Xiangtan University (XTU) is a comprehensive and national key university. The great man Mao Zedong initiated its establishment in 1958. He inscribed the university name and called upon administrators to “do their best to make a success of it”. In 1974, Deng Xiaoping, Li Xiannian, and other central government leaders approved XTU’s resumption of instruction. In 1978, the State Council designated XTU one of 16 comprehensive key universities in liberal arts, sciences, and engineering. In 1981, it was one of the first master degree authorized units in China. Since resumption, CPC and State Council leaders such as Hua Guofeng, Jiang Zemin, and Li Peng have attached great importance and cordial care to XTU’s construction and development. On September 6, 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping instructed XTU, exhorting it to take root in the hometown of the great man and strive to make itself better and more distinctive.
Since establishment, XTU has steadily improved its comprehensive school-running strength and core competitiveness. It ranked 43rd among all mainland Chinese universities appraised by the Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. It has become one of the few universities which entered the ranks of well-respected international universities listed by THE and USNEWS. XTU has been built by the People's Government of Hunan Province and the Ministry of Education, PRC; and by the People's Government of Hunan Province and the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, PRC.
XTU has a graduate school, 23 colleges, and a teaching department. There are 9 majors including literature, history, philosophy, science, engineering, economics, management, law, and art. Four disciplines such as chemistry, materials science, engineering, and mathematics, are among the world’s top 1% of ESI. Seven are included in the 2019 Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects. It has 3 national key disciplines, 5 domestic first-class construction disciplines in Hunan Province, 10 domestic first-class cultivation disciplines in Hunan Province, and 4 special national defense disciplines.
There are 15 doctoral degree programs of first-level discipline, a doctoral degree program of second-level discipline, 31 first-level discipline masters degree programs, 19 professional master’s degree categories, and 15 post-doctoral research centers. It also has 19 national-level first-class undergraduate professional construction sites, 11 national-level characteristic majors, a national-level professional comprehensive reform pilot major, and 8 majors with national engineering education professional certification.
There is a National Applied Mathematics Center, a National International Science and Technology Cooperation Base, 2 National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratories, a National and Local Joint Engineering Research Center; 2 Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Bases of the Ministry of Education, a China Red Tourism Innovation and Development Research Base of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 3 Key Laboratories of the Ministry of Education, 2 Engineering Research Centers of the Ministry of Education; 1 Provincial and Ministerial Co-constructed Collaborative Innovation Center, 3 Hunan “2011 Collaborative Innovation Centers”, and 2 characteristics professional think tanks of Hunan Province.
It has 4 innovation teams of the Ministry of Education, 5 innovation research groups of the Hunan Natural Science Fund, 3 high-level talent gathering engineering innovation teams in Hunan Province, and 8 scientific and technological innovation teams from universities in Hunan Province. It has been included in the first batch of national patent collaborative application pilot units and the first batch of national intellectual property information service centers of higher education.
There are 1,502 full-time teachers at XTU. Over 76% of the teachers hold professional titles or doctoral degrees and 25% of them have overseas experience on research and study. Among them, there are 5 Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) academicians; 4 included in the “Ten Thousand Talent Program”; 7 scholars of the Changjiang Scholars Program (a program jointly financed by the tycoon Li Ka-shing and the Ministry of Education); 4 national excellent and outstanding young science foundation holders, and 7 national candidates of the “New Century Hundred-Thousand-Ten Thousand Talent Project”.
It has a large number of high-level teachers and scientific research teams, including 4 national role model teachers, 7 national outstanding teaching teachers, 2 winners of the Feng Kang Prize of Scientific Computing, 1 national publicity and culture system talent, 1 national ideological and cultural publicity young talent, 1 national outstanding scientific and technological worker, 1 national intellectual property rights leading talent; and 1 national patent information leading talent.
Recently, XTU has made many achievements in national projects. The number of its projects approved by the National Social Science Fund was 24th nationwide. The number of papers published on SCI and EI has led Hunan for five years running. The Renmin University of China copy data citations and comprehensive index of XTU social science papers have been listed in the top 3% nationwide. Its 5 think tanks were included in the first batch of Chinese Think Tank Index (CTTI).
XTU has been awarded more than 120 ministerial and provincial level or above prizes, such as the National Natural Science Award, National Scientific and Technological Progress Award, the Ministry of Education Award for Excellent Research Achievements in Colleges and Universities, and the Hunan Provincial Social Science Award for Outstanding Achievements.
It has established academician workstations, innovation research institutes, and other high-level production-university-research bases. In the past five years, it has signed more than 1,300 production-university-research cooperation projects and applied for nearly 3,300 patents.
There are now 37,576 full-time students at XTU, including 7,155 doctoral and master’s degree candidates.