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Beijing Normal University
Beijing Normal University logo.svg
Seal of Beijing Normal University
Latin: Universitas Normalis Pechinum
Motto 学为人师、行为世范(Chinese)
Motto in English
Learn, so as to instruct others; Act, to serve as example to all.
Type Public
Established 1902; 122 years ago (1902)
President Yu Jihong
Party Secretary Cheng Jianping
Academic staff
Students 31,896(2023)
Undergraduates 15,961(2023)
Postgraduates 15,935(2023)
Beijing Campus:No.19, Xinjiekouwai St, Haidian District,Beijing,China
Zhuhai Campus:No.18, Jinfeng Road, Tangjiawan,Zhuhai, Guangdong,China
Colours      Dark Blue
     Light Blue
Affiliations BHUA, GHMUA
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese 北京师范大学
Traditional Chinese 北京師範大學
Chinese 北师大

Beijing Normal University (BNU) is a public university in Beijing, China. It is affiliated with the Ministry of Education of China, and co-funded by the Ministry of Education and the Beijing Municipal People's Government. The university is part of Project 211, Project 985, and the Double First-Class Construction.

Beijing Normal University (BNU) grew out of the Education Department of Imperial University of Peking established in 1902, which initiated teacher training in China’s higher education. After the development for over a century, BNU has become a comprehensive and research-intensive university with its main characteristics of basic disciplines in sciences and humanities, teacher education and educational science.

BNU consists of Beijing Campus and Zhuhai Campus. The University has 3 faculties, 27 schools, 2 departments, 11 research institutes and 4 academies. In addition, there are more than 5.4 million books and 8.2 million e-books in its libraries.

At present, the university has established cooperative ties with about 300 universities and international organizations from more than 40 countries and regions. Each year, above 900 international professors and scholars are invited to lecture and research at the University. And BNU has around 2000 long-term international students, the scale of which ranks among top in China’s universities.


The university grew out of the Faculty of Education at the Imperial University of Peking, which had been founded by the Guangxu Emperor after the Hundred Days' Reform in 1898. In 1908, the Faculty of Education was named the "Imperial Capital School of Supreme Teacher Training" and separated from the Imperial University of Peking which subsequently became Peking University.

A memorial for three students killed in the March 18 Massacre, 1926

In 1912, after the Republic of China was established, the Imperial Capital School of Supreme Teacher Training was renamed Peking Normal College. The college established its first graduate programs in 1920 and began accepting female students in 1921. In 1923 it was renamed Peking Normal University and became the first normal university in modern Chinese history. The Peking Women's College of Education merged into Peking Normal University in 1931.

When the Communist Party established the People's Republic of China in 1949 the capital of Peking was renamed, via pinyin, as Beijing and the university was consequently renamed Beijing Normal University. During a national initiative of university rearrangement in 1952 Fu Jen Catholic University merged with Beijing Normal University. In 1954 BNU moved from its Hepingmen campus to the newly established campus at Beitaipingzhuang. In 1959, BNU was designated by the Ministry of Education as one of 20 national key universities of China.

Historically, students at Beijing Normal University have played major roles in patriotic, democratic and other social movements, including the May Fourth Movement in 1919, and other significant cultural and sociopolitical events. The New York Times described it as "one of the most progressive institutions" in China.


Beijing Normal University was selected to be a Project 211 institution in 1996. In 2002, BNU signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education and Beijing municipal government to become the 10th university participating in Project 985, through which it receives special support from the Chinese government aimed at elevating its reputation to the level of a "world-class" university.

Campus view

During its centennial celebration in 2002 an asteroid discovered in 1996 was named after the university as 8050 Beishida.

After a special visit by Premier Wen Jiabao to the university on May 4, 2006, the Chinese government implemented a tuition-waiver policy for teacher training programs in six normal universities that are supervised by the Ministry of Education, including Beijing Normal University.

The university has a strong emphasis on increasing educational equity. Its 2009 demographic data shows that 40% of its enrolled students were from western China, one third were from rural areas and a quarter were from low-income families. Ethnic minorities comprised more than 10% of students.


As of the year 2020, the university has 74 undergraduate degree programs, 185 master programs and 142 doctoral programs. Sixteen of them are honored as "national key disciplines", including 5 general disciplines and 11 specialized disciplines, which are recognized among the top ranked programs in China:

National Key Disciplines at Beijing Normal University
Education Psychology
Chinese Language and Literature Mathematics
Geography Cell Biology
Marxist Philosophy Physical Chemistry
Ancient Chinese History System Sciences
Theory of History Theoretical Physics
Folklore/Anthropology Environmental Science
Ecology Educational Economics and Management

Beijing Normal University possesses 74 research laboratories, including 4 State Key Labs, 8 Key Labs of the Ministry of Education and 6 Key Labs of the Beijing Municipality. Key research centers and facilities include 7 key research facilities in humanities and social sciences of the Ministry of Education, 2 research centers of Engineering and Technology of the Beijing Municipality, 3 research centers jointly established with the Beijing Municipality, and more than 40 other research centers. Additionally, the university has an institute dedicated to Proteomics, the only one established in a university by the Ministry of Education. The university has also established a Science Park comprising 6 hectares.

The Mu Duo Gilded Bell
State Key Laboratories at Beijing Normal University
State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning
State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Processes and Resource Ecology
State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control
State Key Joint Laboratory of Remote Sensing Science

Beijing Normal University's annual research budget in the sciences exceeds RMB 100 million. In 2010, 150 projects were funded by the National Natural Science Foundation, with a record high amount of RMB 62 million (compared with 44.7 million in 2009 and 37 million in 2007).

