Established by The Postal Department of the Qing government in 1909, Beijing’s Railway Management Institute merged with two technical schools in the 1920s to form the Jiaotong University. The Beijing campus (there are also campuses in Tangshan and Shanghai) later became known as the National Jiaotong University and was then renamed the Northern Jiaotong University in 1949. It is now known as the Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU).
BJTU is one of mainland China’s oldest universities and forms part of the Ministry of Education’s Project 211 – signifying it to be one of the China’s most prestigious universities.
Often abbreviated to JiaoDa by locals, the BJTU campus covers 667km² with buildings in Beijing, as well as west and east campuses in the Haidian district. BJTU has 14 departments, 22 research institutes and centres and 39 laboratories, including a transport system simulation laboratory and transportation automation laboratory, known to be the best of their sort in China.
It has its own transmitter tower, hospital, hotels, a TV station, swimming pools (both indoor and outdoor), a gym, arboretum, museum, art gallery, railway line and stadium.
Notable former students include the founder of China’s first radio station, Liu Han, the inventor of China’s first high-power steam engine, Ying Shangcai, and the famous demographer and economist, Ma Yinchu.
BJTU was one of the first universities China permitted to enrol international students, and has since welcomed students from over 71 different countries.
In 2016, Lancaster University set up a joint institute with BJTU: the Lancaster University College at Beijing Jiaotong University, based at Weihai Campus in the Shandong province (which was set up in 2015). Undergraduate students from both China and around the world can study computing, design, engineering and environmental science, led by both BJTU and Lancaster lecturers. As of 2017, MA courses in computing and engineering are also available.