Located in the northwestern suburbs of Beijing, Tsinghua University was established in 1911 on the site of “Qing Hua Yuan (Tsinghua Garden)” —a former royal garden of the Qing Dynasty. Partly funded by the “Gengzi Indemnity”, also known as “Boxer Indemnity,” it functioned at first as a preparatory school called “Tsinghua Xuetang (Tsing Hua Imperial College)” for those students who were sent by the government to study in the United States.
On April 29, 1911, Tsinghua Xuetang began its first term of study, and from that year on, the Tsinghua’s anniversary has fallen on the last Sunday of April. The name was changed to “Tsinghua Xuexiao (Tsing Hua College)” after the 1911 Revolution.
In 1925, Tsinghua launched its four-year undergraduate programme. In 1928, its name was changed to “Guoli Tsinghua Daxue (National Tsinghua University),” and in the autumn of 1929 its graduate school was set up.
Following the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japan in 1937, Tsinghua University, Peking University and Nankai University merged to form the National Southwest Associated University in Kunming. After the war, Tsinghua University moved back to its original Beijing campus.
Three years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, a nationwide restructuring of institutes of higher education began, and in 1952, Tsinghua University became a multidisciplinary polytechnic university specializing in training engineers. In November of that year, the Ministry of Education appointed Jiang Nanxiang as President.
Since 1978, Tsinghua University has strengthened its teaching in sciences, economic management, humanities and law. In 1999, Tsinghua opened the School of Arts and Design by merging with the Central Academy of Arts and Design. Today, Tsinghua has become a leading university: while its teaching is focused on engineering, it concurrently offers degrees in other sciences, the liberal arts, management and law.
To fully implement the “China Education Reform and Development Program,” Tsinghua University has set new development targets for the next 15 years. Educational quality and effectiveness will be improved and disciplinary structure will be readjusted. Building on our strength in engineering, the university will promote the development of science and management departments. High academic standards will also be pursued in the humanities and social sciences.
In less than 100 years, Tsinghua University has witnessed and shared the hardships and glories of the nation. The University’s motto of “Self-discipline and Social Commitment” has inspired many generations of Tsinghua teachers and students to struggle for the prosperity of China. Now, striving to build Tsinghua University into a world-class university by its 100th anniversary in 2011 has become the objective of each member of the teaching staff and the student body.