Xidian University is a national key university with disciplines of information and electronics as the major ones and with coordinated development of multi-disciplines of engineering, science, management, and arts, which is underthe direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. It is one of the key institutions of higher learning under construction according to the national “211” Project, one of the 56 universities which have set up graduate schools, one of the 35 universities which have established demonstrative software schools, and one of the 20 universities which have been given approval to found IC talents training bases.
Its predecessor was the Radio School of the Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee set up in Ruijin, Jiangxi Province in 1931, which was the first school of engineering and technology personally founded by the older generation of revolutionaries of Mao Zedong and others. It moved to Xi’an in 1958 and was turned from the organizational system of the army to the civilian one in 1966. It got the present name in 1988.
In the 80 years since its founding, Xidian University has always been attached great importance to by the Party and the state, and it was one of the key construction projects of the national “First Five Year Plan”, and also one of 20 key universities of the first batch approved by the Central Government in 1959. In the 1960s, Xidian University was famous throughout the world for its name of “XIJUNDIAN” (short for “the Xian Military Telecommunications Engineering Institute”). Comrade Mao Zedong successively wrote inscriptions twice for Xidian University: “Serve the People Wholeheartedly” and “Be Hardworking and Plain-living”.
Now the University has constructed two campuses: the north campus and the south campus, which occupy an area of 4000 mu (about 267 hectares), with the school building area of over 1.3 million square meters. Its two libraries have 4.2 million books. Presently, the University has more than 30000 students, of whom there are over 1700 doctoral students and over 8600 master students. It has set up 13 schools, that is, School of Telecommunications Engineering, School of Electronic Engineering, School of Computer Science and Technology, School of Mechano-electronic Engineering, School of Technical Physics, School of Economics and Management, School of Science, School of Humanities and Arts, Demonstrative Software School, School of Microelectronics, School of International Education, School of Life Science and Technology, School of Network and Continuing Education.
Xidian University is one of the earliest universities which established specialties of information theory, information system engineering, radar, microwave antenna, electronic machinery, and electronic countermeasure. It is the forerunner of the IT discipline, forming the distinct features and superiority of electronic and information disciplines. At present, it has 2 national first-level key disciplines which cover 6 second-level disciplines, 1 national second-level key discipline, 28provincial/ministerial-level key disciplines, 12doctoral degree authorization first-level disciplines which cover 50 second-level disciplines, 20master’s degree authorization first-level disciplines which cover 101 second-level disciplines, 7 mobile centers for post-doctoral research, and 52 undergraduate specialties. The result of the second-round assessment of the first-level disciplines given out by the Ministry of Education in 2006 shows that the discipline of “information and communication engineering” of Xidian University ranks second on the list in China and that its discipline of “electronic science and technology” ranks sixth. Xidian University has fostered the ideas of “being human-oriented” and “teachers being the core competitive power of a university” so that it has forged a well-structured, highly innovative contingent of teachers. Currently, it has over 1900 full-time teachers, of whom there are 222advisors of Ph.D. candidates and 759 advisors of master students. The University has 3 member , 10dually-appointed academicians, 10 Cheung Kong scholars and chair professors, 5innovative teams of the Ministry of Education, 8gainers of the National Outstanding Youth Fund, 4 national-grade famous teachers, 6 national-grade teaching teams, 3 chief scientists of the “973” Program, 35 “New Century Outstanding Talents” of the Ministry of Education, 3winners of the “Chinese Youth Sci-tech Award”, 2 winners of the “He-Liang-He-Li Science and Technology Award”, 8candidates for the national “Outstanding Talents Program”, 7 winners of the Shaanxi Provincial Youth Sci-tech Award”, 17 members of the Teaching Steering Committees of the Ministry of Education, and 135recipients of the Special Government Allowance.
