Wuhan University

Wuhan University
Motto 自强 弘毅 求是 拓新 (Chinese)[1]
Motto in English
Improve Oneself, Promote Perseverance, Seek Truth and Make Innovations[2]
Type National research university
Established November 29, 1893
President Li Xiaohong
Academic staff
Students 53,000
Location Wuhan, Hubei, China
Campus Urban, 5,600 mu (亩)
Website www.whu.edu.cn

Wuhan University (WHU; simplified Chinese: 武汉大学; traditional Chinese: 武漢大學; pinyin: Wǔhàn Dàxué; colloquially 武大, Pinyin: Wǔdà) is located in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and is administered by the Ministry of Education of China. It was selected by both Project 985 and Project 211 as a major receiver of state funding.[3] The university is situated at Luojia Hill, with palatial buildings blending the Chinese and Western style. It was commonly regarded as one of the most beautiful campuses and a top 10 university for decades in China.[4]


Qing Guangxu Emperor's approval of establishing the Ziqiang Institute.
A congratulation calligraphy given to the first class of graduates of National Wuhan University by Cai Yuanpei

The university dates back to the Ziqiang Institute (Simplified Chinese: 自强学堂; Traditional Chinese: 自強學堂; Pinyin: Zìqiáng Xuétáng ), which was founded in 1893 by Zhang Zhidong 张之洞, governor of Hubei and Hunan Provinces in the late Qing Dynasty.[5] Later, it changed its name several times before it was named National Wuhan University in July 1928, and was among the first group of national universities in modern China.

(There exists certain dispute on the establishment of Wuhan University, some believe that the history of Wuhan University should date back to 1913, when The National Wuchang Higher Normal College was founded)

In the early time of its establishment, Ziqiang Institute provided four courses—Chinese, Mathematics, Nature, and Business. After combining the Institute of Minerals and the Institute of Chemical, courses provided were enlarged, with Nature Science and Engineering added. And Chinese was extended to English, French, German, Russian, and Japanese.

In Oct, 1902, Ziqiang Institute moved to Dongchang kou, Wuchang, and changed its name to Foreign Languages Institute(Simplified Chinese: 方言学堂), teaching Geography, History, Mathematics, Law, and Communication.

With the approaching of The Revolution of 1911(Simplified Chinese: 辛亥革命), Foreign Languages Institute was forced to pause running the school due to lack of fundings. In Oct, Wuchang Uprising(Simplified Chinese: 武昌起义) and the end of Qing Dynasty made it impossible for the school to go back to normal. Foreign Languages Institute stopped its running.

In 1913, after its foundation, the Ministry of Education of Beiyang Government(Simplified Chinese: 北洋政府) decided to found 6 higher normal colleges in China. Based on the original location, book resource and faculties of Foreign Language Institute, The National Wuchang Higher Normal College(Simplified Chinese: 国立武昌高等师范学院) was founded.

In 1922, faculties were extended to Educational Philosophy, Chinese, English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemical, History and Sociology, Biology, and Geography.

In Aug, 1923, the school changed its name to The National Wuchang Normal University(Simplified Chinese: 国立武昌师范大学). And in 1924, it changed its name to The National Wuchang University(Simplified Chinese: 国立武昌大学).

In 1926, The National Wuchang University merged with The National Wuchang Business University(Simplified Chinese: 国立武昌商科大学), Hubei University of Medicine(Simplified Chinese: 湖北省立医科大学), Hubei University of Law(Simplified Chinese: 湖北省立法科大学), Hubei Arts and Humanity University(Simplified Chinese: 湖北省立文科大学), Private Wuchang Chunghua University(Simplified Chinese: 私立武昌中华大学) to form National Wuchang SUN YAT-SEN University(Simplified Chinese: 国立武昌中山大学), alias National Second SUN YAT-SEN University(Simplified Chinese: 国立第二中山大学), with Department of University, and Subjects of arts, Science, Law, Business, Medicine and Yu(Simplified Chinese: 文,理,法,经,医,预), 17 faculties, 2 departments.

