2017 Overview: A fresh ECNU awaits a fresh you


The first month of the new year is finally here, marking the tail end of a fruitful year in 2017. So it is time to present an overview of the major events at ECNU that brought about such a productive year.

ECNU unveils its 13th Five-Year Plan

The 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020) for ECNU Development is a blueprint for the university’s goals for development in the next five years. It was unveiled at the beginning of the 2017 fall semester in September.

ECNU launches China’s first Campus Theme Day

ECNU became China’s first university to launch a Campus Theme Day in 2017. The classes for that day were called off for ECNUers to interact with hundreds of on campus activities that introduced a variety of cross-disciplinary exchanges.

Alumnus donates 100m yuan to ECNU

Tian Peiqing, chairman and CEO of Four Seasons Education (Group), donated a whopping 100 million yuan to his ECNU Alma Mater on March 30, 2017. The donation will be put towards research and development of the math department at ECNU. Tian belonged to the ECNU class of 1980 where the donor finished a degree in mathematics.

6 teachers win the Yangtze River Scholar award

In April 2017, ECNU set a new university record when six ECNU teachers received the Yangtze River Scholar award, China’s most notable trophy to recognize an individual in higher education. ECNU to date has seen 38 Yangtze River Scholar awardees. Last year four teachers were awarded the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, four others selected into the national Thousand Talents Plan and six others funded by the National Outstanding Youth Science Foundation. 

ECNU creates ‘Asia-Europe miracle’

Asia Europe Business School (AEBS) is an institution co-founded by ECNU and Emlyon Business School - a leading international and European business school in France built in 1872. AEBS was inaugurated at the Zizhu International Education Park in April. ECNU president Chen Qun hailed the establishment of AEBS, which happened in a mere two-year sweep, as a “miracle” of Asia-Europe collegiate collaboration as well as a milestone in ECNU's drive to internationalize its campuses.

Research centers set up to serve Chongming island development

ECNU stood by its call to facilitate the development of the world-class Chongming Ecological Island when the university set up the Chongming Ecological Island Research Center and Atmospheric Science and Earth System Science Institute on April 14, 2017. The latter highlights the effects and prevention of meteorological disasters in addition to advanced research of the atmosphere and environmental factors.

ECNU awarded National May 1 Labor Certificate

ECNU was the only university in China to win the National May 1 Labor Certificate at a national award ceremony held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 27, 2017. The award recognizes contributions made by laborers and units for their meritorious work.

11 of ECNU disciplines enter global top 1%

According to the latest data released by ESI (Essential Science Indicators) on May 11, 2017, 11 of ECNU’s top disciplines entered the global top 1 percent ranking it at 17th among all universities in China. As of May 2016, three of ECNU’s disciplines had been selected into ESI’s global top 1 percent, ranking it No. 1 among 39 key universities in China.

ECNU Basic Education Group sets up

Moving forward in basic education services, the ECNU Basic Education Group was inaugurated on June 22, 2017. The BEG is a significant measure taken on by the university to display its predominant strength as a comprehensive teachers’ college and to make greater contributions to education reform and social development in China.

Chen Qun appointed Shanghai vice mayor

On July 28, 2017 ECNU vice president Chen Qun was appointed to Shanghai vice mayor by the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Congress, the city’s highest legislative body. In an affectionate speech he gave at the commencement ceremony in June, Chen told all of the ECNU graduates that they are forever the pride and joy of ECNU, which their hard work at the university will carry on from where they started as ECNUers.

Academy system benefits 70% undergraduates

The university set up the Meng Xiancheng Academy, College of Economics and Management, Daxia Academy and Guanghua Academy as a supplement to colleges and schools in order to focus more attention on its extracurricular activities and personality training courses for students. The academy system now covers 70 percent of undergraduates in the university.

ECNU selected to be built into world-class university

On September 21, 2017, ECNU found its name on a national list of universities to be developed into an internationally renowned institution in higher education - a milestone in its drive to become a world class university with Chinese characteristics.

ECNUers cheer for the 19th national congress

ECNU teachers and students tuned in to a live broadcast of the 19th CPC National Congress when it convened in Beijing on October 18, 2017. Following the conclusion of the congressional meeting, a new central leadership was elected that consisted of two former ECNU students, Wang Huning and Han Zheng, who are members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.

Expert panel impressed with ECNU programs

Entrusted by the Higher Education Evaluation Center of the Ministry of Education, a 13-member expert panel led by Prof. Zhang Rong, president of Xiamen University, made an inspection tour to ECNU from October 30 to November 12. During the visit experts were impressed with ECNU’s undergraduate teaching programs and curriculum.

12 disciplines among national key disciplines

In December 2017, twelve of ECNU’s disciplines were included into national key disciplines according to the latest evaluation of disciplines of universities in China made public by the Ministry of Education. The twelve disciples range from liberal arts to natural sciences and mathematics: education, world history, physical education, Chinese language and literature, geography, statistics, software engineering, Marxist theory, foreign languages and literature, math and ecology.

Prestigious professors build a legacy at ECNU

ECNUers mourned the loss of its prestigious professors and educators who passed away in 2017, including Yuan Yunkai, Chen Hancha, Qian Gurong, Chen Jiyu and Zhou Youguang. They left their mark on ECNU history and built a legacy at the campus that will be remembered for years to come.

New teachers take group photo

While attending an induction training program, newly employed teachers gathered for a group photo in front of the statue of ECNU’s first president, Meng Xiancheng. The group photo of the new teachers signified ECNU’s many years in serving the education of China as a formidable teachers’ college.

Retired professor helps 200 children

Fang Jing, a retired teacher of the Institute of Vocational & Adult Education of the Education Faculty of ECNU, graciously funded more than 200 poverty-stricken children in his hometown. In an interview, Fang told reporters that he prefers to do outstanding deeds for people all the while keeping his name anonymous. He was awarded the prestigious title of “National Moral Models” in November 2017.

Creative chef wins national honor

ECNU chef Liu Yuhong was acknowledged for his innovative cuisine “Frying Corn with Grape”, which won Shanghai’s May 1 Labor Medal in 2017. He has been devoted to making healthy dishes for teachers and students throughout his entire professional career at ECNU.

Alumni cheer for ECNU

Five former graduates of ECNU, whose ages ranged from young adults to middle aged, inspired would-be schoolfellows with their own stories about ECNU culture and life during their enrollment at ECNU revealed in the school enrollment publicity film in 2017.

Ph.D candidate records star trajectory

Pan Chenhua, a Ph.D candidate spent one year on taking photos of the starry sky over ECNU. The photos debuted on the university’s official WeChat account on June 1, 2017. He said he intended to remind ECNUers of the beauty and charm in the night sky over the ECNU campus.

The winter is a season that withers away the old year and rings in a new year, with the hope of planting new seeds that can grow into a plentiful harvest for the future. The 50,000 penstemon campanulatus trees that have been planted on ECNU campus will blossom next summer when the 2018 graduation season begins, signaling a new wave of prosperity for ECNUers alike.

Let’s remember the past year and hold on to the memories as we move on together.

A fresh 2018 has begun. We look back to the past in hopes to strengthen our will to push forward into the new year. And that we can make bigger strides to meet our longstanding goals. In doing so, ECNU will grow into a more prosperous university by working collectively to accomplish far-reaching success in higher education. Make a leap and join the team.



East China Normal University