East China Normal University (ECNU) was founded in Shanghai in 1951 and was the first university to open in the country after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. It grew out of Great China University and incorporated the arts and science faculties of Kwang Hua University.
Today, with around 14,500 undergraduates, ECNU offers 79 undergraduate programmes across a wide range of subjects within 58 departments. It has even more graduate students, roughly 15,700, who can choose from 26 doctoral programmes of the State Primary Disciplines, a total of 57 masters programmes, one professional doctoral programme, and 25 post-doctoral mobile research stations.
Approximately 5,000 of the university’s students are international.
The university is organised across three faculties – Earth Sciences, Education Sciences and Economics, and Management – comprising 23 schools, two colleges, a college of Marxism, 11 advanced research institutes and a college of further education.
Teacher training has always been among the university’s most popular courses, ever since ECNU’s inception when the Minister of Education for East China was appointed as the first university president. ECNU’s official motto also reinforces the emphasis it places on training teachers: ‘Seek Truth, Foster Originality, and Live up to the Name of a Teacher’.
The Training Centre for Secondary School Principles of the Ministry of Education, located at ECNU, is also held in high regard across the Chinese mainland as well as the regions of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
The university’s campuses are located in the Minhang and Putuo Districts of Shanghai and span a total of over 207 hectares. The beauty of ECNU’s campuses are such that the institutions is often referred to as a Garden University.
In 2011, ECNU and New York University joined forces to establish Shanghai New York University, which it considers to be symbolic of the Chinese university’s new global outlook and approach.
It also maintains links with several UK universities including Exeter, Manchester, Leeds, Hull, Nottingham Trent, Edinburgh and the University of London.