Province, second prize for Outstanding Achievement Award of Scientific Research (Humanities and Social Sciences) in Colleges and Universities, and first prize of Outstanding Achievements in Philosophy of Social Sciences of Hunan Province. The university has published more than 8,700 pieces of articles on domestic and international academic journals and conferences, and more than 1000 monographs. The rank of article number on SCI, EI and international citation in universities of China is about the 70th. The number of papers published on SCI has topped among universities under direct leadership of the provincial educational department for consecutive four years. In recent five years, the university has assigned 925 items of industry-university-research cooperation projects and applied for over 1000 patents, with the conversion of scientific achievements keeping the leading place in Hunan provincial universities.
Over the past years, the university has been expanding its exchange and cooperation with over 60 international renowned universities in more than 20 countries, including USA, Britain and Germany. Since the university began its cooperation with the Confucius Institute in 2009, two institutes have been approved and set up in Leon University in Spain and Makerere University in Uganda respectively.
Based on the objective of building Xiangtan University into an ecological, digital and cultural campus, it has exerted great endeavors in recent years to intensify campus planning and construction, complete public service system, improve school conditions and strengthen facilities in teaching, scientific research, studying and living. Nestled under a mountain and near a river, the university boasting favorable environment and beautiful scenery is an ideal palace for learning, teaching and doing research. The greening rate has reached 52% while the greening coverage rate has been 55%. A landscape ecological campus system, centering on three squares, dominated by scenic spots of four mountains, three parks and three springs, as well as linked by Huamei pond, Hehua (Lotus) pond and Qinhu Lake, has been basically taken shape. The scale and administration of student apartment buildings are first-class in China.
Following the principles of rejuvenating China through science and technology and strengthening Hunan through education, the university is determined to liberate its mind and deepen the reform in the hope of fostering first-rate graduates. Thus, we will focus on the development of disciplines and properly handle the relations between the size, the structure, the quality and the efficacy of education. In short, we will seize the opportunity, forge ahead and work for a better Xiangtan University.