Jiangnan University (JU) is situated in Wuxi, which is located in the southern part of Jiangsu Province. Approximately 128 km. away from Shanghai, Wuxi occupies an area of 4,787.61 square kilometers and has a population of 6.34 million, including 2.2 million dwellers in the city center. Wuxi’s transportation conveniently offers the Shanghai International Airport, about a two-and-a-half hour drive to the east, and the local Wuxi Airport, accessible to many domestic cities in China and some Asian countries. During a long history—over three thousand years—Wuxi has remained an important metropolis in terms of agriculture, business, commerce, and culture. Wuxi is also famous for its numerous distinguished citizens, dating from ancient times to the present. Thus, the highly developed local economy, convenient transportation, and quality education have laid solid foundations for the development of Jiangnan University, a university with even equally distinguishing features.
History of Jiangnan University
Renowned as the “Pearl of China’s Light Industry Higher Education,” Jiangnan University is one of China’s key “Two Hundred Eleven Project” universities (one of the “Nine Hundred Eighty-Five Platform” universities) and functions directly under China’s Ministry of Education. The school’s roots stretch back to 1902 when its predecessor, San Jiang Normal School, began its first term. More than one hundred years of development and fifty years of independent education have gifted Jiangnan University with recognition in scientific research, teaching quality, and social service to all aspects of society. Jiangnan University is a comprehensive university, recognized and highly respected both at domestically and internationally.
Jiangnan University consists of eighteen departments and fifty-one undergraduate programs, with disciplines in engineering, science, literature, economics, management, law, medicine, agriculture, arts, and education. The university has approximately 20,000 full-time undergraduates and over 11,000 part-time undergraduates. In July of 2000, China’s Ministry of Education gave Jiangnan University the approval to begin a pilot project for online education. Now the School of Online Education has over 45,000 students. In addition, Jiangnan University is engaging in Chinese-foreign cooperation by hosting the School of International Education and the Jiangnan-North American College. Jiangnan University has five Post-doctoral Research Stations in the fields of Light Industry Technology and Engineering; Food Science and Technology; Control Science and Engineering; Chemistry Engineering and Technology; and Textile Engineering. JU is entitled to confer master degrees in fifty-eight programs and doctoral degrees in twenty-eight programs. Currently there are over 7,500 doctoral and master candidates studying on campus.
The faculty at Jiangnan University consists of 1,668 members, including 1,068 professors and associate professors. Also JU boasts one academician from the China Academy of Engineering; ten winners achieved the National Outstanding Youth Foundation and the honor of Cheung Kong Scholars; twelve staff members are supported by the Programs of One Thousand Global Experts and One Thousand Young Global Experts; over 1,100 professors and associate professors. Among the team, 22.4% of the faculty have experience abroad. There are two National Innovation Teams and four Jiangsu Province Innovation Teams. The academic research group, represented by over eight hundred Master and PhD supervisors, has built a solid foundation for scientific innovation and the training of high-level personnel.
Jiangnan University is the center (and one of the major supporting institutions) of China's light industry, food science, and biotechnology. The National Key Lab of Food Science and Technology, approved by the Ministry of Science & Technology, is the only one of its kind in China. In addition, it has six national engineering research centers and twenty-one laboratories at the ministerial and provincial levels. Since the implementation of China’s Eleventh Five-Year Plan, Jiangnan University has undertaken a large quantity of national, provincial, and ministerial projects, including the “863 Projects,” “973 Projects,” National Key Special Projects, National Key Scientific and Technological Projects, and the National Natural Science Fund. It has received four hundred national, ministerial, and provincial awards, including eleven National Technology Inventions and two Humanity and Social Science Awards. In 2012, 1,479 academic papers published by JU faculty members were SCIE, EI, and ISTP-indexed. In the same year, research works resulted in 5,037 patent applications, including 1,409 patents for inventions. More than 2,570 patents were granted, which is second to none in Jiangsu. The number of granted patents and effective patents for inventions ranked third and the fourth respectively at the provincial level. In 2012, JU’s total research funding was at 444 million RMB.
Over the last fifty years, Jiangnan University has turned out over 140,000 graduates, many of whom have become members of the technical elite and important leaders in various industries. Their achievements and contributions have been fully recognized by all circles of society.
