Northwest University (China)

For other universities with a similar name, see Northwest University.
Northwest University
Former names
Shaanxi College
National Beiping University
Motto 公诚勤朴[1]
Motto in English
Fairness, Integrity, Diligence and Simplicity[2]
Type Public university
Established 1902
President Guo Lihong
Administrative staff
Students 18,000
Location Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Campus Urban area

Northwest University (Chinese: 西北大学; pinyin: Xīběi Dàxué), located in Xi'an city, Shaanxi Province, is one of the nation's leading comprehensive universities. Founded in 1902, it is one of the oldest institutions of learning in Northwest China.

Presently, the university has 11 colleges, 33 departments, 63 Bachelor's and Associate's programs. Its student population amounts to 18,000, including about 2000 Ph.D. and master students, and about 100 international students.

The university stresses international academic and personnel exchanges. Since the start of the Chinese economic reform in 1978, it has established cooperation and exchange relations with nearly 30 institutions of higher education of scientific research in the United States, Japan, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and The Philippines.


Northwest University has its origin in Shaanxi College founded in 1902, and assumed its present name in 1912. It was renamed National Northwest University in 1923, and called National Xi'an Provisional University after the merger with National Beiping University, Beiping Normal University, Beiyang College of Engineering and other institutions, which moved inland to Shaanxi when the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression broke out in 1937. The Provisional University was subsequently named National Northwest Associated University in 1938, and National Northwest University in 1939.

In the early period after the founding of the People's Republic of China, Northwest University was one of the 14 comprehensive universities under the direct administration of the central government's Ministry of Education. In 1958, the University came under the administration of the Shaanxi Provincial Government. In 1978, it was designated as one of the key universities in China. Currently, the University is one of China’s leading comprehensive, multi-disciplinary universities of liberal arts, sciences, engineering, management, law and medicine, with equal emphasis on both teaching and research. It is also one of the institutions of higher learning listed in the State's Project 211, and one of the universities supported by the State in its western China development campaign.


The University, located in the famous ancient Chinese capital of Xi'an, has 3 campuses with a total area of 370 acres (1.5 km2), and 22 schools and departments offering 67 undergraduate programs. It is one of the first institutions empowered to set up doctoral, postdoctoral and master’s programs, to approve the promotion to professorship, and to select Ph. D. supervisors. To date the University has established 37 doctoral programs (of which 6 belong to the first-category disciplines), 92 Master's programs (including special programs like MBA, MPA and Master of Engineering) and 9 postdoctoral programs. The University also boasts 6 national bases for talent training, one national education base for cultural education of college students, 3 national key disciplines, 39 provincial key disciplines, one national engineering and technology center, 11 ministerial or provincial key labs and engineering and technology research centers.

The University contracts for over 100 research projects of national importance each year, including the 863 Program, the Program 973, the National Basic Research Program, the Summit-Scaling Project, and the projects of the National Natural Science Foundation and the National Social Sciences Foundation. Since the Chinese economic reform in 1978, the faculty has won over 800 awards for research achievements and published over 20,000 academic papers and 1,200 books.

Staff and students

The University has a faculty and staff of over 2,300, of which 1,100 are full-time faculty, and nearly 600 are professors and associate professors. The faculty is also distinguished by 2 academicians and 7 part-time academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and 4 honored professors under the auspices of the "Cheung Kong Scholars Program". The University's student population amounts to about 18,000 including 2,000 doctoral and graduate students, and 150 international students. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the University has educated more than 100,000 graduates of different disciplines for the nation. The University was once praised as "the Mother of Chinese Petroleum Engineering Talents" and "the Cradle of Economists".


  1. "学校"中国梦•成才梦"演讲比赛圆满落幕". Retrieved July 7, 2014.
  2. "About Northwest University". Official website of Northwest University. Retrieved 17 April 2015.

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