Reputed as the "Pearl of China's Light Industry Higher Education", Jiangnan University is one of China's national key "211 Project" universities, one of "985" platform universities, and functions directly under China's Ministry of Education. Its roots may stretch back to 1902 when its predecessor, San Jiang Normal School, began its first term. More than a hundred years of development and fifty years of independent education have brought Jiangnan University recognition in scientific research, teaching quality and social service from all levels of society. It is a comprehensive university, recognized and highly respected both at home and abroad.
Jiangnan University consists of 18 schools and 51 undergraduate programs with disciplines including engineering, science, literature, economics, management, law, medicine, agriculture, arts and education. It has about 20,000 full-time undergraduates and over 11,000 part-time students receiving continuing education. In July 2000, China's Ministry of Education gave approval for Jiangnan University to start a pilot project for modern distance education. Now the School of Online Education has over 45,000 students. In addition, Jiangnan University is engaging in Chinese-foreign cooperation by hosting the School of International Education and Jiangnan-North American College. Jiangnan University has 5 Post-doctoral Research Stations in the fields of Light Industry Technology and Engineering, Food Science and Technology, Control Science and Engineering, Chemistry Engineering and Technology, and Textile Engineering. It is entitled to confer master degrees in 58 programs, and doctoral degrees in 28 programs. Currently there are over 7,500 doctoral and master candidates studying on campus.
The faculty team consists of 1,668 members including 1,068 professors and associate professors. Also JU boasts 1 academician of the China Academy of Engineering, 10 winners totally achieving National Outstanding Youth Foundation and honor of Cheung Kong Scholars, 12 faculties supported by Programs of 1,000 Global Experts and 1,000 Young Global Experts, and over 1,100 professors and associate professors. Among the team 22.4% faculties have got abroad experience. Besides, there are two National Innovation Teams and four Jiangsu Provincial Innovation Teams. The academic research group, represented by over 800 Master and PhD supervisors, has laid a solid foundation for scientific innovation and the training of high-level personnel.
Jiangnan University is the cradle, and one of the major supporting institutions, of China's light industry, food science and biotechnology. The National Key Lab of Food Science and Technology, approved by the Ministry of Science & Technology, is the only one of its kind in China. In addition, it has 6 national engineering research centers, 21 laboratories at the ministerial or provincial level. Since the implementation of China's 11th Five-Year Plan, Jiangnan University has undertaken a large quantity of national, provincial or ministerial projects including "863 Projects", "973 Projects", National Key Special Projects, National Key Scientific and Technological Projects, and the National Natural Science Fund. It has received 400 national, ministerial or provincial awards including 11 National Technology Invention and 2 Humanity and Social Science Awards.