Funding for research in the humanities and social sciences has increased rapidly in the last five years to RMB 150 million, the third largest budget nationally. Since 2002, the annual increase in budget has been over RMB 30 million, equating to RMB 40,000 per capita. This increase in funding reflects BNU's institutional commitment to basic theory and research in the humanities and social sciences.

International Collaboration

Beijing Normal University is part of a university consortium, including the University for Continuing Education Krems, Eötvös Loránd University, Hochschule Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology and the University of Tampere, which offers an Erasmus+ joint master's degree and a Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education.

Beijing Normal University was among the first Chinese institutions to accept international students. It is particularly popular for its Mandarin Chinese study programs. Among its most prestigious programs is Princeton in Beijing, a collaboration with Princeton University in the United States.

The university collaborates with the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) on SUSS's Master of Arts in Chinese Language and Literature.

Beijing Normal University is the seat of the BRICS Universities League Secretariat with BNU as a leading university in terms of BRICS higher education and academic cooperation.

Rankings and reputation

University rankings
BCUR National Domestic 19
Wu Shulian National Domestic 28
CUAA National Alumni =14
QS National General 11
THE National General 12
QS Asia
(Asia version)
General 52
THE Asia
(Asia version)
General 34
ARWU World Research 151–200
QS World General 271
THE World General 177
USNWR World General =269

As of 2023, BNU was ranked 18th by the QS World University Rankings by Subjects, and 19th globally by the Times Higher Education Rankings by Subjects,' for "Education and Training", which are historical strengths for the Faculty of Education that originated as a "normal university".

BNU is ranked 36th among the Global Top 100 Innovative Universities according to the World's Universities with Real Impacts (WURI) Ranking 2021.

According to the 2021 QS World University Rankings, BNU was ranked among the top 170 in "Arts and Humanities", "Social Sciences & Management" and "Natural Science" related subjects.

Beijing Normal University consistently features in the top 300th global universities as ranked by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the U.S. News & World Report. Beijing Normal graduates are highly desired in China and worldwide; in 2017, its graduate employability rankings placed in the global top #200+ universities with high-achieving graduates. Internationally, Beijing Normal University was regarded as one of the most reputable Chinese universities by the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings where, it has ranked #126 globally.

Schools and Departments

Beijing Normal University Library
The administration building (front) and library (behind) of Beijing Normal University
  • Faculty of Education
  • Faculty of Geographical Science
  • Faculty of Geographical Science
  • School of Philosophy
  • Business School
  • Law School
  • School of Marxism
  • School of Sociology
  • College of P.E. and Sports
  • School of Chinese Language and Literature
  • School of International Chinese Language Education
  • School of Foreign Languages and Literature
  • School of Journalism and Communication
  • School of History
  • School of Mathematical Sciences
  • Department of Physics
  • College of Chemistry
  • Department of Astronomy
  • School of Systems Science
  • School of Statistics
  • School of Environment
  • School of Life Science
  • School of Artificial Intelligence
  • College of Nuclear Science and Technology
  • School of Government
  • School of Arts and Communication
  • School of Continuing Education and Teacher Training
  • The Belt and Road School
  • College of Education for the Future
  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • School of National Safety and Emergency Management
  • School of Future Design
  • Bay Area International Business School
  • School of Economics and Resource Management
  • College for Criminal Law Science
  • College of Water Sciences
  • Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management
  • Collaborative Innovation Centre of Assessment for Basic Education Quality
  • Institute of Culture Innovation and Communication
  • Institute of New Materials
  • Research Institute of Teaching Materials
  • China Institute of Education and Social Development
  • Institute of Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Advanced Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Jingshi Academy

Beijing Normal University also has many other areas of study not mentioned above.


Gymnasium and Recreation Complex

The main campus is in the Haidian District, with other Beijing campuses in the Changping District and Xicheng District as well as a campus in Zhuhai, Guangdong.

The original campus was near Hepingmen and Liulichang in the center of Beijing during the Republic of China period. After Fu Jen University merged with BNU the Fu Jen campus in Shichahai became the Northern Campus of BNU.

Beijing Normal University's current campus was built in 1954. It is located in central northwest Beijing in Haidian district between the second and third ring roads. It is the closest of all Haidian universities to Tiananmen Square.

Its campus hosted the U.S. Olympic Team during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Zhuhai Campus

Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai (BNU Zhuhai), is an important component of the construction of "a comprehensive, research-oriented, world-class university with Chinese characteristic and leading teacher education" and is a southern campus of the same level as Beijing campus, both of which are planned, progressed and presented as one university, in accordance with the university's development strategy of "One University, Two Campuses" and the principle of "High Standard, New Mechanism and Internationalization".

Taking advantage of its unique geographical advantage of proximity to Hong Kong and Macao and its innovation strengths, Zhuhai Campus aims to build a southern highland for the training of excellent teachers, especially teachers in disciplines urgently needed by the country, a base for training talents to strengthen the rallying power of Hong Kong and Macao and to serve the "Belt and Road Initiative", an advanced innovative center for education, and a base for cultivating new and interdisciplines. In August 2017, Guangdong Provincial Government, Zhuhai Municipal Government and Beijing Normal University signed the Agreement on Co-construction of Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai. In April 2019, the Ministry of Education officially approved the establishment of Beijing Normal University at Zhuhai. It provides modern, high-quality teaching and housing facilities in an attractive, tranquil environment, covering over 5,000 mu (333 hectares). It is an ideal place for students to pursue their studies.

Notable alumni

Affiliated high schools

  • Experimental High School Attached to Beijing Normal University
  • The High School Affiliated to Beijing Normal University
  • The Second High School Attached to Beijing Normal University

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Universidad Normal de Pekín para niños

  • List of universities in China
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