Yunnan Minzu University(YMU) is a comprehensive institution of higher education for all Chinese ethnic groups. It is also a province-wide key university co-founded by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China, the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, and the People’s Government of Yunnan Province. As one of China’s earliest universities intended for all ethnic groups, YMU was founded on August 1, 1951, then named Yunnan Nationality Institute, renamed Yunnan Minzu University in April 2003.
Since its founding, Yunnan Minzu University has been receiving the care and attention from top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government. Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, and Xi Jinping received and met representatives of YMU faculty and students; Zhou Enlai, Peng Dehuai, Chen Yi, the 10th Panchen, Li Lanqing, Li Tieying, and Simayi AiMaiti paid visits to the university and showed their concern for the career success of its students, teachers, and development of the university. General Zhou Baozhong and General Zhang Chong, former vice governors of Yunnan Province, were respectively the first president and vice president of the university. The university also boasts a number of experts and scholars enjoying academic prestige, including Professor Ma Yao, an eminent ethnologist, historian and educator; Professor Wang Ningsheng, a famous ethnologist and archaeologist; Professor He Yaohua, a renowned historian and ethnologist; Professor He Shaoying, a famed ethnologist and anthropologist; and Professor Xie Benshu, an outstanding historian.
With development of more than 60 years, YMU has grown into a multi-disciplinary university with multi-leveled and distinctive academic programs, covering 10 disciplines: philosophy, economics, law, education, literature, history, natural science, engineering, management and art. YMU formed a structure for discipline and program development by stressing both liberal arts and natural sciences and promoting a coordinated development. The distinctive programs include ethnology, sociology, ethnic languages and literature, languages and cultures of Southeast Asia and South Asia. We have 2 centers for post-doctoral studies, 2 first-rate discipline-based doctoral degree programs, 12 first-rate discipline-based master degree programs, 11 second-rate discipline-based master degree programs(excluded those covered by first-rate disciplines), 9 professional master degree programs, and 84 bachelor degree programs. We offer 11 key disciplines at provincial level,
8 distinctive programs at national level, and 26 provincial-level programs with our advantage.
The total number of full-time students is 25,594, including undergraduates 22,531, postgraduates 2,342, phd students 43, international students 168, preparatory education students 188, and junior college students 322. In addition, we enrol 3,517 preparatory education students with ethnic backgrounds, 1,690 adult students receiving education at night, and 12,597 students who take correspondence education. YMU has 1,630 faculty members, 2 teachers enjoy special allowances of the State Council, 6 teachers receive special allowances of Yunnan Government. We have 17 province-wide teaching masters, 5 credited with “Yun Ling Teaching Masters”, and 7 under the support of “High-Level Talent Program”.
YMU occupies a land area of 2,550 mu (about 113 hectares), with 970,000 square meters of floor area. We have over 10 national/provincial-level research agency and personnel training base, 1 ethnic museum with almost 20,000 collection.YMU library has over 2million volumes of paper book, 1.3 million volumes of e-book. The Journal of Yunnan Minzu University ( the philosophical and social sciences edition) is recognized as a key national-level Chinese journal, a source journal of the Chinese Social Sciences Citation Index (CSSCI), a key journal of Chinese Humanities and Social Sciences Journal, and “Top 100 Liberal Arts Journals” by Department of Social Sciences, Ministry of Education.
YMU attaches high importance to international cooperation and exchanges, and serves an opening-up window of Yunnan. The university has received more than 20,000 visitors from over 80 countries or regions, including Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Dr. Henry Alfred Kissinger, former Secretary of State of the United States of America, King Harold V of the Kingdom of Norway, and Chairman Ho Chi Minh of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. As one of the earliest institutions in Yunnan that recruits international students and teaches Chinese as a foreign language, YMU began recruiting international students in 1981, graduate students in 1992, and has established cooperation and exchange relations with more than 80 universities or research institutions from over 20 countries including the United States of America, the Kingdom of Norway, Japan, and South Korea. Since 2015, YMU has contributed its part to the country’s “Belt and Road” Initiative, and Yunnan’s “Leapfrog Development’, successively established India-China Yoga College, Lancang-Mekong International Vocational Institute, International Taichi Alliance( with 3 International Taichi Schools located at 3 Indian universities), and opened 15 language majors of 14 Southeast and South Asia countries. Moreover, YMU has collaborated with numerous entities within China, including Ethnology&Anthropology Institute, and Religion Institute of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Yunnan Baiyao Group Co. Ltd. , research institutes and universities in Lijiang, Dehong, Shangri-La, Xishuangbanna, and local governments, to conduct substantive research.
Over the past sixty-more years, YMU is always committed to “Basing in border, Serving the frontier, and Developing Ethnic Unity and Prosperity.”Most of the first-generation bachelors, masters, doctors, experts, scholars, political,administrative, judicial leadership, educational experts, and entrepreneurs of the 25 indigenous ethnic groups in Yunnan, in particular ethnic leadership in 29 autonomous counties are graduates of YMU. The university has grown into the cradle of high-level and top-quality professionals for ethnic regions all over the country, especially in Southwest China, an important base for studying ethnic issues and ethnic relation, and an opening window of Yunnan, even China, to the outside world. In 1999, 2005 and 2009, YMU was three times awarded the honor of “National Model Institution of Ethnic Unity and Progress” by the State Council. In 2016, YMU won the title of “ National Demonstration Unit of Building Ethnic Unity and Progress.”
Time waits for no man and Autumn’s fruit comes from Spring’s flowers. In the future, the university will focus more on connotative development, explore and set up modern university systems. YMU will respond to the call of “Double First-Class Initiative”, and fully use its advantage of “Basing in Yunnan, Facing China and Impacting South&Southeast Asia” to achieve the targets of building “ a high-level university for all ethnic groups, a demonstration university of ethnic unity, and a model university of improving styles of learning, teaching and educating”.。