Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) is known as the “Cornell of the East”, thanks to its role in shaping the education system of China. It was particularly influential in railway engineering.
The university was founded in 1896 to meet the need for rail specialists as the country started developing its infrastructure. Throughout its history, the university has had three names, two of which reflect its particular expertise in railways: Imperial Chinese Railway College at Shanhaiguan by Beiyang Railway Bureau, Tangshan Jiaotong University and Tangshan Institute of Railway.
The university is also known for its teaching and research in general transportation, mining and metallurgy and civil engineering.
The modern SWJTU still has faculties specialising in mechanical engineering and transport, but it also has a comprehensive offering of subjects in the arts and communication, foreign languages, political science and over a dozen other schools. 75 majors are on offer.
SWJTU is located in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province. The region is the natural habitat of the giant panda. While rarely seen in the wild, Chengdu’s panda research and breeding centres offer the chance to see the elusive creatures.
Sichuan is well known for its flaming hot food, its sacred mountains and its Buddhist temples, and is a popular tourist destination for Chinese natives and foreigners alike.
The university has three campuses in Jiuli, Xipu and Emei Mountain. The latter is located at the base of a mountain in a scenic area listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The university motto is “Diligence, Ambition, Decisiveness, Loyalty”.