Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) was founded in 1896 and is one of China’s oldest higher education institutions. Known as the cradle of China’s railway engineers and “the Cornell of the East”, SWJTU is the birthplace of China’s modern education in transportation, mining & metallurgy and civil engineering. Through its history, the university has adopted different names such as “Imperial Chinese Railway College at Shanhaiguan by Beiyang Railway Bureau”, “Tangshan Jiaotong University” and “Tangshan Institute of Railway”.
Since its establishment over 100 years ago, SWJTU has weathered storms amongst China’s warring past. It has undergone 18 relocations and despite the difficulties has sustained its belief in educating the young for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. It upholds the mission of focused education in culture and transport, spreads the spirit of educating talents to breathe new life into the Chinese nation and of unremitting self-improvement, and maintains the tradition of academic excellence and meticulous planning and research. Thus far, the number of graduates from the university has reached nearly 300,000.
Currently, SWJTU is committed to the implementation of “Three Major Strategies”, to enhance the strength of the university by means of talent nurturing, internationalization and big data. It is also dedicated to carrying out the “Four Action Plan”, namely, pushing forward engineering to its peak of development, promoting the revitalization of science, realizing the prosperity of liberal arts and facilitating the rapid development of life science.
SWJTU boasts a well-developed student training system granting bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. It consists of 24 schools to offer programs under 13 disciplines classified by the State Council, which fall into 4 main categories: engineering, science, life science and liberal arts. Among them, there are 2 The First-level National Key Disciplines, 10 The Second-level National Key Disciplines, 15 The First-level Doctoral Degree Programs, 43 The First-level Master’s Degree Programs and 11 Post-doctoral Research Centers. The university is home to 12 national-level key disciplines including Locomotives and Vehicle Engineering and has 11 national-level specialty majors and four majors listed in the pilot national comprehensive reform on major construction. The first-level discipline of Traffic Engineering tops the national list among all the universities and other leading majors are Geomatics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Management Science & Engineering. Among a teaching faculty of 2500, there are five academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, thirteen academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, seventeen experts on the One Thousand Talents Scheme, three chief scientists on the National Basic Research Program (also called 973 Program), twenty-four specially-appointed professors and chair professors of the Cheung Kong Scholars Program of China, one Achievement Award winner of Cheung Kong Scholars Program and nineteen winners of National Outstanding Youth Foundation. The university has nine innovation research teams at national level recognized by the Ministry of Education. In addition, over 40 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering work as part-time professors at the university’s invitation. The university has granted honorary professorship to Nobel laureates in economics, Robert A. Mundell and Reinhard Selten, and Nobel Prize winner in physics Douglas Osheroff. Its alumni who graduated after China resumed college entrance exams in 1976 have taken most seats in the field of rail transportation of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering.