Initially known as "Fudan Public School", Fudan University was founded in the year 1905. It is the first institution of higher education founded by Chinese people. The word "Fudan" , chosen by Mr. Ma Xiang-bo, the founder and the renowned modern educator, found its lexical origin in the quotation "Heavenly light shines day after day" taken from "Annotations of Yu and Xia" (Yu Xia Zhuan) of Scholia of The Collection of Archaic Texts (Shang Shu Da Zhuan). It means striving continuously to make new progress and carries the hope of Chinese intellectuals to run a school on their own and rejuvenate the country by education.
Fudan has gone through various reforms over the past over one hundred years. In 1917, Fudan Public School became a private university named the Private Fudan University with art, science and business departments, and also had an attached middle school and university-preparatory school. In 1937, Fudan moved with the Kuomintang to the inland city of Beibei, Chongqing, later the temporary capital after the breakout of Sino-Japanese War. In 1941, Fudan University then became National Fudan University. In 1946, it moved back to Jiangwan, Shanghai. In 1949, Fudan had established art, science, law, business, and agriculture departments including 20 disciplines. From 1950 to 1952 during which colleges and universities all over the country underwent a thorough readjustment and reshuffling, a large number of departments were added to or removed. After the 1980s, Fudan became more intellectually comprehensive by covering a wider range of academic disciplines: the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, technology, and management. The official merger with Shanghai Medical University in 2000 formed a brand new Fudan. Better equipped and more robust, Fudan is one step further today toward its ambitious aim of becoming a leading comprehensive university in the world.
Fudan University, enjoying a good reputation in history, has a large number of academic masters and famous scholars teaching at the school for a long term, which has laid a solid foundation of academic resources. A large number of well-known domestic and foreign experts are still active in the academic arena as the representative of Fudan contemporary academic leaders. Since the establishment, Fudan has trained more than 20 thousand graduates. A great many outstanding alumni have made great contributions to the development of China.
The incumbent president of Fudan University is Professor Yang Yuliang. The incumbent chancellor of Fudan University is Professor Qin Shaode.
The university motto is "to learn extensively and adhere to aspirations, to inquire earnestly and reflect with self application". The university ethos is: "civilized, healthy, united, strenuous" The learning ethos is: "diligent, rigorous, realistic and innovative."
Fudan consists of 29 schools and departments, with seventy undergraduate disciplines. The University confers doctoral degrees in twenty-four Level I and one hundred and fifty-three Level II academic disciplines (with twenty-nine of them established by the University itself and one special degree), and master＇s degrees in two hundred and twenty five disciplines (with fifty of them established by the University itself and eight special degrees), and There are also twenty-five research stations that offer postdoctoral fellowships. Fudan includes 306 existing research institutions, 5 national key laboratories, 39 provincial and ministerial research institutions, and 10 affiliated hospitals. Fudan also actively set up technology industry to promote the integration of production, study and research, and has created vibrant “Fudan-run” industries.
Fudan boasts a qualified faculty of over 2,481 full-time teachers and researchers, including 1,400 full professors and associate professors, 35 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 831 doctoral advisors, 50 chair professors and 25 lecture professors of the Cheungkong Scholars Program, 11 chief scientists of Project 973 and thirty-three "Young and Middle-Aged Experts Nationally Acknowledged for Their Outstanding Achievements".
Fudan now has an enrollment of 26,792 full-time degree candidates, with 11976 doctors and master candidates, 14816 academy students and undergraduates, 2812 foreign students, 11160 students of Continuing Education, 9510 students of Online Education.
Fudan has established a campus structure called "one-body-two-wings", where the body is Handan campus and Jiangwan campus, which are only 2 miles apart, and the two wings are Fenglin campus and Zhangjiang campus. By the end of 2006, the school covers an area of more than 244 million square meters, building area more than 139 million square meters. Fixed assets have reached 2.973 billion yuan. Fudan has 134 existing laboratories, including five national key laboratories, 20 provincial and ministerial key laboratories, and arts, science and medical libraries. The number of existing book collections is 4.45 million, ranking at the forefront of national universities.
Fudan University has become an influential international academic center, with extensive and close international links, and active academic exchanges. Fudan has established cooperative exchange relations with more than 150universities and research institutions in nearly 30 countries and regions, and has granted honorary Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, and Advisory Professor to more than 300 internationally renowned scholars and people. Fudan University is one of the four bases in foreign language teaching nationally, and its number of foreign students ranks second in China.
"Heavenly light shines day after day”, in the past 100 years, Fudan has made outstanding contributions in personnel training, innovative technology, carrying forward heritage, serving the community to the country. In the history of Fudan University, a large number of masters and well-known scholars have exerted far-reaching implications in the Chinese academic and educational history. Fudan faculty and students always promote Fudan spirit, and devote themselves to the national liberation and revitalization, the country＇s construction and development, and social civilization and advance. In the new century, with the investment of Ministry of Education and Shanghai Municipal Government, Fudan University, a one-hundred-year-old prestigious institution, is striving to become a world-level comprehensive research university which relies on Shanghai, and serves the whole nation. Fudan will continue to explore new findings in education, technology innovation and system innovation for the progress of human civilization.