Founded in October 1952, Beihang University is the first institution of higher education in aeronautics and astronautics established after the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Currently, it has developed into a comprehensive research university covering engineering, natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, encompassing three campuses with over 30,000 full-time students and nearly 4,000 faculty and staff.
Since its founding, the university has consistently ranked among China’s key academic institutions. Its aspirations, history, and development are closely aligned with China’s growth, rejuvenation, and social progress. Building upon its contributions to Chinese society, the university is forging a path toward world-class status based on its unique characteristics. In 2016, its grand vision of “building a world-class university rooted in China” was put forward. In 2017, it 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.
Beihang University prioritizes the cultivation of exceptional students, adhering to the ideology of “nurturing top students into first-class talents” and the ideal of being “student-oriented, knowledge-based, integrated, innovative, and open”. Through its two-pronged approach of building both knowledge and technical competency, it has equipped China’s aerospace industry and national infrastructure with leaders and innovators who have spread the “Beihang spirit” around the world. In 2017, the university is undergoing the largest reform in its academic structure since its inception by establishing the Beihang School, which will focus on supporting freshmen and sophomores. These students are admitted to the university based on their aptitude in general disciplines, and will be nurtured with general education in a broad range of subjects. Moreover, resources are being distributed across the university to integrate and coordinate the development of different schools with the aim of cultivating multidisciplinary leaders with strong aspirations, knowledge, vision, and a truth-seeking spirit.
Beihang University has been working unceasingly to invigorate its world-class faculty, who have distinguished academic backgrounds from internationally renowned universities, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Imperial College London, Stanford University, and Oxford University. The university has attracted three Nobel Prize winners, eight eminent academicians from the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, Academia Europaea or the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and 26 experts from China’s Thousand Talents Plan. In addition, four Beihang professors were recently elected as academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and five as members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and more than 30 professors are involved in various national high-level talent programs, such as the Chang Jiang Scholars Program and Distinguished Young Scholars Program. The Vision Forum for International Young Scholars—an annual symposium for early-career scientists—provides a pipeline for outstanding talents from top institutions to Beihang.
Beihang University remains committed to establishing a solid scientific foundation and enhancing innovative capacity. The university consistently generates academic discoveries that advance many disciplines, averaging at least one significant scientific finding every one to two months. Many high-level basic research findings have been published in top international peer-reviewed journals such as Science and Nature, exemplifying Beihang’s leading role in many fields, including bionic interfaces, thermoelectric materials, and quantum measurement. With respect to research on cutting-edge technologies, the university has received a record 12 national-level first prizes for its scientific and technological accomplishments in the past 13 years, ranking among the top universities in China and affirming the success of the “Beihang model” for scientific innovation.
In recent years, Beihang has been highlighting the leading role that senior faculty play in leading cross-disciplinary international research and supporting international researchers driven to address the most intractable scientific issues on the platform offered by the International Research Institute for Multidisciplinary Science. In the interests of pursuing cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary scientific research, the university is dedicated to better integrating its engineering sciences expertise with the life and medical sciences. Part of this initiative is the Innovation Institute of Interdisciplinary Medicine-Engineering, which the university hopes will attract world-class scientists to establish China’s “Silicon Valley” for medical and engineering sciences, and Nobel Laureates such as Alan J. Heeger, Albert Fert, and Thomas C. Südhof have already visited and developed close working ties with Beihang. May of 2018 witnessed the success of the 370-day Lunar Palace 365 Experiment led by Prof. Liu Hong, the longest bioregenerative life support system experiment with the highest degree of closure in the world. This achievement marks China's leading role in this field.
While maintaining its focus at home, Beihang University is also seeking collaborations abroad. Implementation of the “university-to-university, professor-to-professor, and student-to-student” development strategy has helped to build Beihang’s network for international exchange and cooperation, significantly growing the university’s influence and competitiveness abroad. The university has established long-term, stable partnerships with nearly 200 well-known institutions of higher education, first-class research institutes, and multinational companies, joined numerous international alliances and academic organizations, and founded a number of high-end international cooperative ventures. In 2005, the Sino-French Engineering School of Beihang University was established, becoming recognized as a preeminent example of Sino-French collaboration in higher education. In 2017, the School of General Engineering was founded to be a model for international education in the field of general engineering. Meanwhile, the Beihang BeiDou Silk Road Institute has been founded jointly with top universities in countries along the ancient land and maritime treading routes known as the Silk Road, marking the initiation of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System service to the Belt and Road Initiative.
Beihang University prides itself on its students, faculty and staff who are passionate, motivated and responsible. It is a campus where Chinese culture meets the West, science is interwoven with art, history and innovation coexist, and enthusiasm and inspiration work synergistically to spark creativity. At Beihang, dreams bloom at every stage, and important destinations can be reached from every path. This vibrant national key university continues to forge a path unceasingly toward its goal of achieving a world-class standard in education and research, while remaining deeply connected to its domestic roots.
Welcome to Beihang!
Prof. Dr.-Ing. XU Huibin
President of Beihang University
Updated on October 15, 2018