In 1928, Nanjing National Government(Simplified Chinese: 南京国民政府) formed National Wuhan University(Simplified Chinese: 国立武汉大学) on the basis of the original National Wuchang SUN YAT-SEN University, consisting of 4 colleges -- Arts, Law, Science and Engineering(Simplified Chinese: 文,法,理,工).

In Feb, 1929, the jurist Wang Shijie became the first president of Wuhan University. During the War of Resistance Against Japan, Wuhan University moved to Leshan, Sichuan Province and returned to Luojia Hill after the war.[6][7]

By the end of 1946, the university had six Faculties: the Faculties of liberal arts, law, sciences, engineering, agriculture and medicine. Wuhan University enjoyed a very high academic status, with Wang Shijie, Wang Xinggong and Zhou Gengsheng as its successive presidents.[7]

A number of scholars such as Gu Hongming, Zhu Kezhen, Wu Baoliang, Zha Qian, Gui Zhiting, Ye Yage, Li Siguang, Wen Yiduo, Huang Kan, Yu Dafu, Shen Congwen, Zhu Guangqian, Liu Ze, Liu Yongji, Ye Shengtao, Yang Duanliu and Li Jiannong taught here successively. According to the university, in 1948, the University of Oxford wrote an official letter to the Ministry of Education of the Chinese National Government, stating that Bachelors of liberal arts and sciences that graduated from Wuhan University with average grades above 80 could enjoy "the senior status of Oxford."[7][8]

A Notice given to Wuhan University that it will be taken under the Communist's control.

In 1952, after a general reshuffle of the colleges and departments of the higher educational institutions throughout the country, Wuhan University became a university of liberal arts and sciences directly under the administration of the Ministry of Higher Education.[9] Professor Li Da, Delegate to the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party and a celebrated philosopher, economist and academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, held the post of president of the university for 14 years. The Wuhan University School of Medicine and Tongji University Medical School jointly formed Central-south Tongji Medical College (later Wuhan Medical College), then Tongji Medical University.[7]


On August 2, 2000, with the approval of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, the new Wuhan University was established as a combination of four major universities close together—the former Wuhan University, the former Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering (WUHEE), the former Wuhan Technical University of Surveying and Mapping (WTUSM) and the former Hubei Medical University (HBMU).[10]


Historical names

Year School name
in English
School name
in simplified Chinese
School name
in traditional Chinese
School name
in Pinyin
1893 Ziqiang Institute 自强学堂 自強學堂 Zìqiáng Xuétáng
1902 Foreign Languages Institute 方言学堂 方言學堂 Fāngyán Xuétáng
1913 The National Wuchang Higher Normal College 国立武昌高等师范学校 國立武昌高等師範學校 Guólì Wǔchāng Gāoděng Shīfàn Xuéxiào
1923 The National Wuchang Normal University 国立武昌师范大学 國立武昌師範大學 Guólì Wǔchāng Shīfàn Dàxué
1924 The National Wuchang University 国立武昌大学 國立武昌大學 Guólì Wǔchāng Dàxué
1926 The National Wuchang Zhongshan University 国立武昌中山大学 國立武昌中山大學 Guólì Wǔchāng Zhōngshān Dàxué
1928 National Wuhan University 国立武汉大学 國立武漢大學 Guólì Wǔhàn Dàxué
1949 (Old) Wuhan University (老) 武汉大学 (老) 武漢大學 (lǎo) Wǔhàn Dàxué
2000 (New) Wuhan University (新) 武汉大学 (新) 武漢大學 (xīn) Wǔhàn Dàxué


In 2014, Wuhan University's student body consists of 34,131 full-time undergraduates and 13,918 full-time master's degree candidates, 7,477 Ph.D candidates and 1,477 international students.[11]

Former library as depicted in its logo


Wuhan University is ranked among the top 10 universities in China.

