Northwest University (NWU) can trace its origins back to Shaanxi Imperial College and Peking Imperial College in 1902. The University received its current name in 1912, and was renamed Northwest National University in 1923. With institutions such as Peking National University, Peking National Normal University and Beiyang National Engineering College, which moved inland to Shaanxi province when the War of Resistance againstJapanbroke out in 1937, the University merged to form Xi’an National Provisional University. It was then renamed Northwest Associated University in 1938 and regained the name Northwest National University in 1939.
In the early years after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Northwest University was a comprehensive university under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education. In 1950, the University was renamed Northwest University. In 1958, NWU came under the administration of Shaanxi province. In 1978, NWu was designated as one of the national key universities. NWU has been selected among the first group of the universities with first-class disciplines and the leading universities sponsored by the national "211 Project". It also enjoys national support from the "One University for One Province Initiative".
Over the years, following its vision of "promoting the national spirit, integrating the ideas from around the world and shouldering responsibility of developing northwest China" and its motto of "Fairness, Integrity, Diligence and Simplicity", NWU has attracted a generou number of distinguished scholars, cultivated generations of talents, made a series of significant academic achievements and enjoyed high academic and social reputation. NWu has been honored as "the Mother of Chinese Petroleum Engineering", "the Cradle of Economists" and "the Cradle of Writers".
NWU has 3 campuses: the Taibai Campus, the Taoyuan Campus and the Chang'an Campus. They cover a total area approximately 400 acres, and comprise 23 schools and departments, plus a graduate school. In addition to 86 undergraduate programes, NWU has been authorized to confer master's degree in 36 first-tier disciplines and 14 professional programs, as well as doctoral degrees in 24 first-tier diciplines. NWU has developed 1 first-tier national key dicipline (covering 5 second-tier disciplines), 4 second-tier national key laboratory, 1 national key discipline under cultivation and 22 post-doctoral programs. Moreover, NWU houses 1 national key laboratory, 1 national research center for engineering & technology, 3 national bases for international scientific & technological cooperation, 2 bases of Overseas Expertise Introduction Project for Discipline Innovation (111 Project), 1 jointly-established training base of national key laboraotory by Ministry of Education and Shaaxi Province, 7 national experimental teaching demonstration centers, 1 national virtual simulation experiment teaching center, 7 national bases for talent cultivation, 1 national base for the cultural quality education of college students, 39 provincial and ministerial research centers for engineering & technology, and 17 provincial and minsterial research centers for humanities & social sciences.
NWU has about 2,740 members of faculty and staff, including 3 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 10 double-employed Academicians (professors), 1 member of International Academy of the History Science, 20 experts of "the ChangJiang Scholars Programs" and 12 National "Ten-thousand Talents Plan" winners. NWU also boasts 9 winners of the National Science Fund for Outstanding Young Scholars, winners of "the New Century Talents Project", 4 Nationally Distinguished Teachers, 21 winners of "the New Century Outstanding Talents Plan" of the Ministry of Education, 5 "Leading Young Talents of Science and Technology Innovation" of the Ministry of Science and Technology. Currently NWU has a student population of over 250 thousand including 8100 graduate students and 1000 international students.
To date, NWU has won a number of major scientific research awards, including the National Natural Sciences Awards (the first and second prized), the National Technological Invention Awards (the second prize), the National Scientific & Technological Progress Awards (the second prize), the Cheung Kong Scholars Achievement Awards (first prize) and Chinese Patent Gold Award.
NWU attaches great importance to international exchanges and cooperation, and has established collaborative relations with more than 100 institutions of higher learning and research in more than 30 foreign countries, including USA, UK, France, Germany and Japan, as well as regions such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. To its credit, NWU is listed as one of the leading universities of the world by the Encyclopedia Britannica.