Ankang University (hereinafter known as AKU) is the only full-time ordinary undergraduate university of Ankang City, which is administered by the Shaanxi Provincial Government. The university’s primary mission is to train applied talents with high comprehensive quality and creative minds. The origin of AKU can be trace back to the Ankang University of 1958, which was suspended in 1963 because of national economic difficulties. In August 1978, it was reopened as a branch school of Shaanxi Normal University, and in June 1984 it was renamed “Ankang Teacher's College” with the approval of the Shaanxi Provincial Government. In February 2006, with the authorization of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), it was approved as an undergraduate university.
Ankang City is located in the southern part of Shaanxi Province, among the Tsinling Mountains and Mt. Bashan, lying on the shore of Hanjiang River, adjacent to Hubei Province, Chongqing City and Sichuan Province. The city is the geometric center of The Central Shaanxi, Chengdu-Chongqing and Jianghan Economic Zones. Ankang city boasts an extraordinary ecological and geographical environment, and compromises the traditional culture of Qin,Chu, Ba and Shu, which together makes the city to be an ideal place to live and study.
Now AKU has two campus: Jiangnan Campus and Jiangbei Campus. In total, the university covers an area about 542,000 square meters, with good conditions and beautiful scenery. The present AKU consists of twelve schools encompassing 38 undergraduate majors, covering about 10 academic subjects, such as Law, Education, Literature, Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Management, Art, Economics, and Medical Science. The university has formed characteristic subjects like the folk cultural study of southern Shaanxi, the protection and development of natural resources in the Tsinling Mountains and Mt. Bashan, and agricultural resources and environment. AKU now has one national-level agricultural and forestry talents training program, one national-level feature major, one comprehensive reform experimental major, two provincial-level feature majors, three provincial-level comprehensive reform experimental majors, one provincial-level key discipline, five provincial-level teaching teams, thirteen provincial-level quality courses, four provincial-level experimental teaching centers, three provincial-level innovation experimental zones of talents cultivation, and one provincial innovation and entrepreneurship pilot school. Presently, AKU has become a national-level university for undergraduate-student innovation and entrepreneurship training project.
The total number of full-time undergraduate students of AKU is 10374, and it has a professional teaching staff with proficient teaching skills and research capabilities. Of the 754 staff members, 546 are full-time teachers; 192 hold the title of professor or associate professor; 425 have Doctor’s or Master’s degrees, which occupies 77.83% of the full-time teachers; and 74 teachers specialize in both theory and practice with industry background. Among our teaching stuff, six teachers are well-known and admired throughout the province; one is a famous contemporary Chinese writer; fourteen teachers are employed as PHD or Master supervisor for other universities. Also, AKU employs 118 talents as our counselors, visiting professors and part-time teachers, including academicians, well-known experts and scholars, and talents with industry working background. There are 5 teachers which have been employed as lead engineers and chief agronomists, and over 60 teachers have been awarded prizes for a wide range of achievements. These include the Outstanding Teacher Award of Shaanxi Province, the Ethical Models of Shaanxi Province, and the honorary title like “four kinds of talents” and “talents in Shaanxi”.
AKU makes many efforts to improve its teaching level, and also its academic research standard. The university has 8 provincial scientific research platforms, 10 municipal scientific research platforms, 9 scholastic scientific research platforms and 6 scientific and technological innovation teams. Also, AKU has been equipped with the academician and expert workstation of Shaanxi Association for Science and Technology (SNAST) and demonstration workshop for joint training of graduate students in Shaanxi. By now, teachers of AKU have undertaken approximately 1225 research projects in different levels and different categories, including projects of the National Social Science Fund Project, the National Natural Science Fund Project, and the National Transformation Projects of Agricultural Scientific and Technological Achievements. The total amount of scientific research funds are Rmb 365,490,00 yuan. In addition, teachers of AKU have published about 5335 academic articles in domestic or foreign academic publications and 322 books or teaching materials. Moreover, they have been awarded over 389 prizes and awards at all levels, like scientific and technical awards, philosophy and social sciences awards and teaching achievement awards of different levels. “The Journal of Ankang University” has been entitled as the outstanding social science journal in national universities and the national top-quality journal in regional universities.
Upholding the motto “Sincere in learning, Initiative in action, Tenacious in pursuing, and Progressive in innovation”, AKU energetically promotes the reform of teaching and education methods, and perfects its teaching quality guaranteeing system. Since 2006, the university has undertaken 16 educational reform projects at provincial and ministerial level, has been awarded 18 teaching achievement awards at provincial level, and has established 27 vocational skills verification platforms of at both national and provincial levels. In the past 3 years, AKU has undertaken 163 national-level or provincial-level innovation and entrepreneurship training projects for undergraduate students. And students of AKU have been awarded 128 national prizes and 517 provincial and ministerial prizes in different competitions, such as mathematical modeling, “Challenge Cup” Competition, innovation and skills competitions and cultural and sports competitions. Furthermore, students of AKU have published about 56 academic articles and 104 works. AKU also organizes undergraduate students to join practical and volunteer service activities, which have been commended by the national and provincial governments. Our university accepts students from 22 provinces and autonomous regions, and the employment rate of our undergraduate graduates averaged to more than 90 percent in the past 3 years, which has been awarded as “advanced collective in the employment work of graduate students” by the Educational Department of Shaanxi Provincial Government.
Insisting on cultivating applied undergraduate talents, AKU develops with an open mind, provides supports to the local development, grows up with the regional economics and society, and energetically explores the talent demands of regional economical and social development. To achieve the above targets, AKU has launched multiple industry-university-research institute cooperation programs, and signed cooperation agreements with the provincial and municipal governments. Also, AKU has established partnerships and cooperative relationships with Peking University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, the Communications University of China, Shanghai Ocean University, Shaanxi Normal University, Northwest A&F University, Northwest University and some other highly regarded universities. The university has signed agreements with enterprises and organizations to jointly develop teaching and research bases, and provides order-orientated personnel training for these enterprises and organizations. International education initiatives are also in progress. AKU has signed cooperative education agreements and developed various cooperation modes with over 20 universities in the countries like UK, U.S.A, France, Italy, Poland, New Zealand, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as the Taiwan region. Now many students of AKU choose to study abroad via our cooperation programs.
Upholding in the direction of “serve the elementary education, serve the Three Rural Issues, serve the regional economical and social development”, AKU strengthens the central importance of teaching, energetically explores the cultivation mode of applied talents, vigorously improves its education conditions and quality, accelerates its transformation and development. The reputation of AKU has obviously been improved, and is showing a good trend of development. In December 2014, AKU has become one of the first batch of transforming development public undergraduate universities in Shaanxi. At present, insisting on the main goals of “accelerating transformation and development, improving university’s running level”, AKU is firmly on its road of running the university with an open mind, considering the regional development as well as applied talents cultivation. All the staff and students of AKU will make arduous efforts to build up the university as an application-oriented undergraduate university with unique features and high quality.