• About NKU
  • Overview

    A key multidisciplinary and research-oriented university directly under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Nankai University, located in Tianjin on the coast of the sea of Bohai, is also the alma mater of our beloved late Premier Zhou Enlai.


    Nankai University was founded in 1919 by the famous patriotic educators Zhang Boling and Yan Xiu. During the Anti-Japanese war (1937-1945), Nankai, Peking (Beijng) and Tsinghua (Qinghua) universities united in Kunming to form the renowned Southwest Associated University. It was described as The North Star of Higher Learning. In accordance with its motto of dedication to public interests, acquisition of all-round capability  and aspiration for daily progress, the university has produced prominent talents including the late Premier Zhou Enlai, Dr. Shiing -shen Chern, Dr. Ta-you Wu and the playwright Cao Yu. On the 25th December, 2000, the State Ministry of Education signed an agreement with Tianjin Municipal Government to jointly establish and develop Nankai University. Since then, Nankai has been listed among the universities to receive priority development in the twenty-first century. After the completion of the Jinnan campus on September 2015, the univesity has constructed an operating pattern of a university with three campuses.  On September 2017, the university was selected to the list of 42 universities and colleges that would participate in “National Double First-Class” Initiative as one of the 36 A-level universities in China.


    Nankai University now occupies an area of 4,451,900m². Besides its main campus located in Balitai, Nankai University also has campuses in Jinnan District and TEDA College in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area. In accordance with the principle of “Independent Operation under Close Collaboration”, the university is pursuing a comprehensive cooperation with Tianjin University.


    Nankai University is one of the comprehensive universities with the widest range of disciplines. It features a balance between the humanities and the sciences, a solid foundation and a combination of application and creativity. The university has 26 academic colleges, together with the Graduate School, the School for Continuing Education, the Advanced Vocational School, the Modern Distance Education School, and categories covering literature, history, philosophy, economics, management,law, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, teaching and art. Nankai University offers 92 undergraduate specialties (including 18 national characteristic specialties),28 Post-Doctoral research stations and 31 authorized primary Doctoral specialties. There are 6 first degree national key disciplines (covering 35 second degree disciplines), 9 second degree national key disciplines, 2 national key cultivating disciplines, and 32 first degree Tianjin municipal key disciplines. Furthermore, there are 2 national key laboratories, 7 key laboratories of the Ministry of Education, 1 key laboratory of the State Environmental Protection Administration, 20 key laboratories of Tianjin,14 engineering centers of the Ministry of Education, 4 engineering centers of Tianjin, 9 national bases for basic science research and talent cultivation.


    Equipped with top academic capability and creative spirit, Nankai University has a well-balanced faculty team in terms of age and specialty. Among the 2,162 faculty members, there are 822 doctoral supervisors, 770 master's supervisors, 864 professors and 840 associate professors, 11 members of Chinese Academy of Science and 3 members of Chinese Academy of Engineering, 3 chief scientists of the National High Technology Research and Development Program (863 Program) and 15 chief scientists  of the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) and 17 leaders of The National Key Research and Development Program of China, 8 teachers awarded by the Ministry of Education with the honor of Outstanding College Lecturer, 8 recipients of Excellent Young Teachers Prizes supported by the Ministry of Education, and 28 recipients of the National Natural Science Foundation of China Youth Fund.


    Nankai University has a fully-fledged education system for producing undergraduates, postgraduates on master's and doctoral programs and post-doctoral researchers.Currently, the university has a total enrollment of 28,557 students, including 16,372 undergraduate students, 8,322 master's candidates, 3,863 doctoral candidates.


    Nankai University is a center for both education and academic research. A large number of academic achievements have been made and acknowledged at home and abroad. Since 2007, Nankai University has won 4 National Second Prizes in natural sciences, 1 National Second Prize for science and technology progress, 1 National Second Prize for technology invention, 46 National teaching achievements, 31 National Excellent Courses, 15 Excellent Video Demonstration Courses, and 2 China Youth Science and Technology Awards. There have been 20 doctoral dissertations being selected to the National 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertations.


    In 2017, Nankai University published 39 SSCI index articles, 1297 CSSCI index articles and 1,392 SCI index articles. In recent decade, the citation per paper included in SCI have reached 18.87, maintaining the top among the highly-cited universities on an accumulative basis.


