Top Universities in China

About Peking University

Beijing University colloquially known in Chinese as Beida (北大, Běidà), is a major research university located in Beijing, China. It is the first formally established modern research university in and the first national university of China. It was founded as Imperial Capital University in 1898 as a replacement of the ancient Guozijian (國子監 guózǐjiàn)[1]. By 1920 it had become a center for progressive thought. Today, most national and international rankings frequently place Peking University as one of the best universities in China.[2][3][4][5][6] In addition to its academics, Peking University is especially renowned for the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture at its campus grounds.[7] Throughout its history, the university has distinguished itself from its peers in terms of intellectual freedom and has produced and hosted many of modern China's top thinkers, including Lu Xun, Mao Zedong, Hu Shih, Li Dazhao, Gu Hongming, and Chen Duxiu[8]. Peking University was influential in the birth of China's New Culture Movement, May Fourth Movement, the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 and many other significant events.

Peking University was established in Beijing in December 1898 during the Hundred Days Reform and was originally known as the Imperial Capital University (simplified Chinese: 京师大学堂; traditional Chinese: 京師大學堂; pinyin: Jīngshī Dàxuétáng) to replace the ancient Guozijian (國子監 guózǐjiàn). In 1902, the Imperial Capital University's Faculty of Education was spun off to become today's Beijing Normal University, the best teacher's college in China. In 1912, following the Xinhai Revolution, the Imperial University was renamed National Peking University (simplified Chinese: 国立北京大学; traditional Chinese: 國立北京大學). The famous scholar Cai Yuanpei was appointed president on January 4, 1917, and helped transform the university into the country's largest institution of higher learning, with 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students. Cai, inspired by the German model of academic freedom, recruited an intellectually diverse faculty that included Hu Shi, Chen Duxiu, and Lu Xun. In 1919, students of Peking University formed the bulk of the protesters of the May Fourth Movement. Efforts by the Beiyang government to end the protests by sealing off the Peking University campus led to Cai's resignation. In 1920, Peking University became the second Chinese university to accept female students, after Nanjing University.