In 2016, CUAA ranked it the 4th.[12]

In 2015, CUAA ranked it the 4th[13] and Wu Shulian ranked it the 7th.[14]

In 2014, CUAA ranked it the 5th[15] and Wu Shulian ranked it the 7th.[16]

In 2016, US News and World Report ranked it 251st in the world and 9th in China.[17]

In 2015, QS World University Rankings ranked it 273th in the world and 9th regionally.[18]

In 2015, Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked it between 301st-400th in the world[19] and 14th-27th in Greater China (including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).[20]

It came 351st-400th in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings where it ranked 10th in China.[21]

Schools and colleges

School of Law
The building that housed the College of Chinese Language and Literature and School of History
School of Economics and Management (previously known as the School of Business)
College of Foreign Languages and Literatures


Campus Map of Wuhan University (excluding the Medical Campus)
Cherry Blossom in Wuhan University

The university has rolling physical features with the scenic Luojia Hill and the beautiful East Lake. Its campus is heavily wooded and green, with fragrant flowers everywhere year-round. Wuhan University is widely known as one of the most beautiful universities in China, especially for its cherry blossom garden in the spring. A cherry blossom festival is held every spring.[22] Most stylish old buildings were designed by F. H. Kales (1899–1979).[23] Educated in MIT, Mr. Kales was a pioneer to blend western architectural styles with traditional Chinese elements, which is most evident from his roof designs.

Wuhan University boasts a campus covering an area of 5508 mu and has a floor area of 2.42 square kilometres. The university's libraries have a collection of approximately 5.4 million volumes and subscriptions to more than 10,000 Chinese and foreign periodicals.[24]


Wuhan University has established cooperative relationship with more than 300 universities and research institutes in over 40 countries and regions.

Art and culture

Notable alumni


  1. "校训释义 (Chinese)". Wuhan U. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  2. "Overview". Wuhan U. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  3. "Overview". Retrieved October 27, 2012.
  4. (simplified Chinese) Ten most beautiful campuses in China, No. 1 is Wuhan University.
  5. "武汉大学校园风貌". Retrieved 12 09, 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. "校史档案". Retrieved 12 09, 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. 1 2 3 4 History of Wuhan University.
  8. "武大校史之信步杂谈". Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  9. "教育部直属高校改革发展成果展—武汉大学". Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  10. "Wuhan University (merger of Wuhan University, Wuhan University of Hydraulic & Electric Engineering, Wuhan Technical University of Surveying & Mapping, Hubei Medical University in 2000)". Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  11. "Facts & Figures". Wuhan University. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  12. "《2016中国大学评价研究报告》出炉 2016中国大学排行榜700强" via www.cuaa.net.
  13. "《2015中国大学评价研究报告》-2015中国大学排行榜700强揭晓". 中国校友会网. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  14. "武书连2015年中国大学排行榜_腾讯教育_腾讯网". edu.qq.com. Retrieved 2016-01-28.
  15. "中国校友会网2014年中国大学排行榜-新浪教育". http://edu.sina.com.cn/. Retrieved 2016-01-28. External link in |website= (help)
  16. "武书连2014年中国大学排行榜". 新浪教育. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  17. "Wuhan University". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  18. "Wuhan University Rankings". Top Universities. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  19. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2015 - Wuhan University". Academic Ranking of World Universities. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  20. "Ranking of Top Universities in Greater China - 2015". Retrieved 28 January 2016.
  21. "World University Rankings 2014-15: Asia". Times Higher Education. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  22. "Hubei:Wuhan University—Cherry blossom". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
  23. Sir Banister Fletcher's a history of architecture, Architectural Press, 1996.
  24. "学校简介". Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  25. "Det Informationsvidenskabelige Akademi – Københavns Universitet". Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  26. "Det Informationsvidenskabelige Akademi – Københavns Universitet". Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  27. "Duke Names Senior Leadership for Its Campus in China" The Chronicle of Higher Education Sept 20, 2012
  28. Duke Chronicle Wuhan steps in to sponsor China campus
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Coordinates: 30°32′27″N 114°21′40″E / 30.54083°N 114.36111°E / 30.54083; 114.36111

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