Yunnan Normal University (Chinese: 云南师范大学) is located in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province.
Established in 1938 as the National Normal College of Southwestern Union University based on Beijing University, Tsinghua University, and Nankai University, it was named as National Kunming Normal College in 1946 when the faculties returned to the north. Yunnan Normal University (henceforth YNNU) is a key university of Yunnan Province, with a long history and a great tradition. It is a higher institution co-funded by the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Government of Yunnan and one of the one hundred universities funded by the National Key Project for the Quality Enhancement of the Higher Institutions in Central and West China.
After the Anti-Japanese War broke out in 1937, Peking University, Tsinghua University and Nankai University moved to Kunming and merged into the National Southwest Associated University, which consisted of School of Humanities, School of Science, School of Engineering, School of Business and Law, and the Teachers College. Following the end of the War, the three component universities moved back to their original sites in the north, but the Teachers College, renamed National Kunming Teachers College, stayed behind to become an independent institution. In 1950, the word “National” was dropped from its name. A few decades later, in 1984, it acquired its present name, Yunnan Normal University. In the past 75 years, YNNU has graduated more than 200,000 students for the country and is thus known as the “Cradle of Teachers on the Red-soil Plateau”.
YNNU covers a total area of thirty-three hundred and thirty mu (about five hundred and forty-three acres). It consists of twenty-six schools and more than forty research centers and institutes. It has over thirty thousand full-time students pursuing different degrees and more than eighteen thousand students of continuing education. As the Provincial Center of the Data Resources of Chinese Higher Education, YNNU’s library houses more than 3.2 million books with a new-generation digitized service system. The Journal of Yunnan Normal University (Social Science Edition), included in the highly selective CSSCI (Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index) list, ranks among the top thirty of its kind, while the Natural Science Edition is a nationally acclaimed core journal, its impact factor ranking among the top forty natural science journals in China. In addition, the Teaching and Research on Chinese as a Foreign Language Edition, the pioneer in this field, ranks among the top thirty journals of its kind in China in terms of impact factor.
YNNU offers ten disciplines: literature, history, philosophy, law, education, management, science, engineering, economics, and arts, which are well coordinated in their development. In a recent assessment conducted by the Ministry of Education, twenty of YNNU’s sub-disciplines are ranked among the top twenty in the whole country while three of them are among the top ten. YNNU offers eighty-six bachelor’s programs, one postdoctoral research program, one doctoral program in a first-class discipline, seven doctoral programs in second-class disciplines, twenty-six master’s programs in first-class disciplines, one hundred and thirty master’s programs in second-class disciplines, and ten professional master’s programs, such as MBA and M.Ed. It is one of the first twenty-four universities in China that offer the Master’s Program for Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages.
Through innovations and reforms in contents, teaching methodology, curricula and talent training models, YNNU has accomplished the transformation from a traditional teacher-training university to a teaching-research modern university, with teacher education as its typical trait. It has a number of state-level teaching teams, innovative training programs, special majors, brilliant teachers, excellent courses and experimental teaching bases that rank among the best in China in their respective fields. It has won several national excellent teaching awards. It is carrying out state-funded projects in such areas as reforms in education system, bilingual teaching and teaching innovation and faculty development. It has sixty state-level Quality Projects under construction. It is one of the three universities of its kind in China that offer free teacher-training programs and one of the national college-student innovation training bases. YNNU’s Teaching Affairs Department, the Enrollment & Employment Department and the Adult Education Department have won state-level honors for their respective contribution. Its undergraduate teaching is rated “Excellence” in the teaching-quality assessment conducted by the Ministry of Education.
The university has quite a few research centers or institutes at the national, ministerial or provincial levels, including the National Solar-heater Quality Testing Center, the Sino-British Solar-energy Research and Development Center, the Sino-Laos Joint Lab for Recyclable Energy Resources, the Ministry of Education’s Key Lab, Engineering Research Center, Innovative Team, Technological Application and Innovation Demonstration Base, State-level Professional Talent Continuing Education Base, Research Center of Sports Culture Sponsored by the General Administration of Sport of China, Yunnan Province’s Academician Work Center—Academician Gehan Amaratunga’s Work Center, Research Center for the Opening of Southwest China and Frontier Security, Research Institute of Sino-Tibetan Languages, Institute of Studies of Yunnan, Yunnan College of Chinese Language and Culture, Platt American Studies Center, Ronning Canadian Studies Center, Kunming Strategy Research Institute for Pan-Asian Talent Training and Development, and so on. In the past five years, YNNU has taken on over one hundred prestigious key research projects like the National Social Science Foundation Major Project, the National Natural Science Foundation Major Project, “973” Project, “863” Project, and research projects funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology. YNNU’s research funds total over 520 million Yuan (RMB).
YNNU has a staff of over two thousand and two hundred people. Many of the faculty are experts with honors awarded by the Central Government, the State Council, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Education or Yunnan Provincial Government. In addition, it has invited about one hundred well-known experts from forty countries and regions all over the world as its Honorary Professors, Guest Professors or Adjunct Professors, including Professor Chen-Ning Franklin Yang, a Nobel Prize winner, Professor Yang Le, Professor Guo Bailing and Professor Dai Ruwei who are academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Gehan Amaratunga from Cambridge University, an academician of the Royal Academy of Engineering, U.K., Professor Seymour Topping, former Administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, managing editor for the New York Times and president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and Dr. John Naisbitt, a well-known futurist.
YNNU boasts of its international vision and modern ideas. It is one of the ten universities selected by the Ministry of Education and the Office of Chinese Language Council to support Chinese Teaching in neighboring countries. It has a Chinese Teaching Base sponsored by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council, a Teacher-training Base for International Promotion of TCF sponsored by Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, a HSK test center, a CFL test center, and a Training and Research Center for Overseas Studies sponsored by the Ministry of Education. It has a TCFL Teacher-training Base for Southeast Asian countries. It is one of the first Chinese universities selected by the Chinese Government to establish Confucius Institute abroad and provide Government Scholarship and Confucius Institute Scholarship to international students. Up to now, it has established one Confucius Institute, three Confucius Classrooms and five Chinese culture centers abroad. It has cooperation with one hundred and fifty universities and research institutes in Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan of China. It has trained thirteen thousand international students from sixty-two countries. It has a training base for middle-school English teachers in southwest China sponsored by UNESCO and is one of the two universities in Yunnan Province that are authorized to enroll students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan of China. YNNU now has one thousand seven hundred and five international students from all over the world, the largest number in all the higher institutions of Yunnan.
YNNU has won honors for its contribution to our national unity, educational development, cultural construction, moral education and legal construction from the State Council, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Education and the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee and from the provincial government and the local governments at different levels. Many of its students have won honors from governments and institutions at different levels for their scientific and technological innovation, achievements in moral education and praiseworthy actions for helping other people and other prestigious awards as well. Some students are medal winners in the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games in Beijing, Athens or London.
In the new stage of development, YNNU will do its best to implement its strategy of “integrating our strengths with typical and local features” and develop a campus culture of “inclusiveness, harmony and politeness”, so as to become one of the best teaching-research normal universities in China and a high-quality university in Central and West China.