Yunnan University (云南大学) is one of the largest and most prestigious universities in Yunnan, China. Its main campuses are located in the provincial capital city of Kunming. It has been developed into the only "National Key University" in Yunnan province, having trained over 17,000 specialist professionals in various fields.
Founded in December 1922, Yunnan University started to enroll in April 1923. It began as a privately run institution called the "University of the Eastern Land" and its name has changed six times since then. Currently, Yunnan University is one of the "Project 211" universities in China authorized by the central government to be specially developed. Yunnan University has also been included on the list of the key national universities for the "China Western Development" program.
Yunnan became famous during World War II. Since Kunming was not directly involved in the fighting, a great many excellent Chinese scholars, in particular from Beijing and Nanjing, many of these with PhDs from well-known American universities, retreated from the northern war zone. Most of them taught at a newly-created National Southwestern Associated University (also called "Lianda"). Several of them, however, for various reasons, ended up teaching at Yunnan University. There they found a distinct French influence. The president of Yunnan University had a PhD from the Sorbonne. The university also had an active language training program in French, which has continued to this day.
From 1937 through to 1947, the noted mathematician Professor Xiong Qinglai was invited to become the President of Yunnan University, under whose leadership Yunnan University was restructured along the same academic model as Tsinghua University. A cluster of famous scholars, such as Fei Xiaotong, Chu Tunan, Chen Xingshen, Hua Luogen, Yan Jici, Feng Youlan, Lu Shuxiang came to teach at Yunnan University, and thus gradually turned the institution into a general university that had exerted a certain degree of academic influence at home and abroad. In 1946, Yunnan University had five faculties and 18 academic departments, and was included in the Concise Encyclopædia Britannica as one of the fifteen most prestigious universities in China.
During the early 1950s, the government began reforming the Chinese education system which had affected every university. Most departments were weeded out, and by 1958, there were only two faculties and six academic departments left in Yunnan University. Again like all other Chinese universities, Yunnan experienced a difficult period from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s due to events such as the Cultural Revolution. However, the situation improved remarkably thereafter when the reform era began in the late 1970s.
Students studying on the campus of Yunnan University have reached 19,872, of whom 9,919 are full-time undergraduates, 2,853 are postgraduates (94 are studying for their doctorate, 684 are studying for their master's, 1,842 are studying advanced postgraduate courses, 170 are studying for their degrees in the specialist law programs, and 63 are studying for their degrees in the advanced class for teaching), and 7,100 are students under night-class and correspondence programs.
In these schools, colleges and institutes there are more than 30 teaching departments and divisions that offer 65 major fields of study for the four-year programs for undergraduates to obtain baccalaureates.
Additionally, Yunnan University also has 16 centers for research and development, 25 research institutes, ten research offices, and four teaching-oriented service centers.
In the above-described major fields of study, History, Biology, Mathematical Science are established for the purpose of training teaching and research professionals at the national level (and Yunnan University is applying to the Ministry of Education for its approval to set up a state-level experimental base for the comprehensive quality training in liberal arts.) Yunnan University also has established a state-level base for training professional teachers.
Among its disciplinary branches, Yunnan University has two key state-level disciplinary groups under the current construction, sixteen key provincial-level disciplines, four doctorate degree conferring points, one post-doctorate-degree-related mobile station, forty-eight master's degree conferring points, three specialized degree (law, occupational education and MBA) conferring points, one state-level center for new product research and development, and one key laboratory of the Ministry of Education.
Undergraduates were transferred to the new campus one year at a time. All have now been moved out to the new campus. It is a much larger campus than its counterpart at Green Lake, which is being retained as the focus of graduate study.
Even though the new campus is only very recently been built and put into full operation, plans have now been introduced to sell it and move to a new location in an area west of the lake which municipal officials have designated as the chief zone for expansion of the city.
Within a brief period, the corporation, starting from a research group that had only a fund of a little more than 10,000 yuan, has developed into a share-issuing corporation with a total value in excess of 10 billion yuan.
Biological Technology Corporation of Yunnan University is the first enterprise in China that owns an independent intellectual property right in the field of the single clone antibody research, and its products of contraceptive test paper, and sterility test paper have been adopted for codifying China's national standards.
Yunnan University has a publishing house which has produced over two million volumes of various academic works. Yunnan University's academic periodical Ideological Frontier (Social Science Version) has obtained the status of the "Kernel National Periodicals", and the Academic Journal of Yunnan University (Natural Science Version) has been judged as an excellent academic journal of the key national universities and colleges.