    Nankai University actively takes advantage of disciplines, technology, talents and information to enhance the industrialization and commercialization of research serving the national and local economies and social development. Some research institutes like the China APEC Institute, the School of Economic & Social Development, Binhai Development Research Institute, the Research Center of Education and Industry Regional Development, the Human Rights Research Center, Institute of Statistics,and Institute of Ecological Civilization, etc. have become the Think Tank and Talents Cradle for central and local governments. According to national needs, and in pursuit of a first-class world position, Nankai comprehensively implemented the strategy of innovation-driven development and actively promotes the construction of all kinds of collaborative innovation centers, setting up close cooperative relationships with a group of colleges and universities, enterprises, research institutes and government departments. In 2014, the Collaborative Innovation Center for China Economy led by Nankai University became the first authorized collaborative innovation center in economics.


    Nankai University focuses on students' all-round capability and creativity in teaching and education. Under its educational philosophy of art to regulate the country, science to strengthen it and business to enrich it, the university leaders advocate a teaching guideline of paying attention to quality education, cultivating capability, consolidating knowledge foundations, widening disciplinary spheres, and strictly administrating and ensuring high quality. It has established a complete educational system by connecting class teaching, scientific experiments, academic activities and social practice. A flexible educational system has been set up, including a system of credits, a system of major plus minor education and double degrees. The late Premier Zhou Enlai, Nankai's prominent alumnus, has been the model for all students to form a healthy disposition with high morality, the spirit of creativity and practical capability. The university is well known for its healthy environment. By attaching great importance to students' overall development in virtue, intelligence, sport and art, the university has successfully created a colorful campus cultural atmosphere of elegance and aspiration for the benefit of students' healthy growth. As a result, being equipped with strong basic knowledge, all-round capability, creativity and practical ability, graduates from round quality education system and promote the all-round development of students, Nankai University has formulated and implemented “The 13th Five-year Outline for Promoting Quality Education” and “The Guideline for Promoting Undergraduates’ Quality Development”. In addition, the innovation and entrepreneurship education has been advanced through the establishment of entrepreneurship class and the Base for Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Practice.


    Nankai University has developed broad international communications by establishing exchange and collaborative relationships with more than 320 international universities and academic institutions. Nankai University has been contracted to establish 9 Confucius Institutes overseas including one at Maryland University in the US. In both 2012 and 2015, Nankai has become an Advanced Sino-Cooperation Academy of the Confucius Institute. Nankai undertakes the task of offering Chinese language training to foreign countries, and has launched a number of high-level study abroad programs, including the Oxford Program, participation in the Davos World University Leaders Forum, the host of “Tianjin Forum (2017)”, the secretariat of International Forum of Public Universities (IFPU) and selection by Hanban as one of the first universities to participate in the new international Sinology research plan. Nankai University collaborates with Glasgow University and has established the NKU-UoG Joint Graduate School.


    Nankai University has awarded 10 international celebrities the title of Honorary Doctor, including the mathematician Shiing-shen Chern, the physician Ta-you Wu, the economist Myrdal, former President of the Straits Exchange Foundation Jiang Bingkun, Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab, former Singapore president Tan Keng Yam and President of Constitutional Council Laurent Fabius of France, etc. Nobel Laureates Chen Ning Yang, Tsung-Dao Lee, Samuel Chao Chung Ting, Robert A. Mundell, Peter Doherty, Karl Barry Sharpless, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former President of Korea Kim Dae Jung, former President of European Commission and former Prime Minister of Italy Romano Prodi, Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and famous writer Jin Yong have all been conferred Honorary Professors of Nankai University. Many other world-renowned scholars and entrepreneurs have been invited as visiting professors.


    The university will continue to carry forward the character of Nankai, develop its spirit, persist in giving top priority to cultivating the integrity of students, strengthen its quality, vigorously implement the six strategies of reinvigorating the school through human resource development, building strong disciplines, improving educational quality, research and innovation, serving for Binhai Area and internationalization, and developing towards the goal of building a world-leading university.


    Statistics by January 2020)


    Quick Facts

  • 1919
  • 3
  • 26
  • 28557
    Full-time Students

    Undergraduates: 16372

    Master’s Students: 8322

    Doctoral Students: 3863

    ( including 3162 International Students )

  • 2162
    Full-time Teachers

    Professors: 864

    Associate Professors: 840

    Doctoral Supervisors: 822

    Master’s Supervisors: 770

  • 92
    Undergraduate Specialties
  • 42
    Master’s Degree and Doctoral Authorization Programs of First-level Disciplines

    Master’s Degree Authorization Programs of First-level Disciplines:11

    Doctoral Authorization Programs of First-level Disciplines:31

  • 28
    Postdoctoral Research Stations
  • 1
    2020 Citation Per Paper in ESI (Chinese Mainland)
  • 15
    2019 QS Chinese University Rankings
  • 45
    2019 THE Asia Universities Rankings
  • * By the end of 2019