Fujian Normal University
The earliest normal university in China
Hailed as the “cradle of teachers” of Fujian Province, Fujian Normal University (FJNU) is a key institution of higher learning in Fujian Province with a century-old history and a glorious tradition. Tracing its origin back to Fujian Superior Normal School, founded in 1907 by the famous late-Qing scholar Chen Baochen, who once served as the teacher of China’s last emperor, FNU is Fujian’s oldest university and one of China’s most time-honored teachers’ colleges. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the school, which by then had been renamed Fujian Provincial Normal College, merged in 1953 with such celebrated centers of learning as Fukian Christian University and Hua Nan Women’s College to form a new and significantly expanded Fujian Normal College, which acquired its current name of Fujian Normal University in 1972.
Located in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province, the headquarters of FJNU is made up of two campuses, the Qishan Campus and the Cangshan Campus, with a total land area of about 230 hectares. Right now, the University consists of 28 colleges, which together offer 56 undergraduate programs, over 120 master programs (including those conferring professional degrees in pedagogy, public administration, physical culture and arts), about 50 doctoral programs and 7 post-doctoral research centers. These programs cover subject areas in literature, history, philosophy, physics, engineering, pedagogy, economics, law, business management, agriculture, etc.. A balanced and coordinated development of this wide spectrum of disciplines has given FJNU a distinct identity as a multi-disciplinal comprehensive university. And by conferring a whole range of academic degrees, from bachelors to doctorates, these programs also enable FJNU to set up a full-fledged educational system within its institutional framework. Over 20,000 students are currently enrolled in the two campuses in Fuzhou, among whom over 4,600 are pursuing their graduate degrees and some others are international students from 17 countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Japan, and the Republic of Korea, and from China’s Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan areas or from overseas Chinese families around the world.
In addition to regular academic programs, the university has also been authorized by the State to provide on-the-job trainings for teachers of elementary, secondary, occupational schools as well as colleges. It has been singled out for setting up experimental pilot programs in distance education and in teaching Chinese as a foreign language. And it has been authorized to admit students from Taiwan on an experimental basis. Teaching, however, is just one aspect of the dual task which FJNU has taken upon itself. To turn the university into a school oriented to both teaching and research, its faculty has been paying just as much attention to scientific investigations and scholarly pursuits. The efforts have started to pay off. The university is at present the proud host to as many as 4 national centers for scientific research and personnel training, 8 key laboratories or research centers sponsored by either the ministries concerned or the provincial government, one Ministry of Education sponsored research center for basic education, and several dozens of provincially sponsored laboratories and research institutes.
Offering the students a superb education has always been FJNU’s central concern, a cornerstone of its fine tradition and one of its unique characteristics. The school’s commitment to a quality education has remained firm throughout the years, undiminished and uncompromised even by its phenomenal expansion in recent decades. Its students have been distinguishing themselves internationally and nationally, winning prizes after prizes over the past couple of years in tough competitions over photography, programming, English, math modeling etc.. Among the three hundred thousand-odd graduates from its various academic programs are over 60% of the principals, master teachers and key members of the teaching staff of Fujian’s high schools, a substantial number of professors, scholars and researchers working in colleges and research institutes throughout the province, as well as an equally impressive number of government officials at different levels and corporate executives in business enterprises of various sizes.
Currently FJNU has brought the latest five-year plan for its own development in line with the national and the regional socio-economic agenda. Innovative work is being done in all its educational, scholarly and research endeavors. More high-end professionals and technicians are being trained on its campuses. The university is functioning as the key supplier of competent personnel for Fujian’s ambitious project to build up a prosperous economic zone on the west coast of the Taiwan Strait, as the wellspring of new ideas for tackling major social and economic problems confronting the country and the province, and as a center for scientific, technological and cultural exchanges with the outside world. And it is making great strides toward its goal of becoming a high-quality comprehensive university with unique characteristics and a cosmopolitan scope of vision.