Beijing as the capital of China has acting as the political and cultural center ever since before. The continuous development taking place throughout the years in Beijing has ensured the outcome of the formation of educational center here. There are plenty of high education institutions such as universities and colleges established in Beijing. Besides the well-regarded universities of international stature such as Peking University, Tsinghua University and Renmin University of China, there are also many universities which are specialized in certain field of study organized by either China’s Ministry of Education or Beijing government. There are many international students from Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and Europe further their studies here every year.
The Peking University, commonly known as Beida in Mandarin language which was established on December of 1898 is the first national university in Beijing and also a well-regarded high education institution throughout China. Peking University was previously known as Imperial Capital University at the first place. In 1912, Imperial Capital University was renamed as National Peking University as a result of Xinhai Revolution (also known as democratic revolution in 1911). The appointment of popular scholar, Cai Yuanpei as the president of this university in 1917 had therefore stimulated the growth and development of this university. Peking University was restricted to male student only in the beginning. Later in 1920, Peking University became the second university in China which accepted female students.
Peking University has encountered few movements throughout the history. The first movement of Peking University was the move to Changsha which occurred after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Thus, Changsha Temporary University was formed in alliance with Tsinghua University and Nankai University. After that, the university was moved again to Kunming and formed the National Southwestern United University in 1938. Finally, Peking University moved back to Beijing in 1946 after then Second World War. In 1952, Yanjing University was merged into Peking University after a big overall re-assemble of the faculties in few universities in Beijing.
Many notable people especially lead thinkers of modern China was produced by Peking University such as Lu Xun, Hu Shi and Li Dazhao. Besides being awarded as one of the best universities in China concerning its academics, Peking University is also renowned for the beauty of the traditional Chinese architecture at its campus ground. Peking University is located near the Summer Palace which consists of traditional Chinese style landscaping including building architectures, the design of garden as well as pagodas.
Tsinghua University which was funded by the Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholarship Program was established in Beijing in 1911. Tsinghua University was first known as Tsinghua Xuetang and was located in a former royal garden of Qing Dynasty. It was the first foundation school for Chinese student to further their studies in the United States. The graduates from this university would be able to continue their studies at the third level of university in United States. Later in 1925, Tsinghua University started to offer Bachelor of Degree under a fixed your-year basis. The authority has officially changed the name of this university to be the National Tsinghua University in 1928.
The breathtaking scenery inside the university campus has created a very good environment which is suitable for study. Nevertheless, physical fitness is one of the most important evaluations part too. For example, a student must be able to pass the standard five categories of sport activities (swimming, short run, high jump, long jump and iron ball throw) in order to graduate from National Tsinghua University. As long as there is a fail at any one of the five categories, the student will be considered failed and will not be given the opportunity to further studies at United States.
National Tsinghua University was moved to Changsha after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Thus, Changsha Temporary University was formed in alliance with Peking University and Nankai University. After that, the university was moved again to Kunming and formed the National Southwestern United University in 1938. Finally, National Tsinghua University moved back to Beijing in 1946 after then Second World War to resume its operations.
After the creation of People’s Republic of China in 1949, the majority of staffs in National Tsinghua University had moved to Taiwan whereas the leftover staffs and students were took over by China’s Ministry of Education. Later, this university was renamed as Tsinghua University by removing the word of “national” in front. Later, a new National Tsinghua University was established in Taiwan leaded by former President of Tsinghua University in 1955. A close relationship has been made between these two Tsinghua Universities after 1980.
Tsinghua University is one of the best universities in China which admission is extremely competitive. Only the top students from each province can have the opportunity to be selected by Tsinghua University annually. Moreover, a large number of graduates from Tsinghua University will further post graduates in United States. In 2006, Tsinghua University has become the top origin of Degree holder who obtained Doctorate Degree in universities of United States. According to the Thames Higher Education Supplement 2005, Tsinghua University was at the rank of 62 of top universities all over the world.
Renmin University of China
Renmin University of China is one of the most popular universities in Beijing. This university was officially established in 1950 but the development history of this institution could be traced back to 1937. The predecessor of the university was Shaan Bei Public School. Later, it was known as North China United University and North China University before establishment of Renmin University of China.
The English Corner of Renmin University of China which located at the Qiushi Garden can be considered as the largest inside campus English Corner throughout Beijing city. The English oral practice is taken place every Friday evening. Especially in the summer, there will be thousands of students gathering there to practice their oral English. Later, many foreigners who are attracted by this kind of gathering begin to join the English corner here. Thus, the English corner here has turned to be one of the best places for the foreigners to discover more about university life in China.
Besides these three famous universities, there are still a number of well-regarded universities located around Beijing as listed below:
Beijing Jiaotong University
University of Science and Technology Beijing
China University of Petroleum
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications
Beijing University of Chemical Technology
China Agricultural University
Beijing Forestry University
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine
Beijing Normal University
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Beijing Language and Culture University
University of International Business and Economics
Central University of Finance and Economics
China University of Political Science and Law
Beijing Sport University
China Central Academy of Fine Arts
Central Academy of Drama
Central Conservatory of Music