The University constantly innovates the idea of education, deepens the reform of the teaching content, the course system and practice teaching, and energetically carries forward quality education with remarkable results. It has now established 15 national-grade specialties with distinguishing features, 13 national-grade quality courses, 3 national talents cultivating & teaching bases, 4 national-grade experiment teaching demonstrative centers, and 3 national-grade talents training pattern innovative experimental areas. Characterized by solid theoretical foundation, prominent engineering practice capability andstrongcreative consciousness, its talents training has become a “brand” among the institutions of higher learning in China. In recent years, the popularity rate of its undergraduates’ taking part in the extracurricular scientific activities is high, winning over 500 awards in the national or provincial discipline & sci-tech competitions. The one-time employment rates of its postgraduates and undergraduates always remain to be over 98% and 96%, respectively, topping the list among institutions of higher learning in China. In 2006, the University smoothly passed the proficiency assessment of the undergraduate teaching work by the Ministry of Education, obtaining the score of “Excellent”.
For many years, Xidian University has devoted itself to system R & D, hard-nut problems tackling in science and technology, and engineering R & D in the field of electronic information technology, thus creating quite a few “firsts” in the fields of electronics and information technology in China, such as the first meteorological radar, the first meteoric trail communication system, the first programmable radar signal processor, the first millimeter-wave communication set, the first plug cord telegraph interchanger in the Chinese army’s history of communication equipment, the first tower-type tube cavity oscillator, and the first three-dimensional phase array radar, making significant contributions to China’s informationization and national defense modernization. Currently, it has 4 state key laboratories, 6 Ministry of Education key laboratories, 16 provincial/ministerial-grade key laboratories, the Shaanxi Provincial Technology Transfer Center, and the Shaanxi Provincial Engineering & Technology Research Center. It has constructed the Academy of National Defense and the Aerospace Academy. It has successively undertaken over 1600 major projects from the “863” Program, the “973” Program and the Innovation Engineering Program, yielding a batch of landmark achievements. Since the “Tenth Five-Year Plan”, the research target of Xidian University has been rising steadily, with a yearly 26.5 % increase in research funds, the number of the papers indexed by the SCI, EI and ISTP has increased 34% yearly, and 9 projects have won national sci-tech awards, thereby further gaining its ascendant position in the institutions of higher learning in China as a university with distinct national defense research features.
Xidian University vigorously enhances the combination of production, teaching and research and constantly strengthens its sci-tech innovation ability. It has constructed the Shaanxi Industrial Academy and the National College Sci-Tech Park. Also, it has established share-holding corporations jointly with domestic large-size, well-known enterprises and public institutions, founded strategic alliances, and set up enterprise funds, joint laboratories and practice bases for graduate students, thus greatly promoting the transformation of research results.
Xidian University actively carries out international and domestic exchange and cooperation so as to expand its external development space. It has become a university constructed jointly with the CETC, Xi’an City, the State Commission of Science and Technology for National Defense Industry, Shaanxi Province, and the Ministry of Education. It has established friendly relations with universities and research institutions in more than 40 countries and regions, and built 2 national wisdom absorbing bases according to China’s “Discipline Innovation Wisdom Absorbing Program for Institutions of Higher Learning”. It has founded long-term strategic cooperation partnership relations with over 10 domestic research institutes, research centers and enterprise groups in trades of electronics and aviation, and set up, in the University, joint laboratories with 39 transnational corporations such as the Infineon, the Intel, the IBM and the HP.
In 80 years since its founding, Xidian University has produced over 120,000 high-level talents in the fields of electronics and information for the country. More than 100 of its graduates have become generals of the People’s Liberation Army. Over 10 persons have become members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Many of its graduates have become leading lights and technical backbones in the IT trade, for example, Mr. Liu Chuanzhi has become chairman of the board of the Lenovo Group, Mr. Li Moran won the international GSM Award, Mr. Wang Zhonglin is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and a renowned expert in nano technology, and Mr. Yang Hong is the deputy chief designer of the Shenzhou V and Shenzhou VI Spacecraft. Tens of its graduates have become heads of research institutes or research academies, and presidents of universities. They have made significant contributions to China’s construction and social progress.
Facing the era of knowledge economy and digitization, Xidian University is determined to carry forward the cause pioneered by its predecessors and forge ahead into the future, to make innovations, and to go all out to build itself into a research-type, open, domestically first-rate and internationally renowned high-level university with distinct features!