Beihang University (previously known as Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) was founded on October 25, 1952 under the name of Beijing Institute of Aeronautics, originating from the merger of the aeronautical departments of Tsinghua University, Beiyang University, Xiamen University, Sichuan University, etc. Located in the center of the Zhongguancun Science Park and within easy reach of central Beijing, Beihang is the first university in China focusing on aeronautical and astronautical education and research. About 26km away from the main campus, the suburban Shahe campus provides quiet study milieu and is also home to the National Laboratory of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NLAA). The very new Doudian campus aims at research and innovation through engineering combined with medicine.
Since its founding, Beihang has excelled as one of the first 16 key universities in China, given priority for development. In 2017, Beihang was chosen to participate in the Double First-Class plan, which includes major support from the Chinese Ministry of Education and other government departments to build a world-class university with world-class disciplines. Over the past 65 years, Beihang has fostered more than 180,000 professionals in various sectors for the world. The main designers and chief engineers of China’s first manned space flight, Shengzhou-5 Spacecraft, are Beihang alumni. The university and its alumni have contributed the most to the country’s aeronautical, astronautical and other relative industries.
At present, the university comprises more than 30 schools/colleges, covering science, technology, medicine, liberal arts, law, economy, management, philosophy, foreign languages and education. It has 2,172 full-time faculty members, 83.60% of which have doctorates. Among them are 23 academicians of either the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 27 members of the Recruitment Program for Innovative Talents of the Recruitment Program of Global Experts, 31 chief scientists of the 973 Program, 67 Changjiang Scholars, 52 winners of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, 3 national distinguished teachers, 3 Nobel laureates, 58 members of the Recruitment Program for Young Professionals of the Thousand Talents Plan and 52 winners of the Excellent Young Scientists Fund.
Beihang has now a total enrollment of over 30,000 full-time students, including about 1,300 international students who are pursuing their degrees. Beihang is deeply committed to an education that fosters innovation and intercultural awareness. It is a campus tradition that Beihang students participate in innovation contests and figure out the most creative solutions in teams every year. It is also a booming trend for many students to spend weeks, months or even years studying abroad at our partner universities.
Establishing a solid scientific foundation and innovative capacity that caters to China’s national strategic needs is a high priority for Beihang University. With 1 national laboratory, 9 state key laboratories, 4 national engineering centers, 3 Beijing advanced innovation centers and over 70 provincial or ministry-level key laboratories, it has become one of the country’s important bases for scientific/technological innovation and high-level personnel education. In addition to serving the country, it is also striving to boost engagement with the world-wide flow of talent, vigorous intellectual exchange, and international interdisciplinary research.
Beihang has evolved into an open, comprehensive, research-oriented university with focuses on aeronautics, astronautics and informatics. Looking to the future, Beihang aspires to become a world-class research university rooted in China with distinctive advantages in science and technology.
At present, the president of Beihang University is Professor XU Huibin, a material scientist and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.