Shanghai Jiao Tong University is one of China’s most prestigious and selective universities, enjoying a growing global reputation for its impressive research outputs. Founded in 1896 by a civil servant, the institution gained a reputation for its expertise for nurturing top engineers and scientists, becoming known as the ‘Eastern MIT’.
It took the English name ‘Jiao Tong’ in the 1950s – meaning ‘transportation’ – with the institution becoming largely a specialized engineering university for many decades. However, it acquired a medical school in 2005 and has since grown rapidly across five different campuses, covering a wide variety of science, technology, arts and humanities subjects.
It now has more than 60 undergraduate programs covering nine major disciplines - economics, law, literature, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, management and arts – with more than 16,000 undergraduates and more than 280,000 postgraduates, including more than 6,000 doctoral candidates on around 200 programs. It also has 11 state laboratories and national engineering research centers.
The university’s faculty includes around 2,800 full-time academics, of whom 890 are professors, with 22 members of Chinese Academy of Sciences and 24 members of Chinese Academy of Engineering.
Allied to its highly regarded research, outstanding education remains a cornerstone of the university’s ethos. It has 12 national teaching development centers, 9 national off-campus practice education bases and 6 national experimental teaching demonstration centers among other initiatives.
Among its highly acclaimed alumni are former Chinese premier Jiang Zemin, early computer pioneer An Wang, and Chen Zhu, a molecular biologist who rose to become China’s minister of health.
Several sports stars have also attended the university including snooker player Ding Junhui and Yao Ming, the 7ft 6ins All-Star basketball centre and China team captain, who represented Houston Rockets in the American NBA for many years.
On research, the university is widely seen as one of China’s best performing institutions, winning the most amount of money from the National Natural Science Foundation of China, for six years in a row up to 2015.
Internationally, SJTU is ranked among 101–150th globally by ARWU in 2014. The institution came sixth in the QS BRICS University Rankings and was 27th in the counterpart conducted by Times Higher Education in 2014.
Only 2 bachelor’s programs are taught in English: Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering. In addition, 2 programs are taught in French and the others – in Chinese. There are also about 30 master’s programs taught in English. Its engineering and biology programs are highly ranked not only in China but also through the entire world.