Jiangnan University boasts six national key disciplines. Among them, Food Science and Technology ranked first, Light Industry Technology and Engineering ranked second, Design ranked fourth, and Textile Science & Technology ranked fifth according to the 2012 National Discipline Assessment by the Ministry of Education.
During the past five years, Jiangnan University has won over eighty national and provincial outstanding teaching achievement awards. It also has the National Base for Training Qualified Personnel in Life Science and the National Cultural Quality Education Base for College Students.
Jiangnan University plays an active role in the construction of national and regional scientific and technological innovation and service systems, and it promotes the industrialization of scientific and technological achievements. By meeting social demands, Jiangnan University carries out cooperation with enterprises in research and development, technical services, and personnel training, while helping the enterprises to improve technology and upgrade products. Its National University Science Park is an important incubation base for high-tech research programs.
Jiangnan University has a very close relationship with many industries. The Board of Trustees includes representatives of over one hundred well-known enterprises globally, such as Haier, Moutai, Tsingdao Brewery, P&G, and Seagate, promoting production-study-research cooperation.
International Exchange and Cooperation
Jiangnan University was in the first group of higher-education institutions approved by China’s Ministry of Education to enroll foreign students and has long been active in international exchanges and cooperation. Since 1977, over 2,900 international students from more than eighty-six countries have received training and education at Jiangnan University. Many of them have earned reputations as experts and leaders in various fields of science and technology.
Jiangnan University has further cooperated in teaching and scientific research with 122 universities and research organizations in more than twenty-eight countries and regions. Since 1979, over one thousand teaching staff members have gained international experience through further studies, co-research, or academic visits in foreign countries. During this period, the university has also appointed over one hundred foreign professors and experts as honorary professors, adjunct professors, and visiting professors. They enjoy high reputations in their research fields and have contributed significantly to the development of the university. Dr. Charles Shoemaker, visiting professor at the School of Food Science (JU) and professor of UC Davis, became the National Friendship Award Laureate of 2007. In 2013, a visiting professor at the School of Design in JU, Ezio Manzini who is a professor from Politecnico De Milano, received the Jiangsu Friendship Award.
Faculty and student exchanges, joint supervision of postgraduates, co-research, and symposiums are the major activities that add to the rich academic atmosphere of the university.
Jiangnan University has offered long-term and short-term programs for students. To encourage them to participate in international exchanges, our university has particularly set up “Yuan Xiang Scholarships.” Last year, 17.1% of the total student population joined forty-five different study abroad programs. For incoming students, Jiangnan University provides semester-length study and one-month summer school. Amongst all these programs, “A Taste of China” (established in 2010) has become a brand program, attracting students from various institutions overseas, such as the University of California, University of Guelph, Carleton University, and so forth.
With various international conferences being held on campus each year, Jiangnan University has gradually become one of the most important international exchange centers in the fields of food science & technology, biotechnology, industrial design, and textile technology. Cooperating with the University of California-Davis, in 1991 JU initiated the International Conference on Food Science and Technology, which has been held every two to three years since and has become a very important event in the circle of food science and technology.
In September 2013, the first Confucius Institute devoted to Chinese food and beverage culture began cooking at the University of California-Davis in partnership with Jiangnan University. In the ceremony, Ms. Xu Lin, director-general of Hanban, read the congratulatory letter from China’s President Xi Jinping. The opening marks the formal operation of the Confucius Institute and the future contributions to the internationalization and spread of Chinese language and cuisine culture, academic communication between the two institutes, and enhancement of the friendship between the two countries.
Beautiful Campus Environment
The newly completed university campus, covering 208 hectares, is located by Lake Taihu, a national scenic resort in the south of Wuxi. It was designed and built to demonstrate the concept of an “Eco-campus”, landscaped with beautiful greens, elegant gardens, unique bridges, and tranquil streams. In addition, the Digital Energy Management Platform, based on IOT technology, and eight power reserve and management systems were established to fully utilize water and electricity for the university—signaling a brand new stage from which to achieve fast, sustainable development in the near future.
Jiangnan University, with its century of achievements in several key disciplines, is now striving for even greater success with the ultimate goal of becoming a high-level comprehensive university of international reputation.