In 1905, Yu Youren and Shao Lizi left Zhendan Public School to support Ma Xiangbo in founding Fudan Public School in Wusong. The school’s name was chosen from the “Biography of Yuxia” in the Classic of History, where the two characters fù复 (“return”) and dàn旦 (“dawn”) are found in the lines “Auspicious clouds are splendid, they gather and fill the sky; Brilliant are the sunshine and moonlight, again the morning glory after the night.” The original meaning was the pursuit of greatness, and it implies self-run education and the revival of China. Ma Xiangbo and Yanfu each held the post of school president. Li Denghui was president from 1913 until 1936. During his 23-year tenure, Fudan developed into a distinguished private university renowned for developing applied skills in the fields of business, economics, news reporting, education, and civil engineering, with a complete program from middle school through graduate school.
After the outbreak of the Anti-JapaneseWar in 1937, some Fudan teachers and students moved to Beibei in Chongqing. In 1941 an agricultural college was added. On New Year’s Day 1942, the National Government’s Administrative Department ratified changing Fudan from private to state-run, with the full name Fudan State-run University. Wu Nanxuan was school president, followed by Zhang Yi. In the summer of 1946, the Chongqing school moved back to the original location in Shanghai’s Jiangwan, combining with the Shanghai school, and the school again increased in scale.
The Shanghai Military Control Commission took control of Fudan in June of 1949. The commission appointed Zhang Zhirang and Chen Wangdao to the school board as director and deputy director. The Fudan University Committee of the Chinese Communist Party was established in February 1952, with Li Zhengwen as secretary. In August and September of 1952, the East China region carried out a great restructuring of universities, and Fudan University became the nation’s key school in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, which determined the basic pattern of development of academic departments and teaching staff for the next 50 years.
In 1954, Yang Xiguan became the secretary of the Fudan University Conference of the CCP. In 1956 Fudan held the first National Representative Conference of the CCP. In the 1950s and 60s, the Party University Committee led by Yang Xiguang and Wang Ling supported president Zhang Chenwang in promoting the quality of education, making full use of experienced experts and seasoned professors, with a planned, focused, systematic training of a younger generation of mainstay teachers. Fudan’s quality and conditions of education developed considerably, reaching a distinguished plateau in the available fields of study. From 1949 through 1966, over 70 Fudan students were chosen to become academicians at the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the third largest number of any college or university in the nation. During the Great Leap Forward in 1958, Fudan University established new majors in Computational Mathematics, Atomic Physics, Radiochemistry, Radio Electronics, Biophysics, and Biochemistry. In the humanities, the departments of Law and of Philosophy were overhauled. The establishment of these new majors marked Fudan’s path towards a Socialistic comprehensive school with its own characteristics. In 1959, Fudan University was listed as one of the country’s 16 key universities. From 1966 until 1976, Fudan University fell victim to the Cultural Revolution, as heavy casualties were inflicted on teaching and research.
In 1984 Fudan University founded its graduate school. In the same year, the State Council approved it as one of the nation’s ten key colleges and universities. In February 1993, Fudan University proposed its plan to “pursue quality, compete to be the best, and define its position on the national team of colleges and universities,” as it progressively established an objective to build a world-class university. In 1994, a preliminary hearing of the National Ministry of Education’s “Plan 211” division proposed a blueprint for building Fudan University over the next ten years into a center and foundation for high-ranking personnel training, high-quality scientific research, high-tech achievement transfer and high-standards policy-making consultation, becoming a world-class comprehensive university with a dynamic academic ideology, commensurate with Shanghai’s position as an international metropolis. On May 22nd, 1995, chairman Jiang Zemin wrote the following commemoration for Fudan University: “In the new century, let’s build Fudan University into a world-class comprehensive university.”
Admission to Fudan University
International student education is an important direction in Fudan University’s turn towards internationalization. Fudan was one of the first universities to accept foreign exchange students since the Communist Revolution. Fudan was the first university in the nation to found an exchange student center in 2003, and the whole school worked towards establishing exchanges. It was the first school in the nation to promote uniformity in management of study for foreign students, establishing a foreign exchange student education system that links Fudan with the world while still according with the conditions of development in China.
Fudan University has the largest international student population in China’s comprehensive universities. Every year around 7,000 person/time international students from 120 countries and regions study at Fudan. 42% of the international students and about 3,000 persons are here for degree programs and the rest are for non-degree or exchange programs. Among all the international students, over 1,000 of them are master or doctor candidates and over 1,900 are bachelor candidates, up to 14.8% of the total international student population. There are 15 Engligh-taught master degree programs at Fudan, including Chinese Politics and Diplomacy and Chinese Economy. There is also an English-taught bachelor degree program for clinical medicine. Fudan has established a comprehensive foreign language course system that is catered to international students with four modules and over 180 courses every year.
Fudan University pays high attention to the quality of international student programs and is committed to raise the percentages of international degree program students and of international graduate students. To achieve that , the University admits students by tests and interview after reforming the admission process. Currently, over 15% of the international student body receives various scholarship from Chinese government programs. Foreign exchange students have already become an important component of Fudan’s school culture, and they participate extensively in all areas of study, practice, and community organizations, with 19 officially registered foreign exchange student clubs. The Fudan University Foreign Exchange Student Alumni Association has definite influence among international alumni.
Fudan offers many different types of international student programs, including degree-seeking programs (undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs), non-degree seeking programs (ordinary non-degree seeking, high-level non-degree seeking, research students, and short-term organization studies), and non-degree seeking language programs (language programs, summer Chinese classes, and Chinese language class auditing). For more information please register at the International Students Office website, where you can apply online.
The Fudan International Summer Course Program provides five weeks of course study and cultural experience for students from all over the world. Students have an opportunity to get to know China, to experience Shanghai, and to become members of the Fudan community. Fudan students can also take this opportunity to get to know international students. This program helps students to become more multicultural, to build a global view, and to make friends from all over the world. In 2013, this program will offer Chinese language classes in 14 specialties at four levels, as well as activities related to Chinese history and culture. The specialties include Chinese culture and politics, Chinese history, and Chinese economics.
Fudan University currently has five four-year residential colleges, each named after a different former college president’s given name or courtesy name. Zhide College commemorates Fudan’s founder Ma Xiangbo (given name Zhide), with green as the color of its uniform and flag; Tengfei College commemorates former school president Li Denghui (courtesy name Tengfei), with red as its color; Keqing College commemorates the founder of Shanghai Medical College, Yan Fuqing (courtesy name Keqing), and its color is blue; Renzhong College commemorates the first school president after the Liberation, Chen Wangdao (courtesy name Renzhong), with the color orange; and Xide College commemorates Fudan’s first female president Xie Xide, with the color purple.
The colleges are divided up based on the different dormitory areas, with mutually independent spaces, including housing and a public area within each space. The layout of the dormitories within each college is based on the overlap of academic disciplines and the blending of different areas of study. The function of the colleges is to realize education through culture in a residential setting. They are a space shared by students and teachers alike, and are an educational platform managed by the students themselves. The dean of each college is one of the school’s senior professors. The colleges include a board of management to assist the dean, a student-run board of management composed of students from within the college which independently establishes the various committees and carries out the functions of self-management and service, as well as self-education. College life is an important part of learning outside the classroom and campus culture, allowing students to increase their own academic interest and cultural attainment, as well as practicing their interpersonal communication and social leadership skills, and molding their social responsibility and leadership, all very important functions. The school fully respects the dean’s leadership of the college, and respects the students’ power to make their own decisions in the management of the college, fostering development of the students’ ability to manage themselves.