Founded in 1896, Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) was originally named Imperial Chinese Railway College, and later Tangshan Jiaotong University, Tangshan Railway Institute, and so on. It is one of the earliest universities in China, and is known as “the Cradle for the Chinese Railway Engineers” and “East Cornell”. In the first years of the Republic, Sun Zhongshan, on his inspection tour to the university, gave the famous “Army needs equipment and construction for revolution” speech; after the founding of New China, Mao Zedong once wrote the name for the university; Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Li Lanqing, Jia Qinglin, and other Party and State leaders respectively have paid visits to SWJTU; Hu Jintao, Jiang Zemin personally met with leaders and professors of the university, which greatly inspired and encouraged teachers and students. For more than a century, the university has taken on the responsibility of revitalization through education, while holding tight to the belief of “imparting cultural heritage to the industry of traffic and transportation”, promoting the spirit of “cultivating talents for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation, persevering in the betterment of individual merits”, adhering to the tradition of “Conscientious in Studies and Stringent at Qualification”, and cultivating more than 200,000 students. Among the talents cultivated by SWJTU, there are more than 40 CAS and CAE academicians, the recipients of the “Merit Medal for Two Bombs and One Satellite”, outstanding academic talents and engineering experts, officials of government, industrial leaders, excellent entrepreneurs, and numerous famous experts, professors and scholars, who have made great contributions to the rejuvenation and flourishment of the country, especially in the development of track transportation. Deng Xiaoping once put a premium on SWJTU’s operation. He said “There are many talents graduated from this university. Lu Xun wrote a poem to mourn for his close friend Yang Xingfo, a SWJTU graduate sacrificed in the revolution. Zhu Kezhen, founder of Phenology, also graduated from SWJTU. Mao Yisheng, another of the university’s graduate, designed and built China’s first modern bridge Qiantangjiang Bridge.”
Nowadays, SWJTU has developed into a multiversity with a focus on engineering and with development of multi-disciplinary, covering engineering, science, management, economics, liberal arts, law, and other subject areas. Included in the “211 Project” and the “985 Feature Project”, SWJTU is a national key university with a graduate school, and owns a complete Bachelor-Master-Doctor cultivation system with 74 key undergraduate majors (12 of which are national feature majors), 56 doctoral programs, 138 master programs, and 9 post-doctoral stations; the National Key Laboratory of Traction Power with worldwide influence in transportation industry and 27 key laboratories at the provincial and ministerial level. SWJTU has consistently ranked first in the discipline of “Great Jiaotong” in China. After passing the Outstanding Assessment of Undergraduate Teaching conducted by the Ministry of Education and becoming one of the 16 best universities in China in 2000, SWJTU passed the Undergraduate Education Evaluation with excellent performance in 2007. In recent years, SWJTU has paid great attention to international exchanges and cooperation, has established exchange programs with over 80 universities and institutes in 60 countries and regions, and has become one of the cooperation universities of the “4+4” Cooperation Plan between China and France and TAMDEM. The international exchanges and cooperation programs cover all levels of students and degrees.
SWJTU takes great pride in its prestigious faculty members, who possess excellent records of academic achievements and who are dedicated to the development of the University. The university has 2500 faculty members, including 1200 professors and associate professors, among whom 4 are CAS academicians, 6 are CAE academicians, 2 are from the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, 7 are distinguished visiting professors and chair professors of The Yangtze River Scholar Program, 1 is a chief scientist of the National 973 Program, 1 won the First Prize of the Third Yangtze River Scholar Achievement Award, 10 are recipients of the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars, 7 were selected as National-level Outstanding Experts with Outstanding Contribution, 5 are designated as National Distinguished Teacher, 8 are scholars from the “Millions of Talent Project”, over 30 academicians of the Academy of Science or of the Academy of Engineering are employed as part-time professors.
SWJTU was born for the rail and develops at the rails. The toil, tears, sweat, and wisdom of SWJTU alumni saturate the rail projects throughout China like the first independently designed and constructed Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway with Zhang Tianyou as the chief, the construction of the first electrified railway —- Baoji-Chengdu railway, the most complicated and most difficult railway recognized by the world —- Chengdu-Kunming Railway, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway operated since July, 2006, the successful development of the first internal combustion locomotive and electric locomotive, the birth of the world’s first manned megathermal superconducting trial maglev; the first ten thousand ton heavy load train line — Datong-Qinghuangdao line, the successful coordination of the first manned maglev train engineering demonstration line; the design and construction of all city subways of our country, the renowned Hangzhou Bay Bridge and East Sea Bridge, the Beijing-Tianjin inter-city Railway, the Wuhan-Guangzhou Passenger line, and the Beijing-Shanghai High-speed Railway under construction. Meeting the demands in the great development of rail-transportation in China, especially that of high-speed railway, SWJTU has made many remarkable achievements and major breakthroughs in such fields as maglev transportation, high-speed railway, large bridge and tunnel, and modern transportation information management, which have yielded such significant results as the Rail Vehicle Roller Test-rig (the First-grade State Award for Scientific and Technological Advances), Megathermal Superconducting Trial Maglev (ranked among the Ten Scientific and Technological Advances of China’s Institutes of Higher Learning), and the Theory of Modern Railway Vehicle Coupling and Its Application (the First-grade State Award for Scientific and Technological Advances and ranked among the Ten Scientific and Technological Advances of China’s Institutes of Higher Learning). Contributing to the science and technology innovation of the Nation, SWJTU has made itself the base for scientific and technical innovation and training of professionals for the track traffic industry. Moreover, the university has revitalized its efforts to serve the development of the Western Region and the national economy by making the best of its strength in education.
Looking into the future, SWJTU will put into practice the ideology of the National Planning of Mid-and-Long Term Education Reform and Development Programs (2010-2020) and the Outline of the National Mid- and Long- Term Talent Development Plan (2010-2020), and implement the strategy of “three-step-developing”, in accordance with the guiding principles of “Essential in Cultivation; Priority in Quality; Rational in Structure; Distinct in Features”. Depending on the traditional subjects and the featured subjects, and supported by the innovation platform of the National Laboratory of Track Transportation, which is currently in the process of being built, the university will vigorously promote original innovation and integrated innovation in the field of track transportation in China, and cultivate excellent talents, while continuing to build a top class research-oriented, multi-disciplinary university which is characterized by its prestigious disciplines in rail transportation.