Northwestern Polytechnical University is a public research institution located in the city of Xi’an in north-west China.
It was established in the 1957 by the merger of the National Northwest Polytechnic Institute and Xi’an Astronautic College and originally specialised in science and technology subjects.
Over time, however, it has broadened its curriculum to include courses in the humanities, law, management and languages, at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
The university has been at the forefront of the development of science and higher education in China, awarding the country’s first doctorates in six academic disciplines and forming part of the Excellence League (also known as the E9) of institutions with strong backgrounds in engineering.
It was one of China’s first universities to establish a graduate school and a university science park, and now hosts the Northwest Institute of Industrial Technology.
NPU also claims to have been the first institution to develop many new technologies in China, including the country’s first small unmanned air vehicle (SUAV), the first ground effect vehicle and the first autonomous underwater vehicle, as well as the country’s first on-board spacecraft computer.
The university has two campuses, Youyi and Chang’an, covering a total of 841 acres, and its motto is “Broadness, honesty, bravery, persistence”.
NPU has established cooperation agreements with more than 150 universities and institutes from around the world, including the University of Leicester and the University of Michigan. It also runs a joint campus with Queen Mary University of London, delivering tuition in English and awarding joint degrees in materials science.
Xi’an, a city of more than 8 million people, is the starting point of the Silk Road and is near to the site of the discovery of the Terracotta Army of historic sculptures.