The East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST), originally named the East China Institute of Chemical Technology, was founded in 1952 after the chemical departments of five universities in the Shanghai area merged and it became the first single-subject chemical institute in China.
By 1960 the university had become one of the national key universities of the Ministry of Higher Education and opened a new branch campus in Zigong under government orders, although this branch was soon placed under the city of Shanghai’s jurisdiction as China’s Cultural Revolution unfolded.
In 1993, the university officially became known as the East China University of Science and Technology and three years later it was selected as one of the "Project 211" universities, a national initiative aimed at raising the standards of high-level universities in China.
Today ECUST is split between three large, scenic campuses. The main campus is situated in the Xuhui district of downtown Shanghai while a new 20,000-student campus was opened in the Fengxian District in 2007. The Jinshan campus, which is located around 40 miles from the main Xuhui campus, is principally known for its Science Park which was established in 2005.
Despite being founded as a specialised university, today ECUST boasts 15 academic departments that cover a range of subjects, from foreign languages to law. The university has also trained a number of sports stars, particularly in table tennis, and the ECUST table tennis team is considered among the best university teams in China.
ECUST alumni include those with careers ranging from government ministers to Olympians, with perhaps the most famous alumnus being Cheng Siwei, former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and president of the China Democratic National Construction Association.