Hunan Institute of Science and Technology (HNIST) is located in Yueyang, a historical and cultural city, situated on the Yangtze River. The school’s history can be traced back to its founding in 1910 when it was first known as “Lakeside University” (湖滨大学 - hú bīn dàxué) originally founded by Americans. Over the past century, the school has experienced many changes. In March of 1999, the Ministry of Education renamed the school “Yueyang Normal College”. After some improvements, the school was upgraded to “Yueyang Normal University”. In February of 2003 the school was once again renamed the “Hunan Institute of Science & Technology”. In December of 2006, the school successfully went through the Teaching Level Evaluation of the Ministry of Education, and in December of 2008, the school successfully went through the official evaluation and became a newly-approved and listed construction unit to grant master’s degrees in Hunan Province.
The school covers a campus area of 2307mu, with a construction area of 570, 000 square meters. The school’s total assets are 1.16 billion yuan (174 million US dollars), the teaching and scientific research equipment is worth 92,180,000 yuan (13.8 million US dollars), and the library contains more than 1.77 million copies of various books. There are 18 colleges and departments with 41 undergraduate specialties. There are nearly 20,000 students enrolled from the country's 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, as well as 51 international students.
The school has 1,292 members of staff. There are 718 full-time teachers, including 110 professors and 293 associate professors, 520 teachers with Doctoral and Master’s degrees, over 6o doctor and master tutors, and 25 foreign teachers. One teacher is a member of “Hunan Academician and Expert Consultative Committee” and another is a candidate of “New Century Excellent Talent Support Program” of the Ministry of Education. There are also 6 Provincial Discipline Pacemakers, 4 Distinguished Teachers in Hunan, 15 candidates of “Hunan 121 Talent Program”, 72 provincial young key teachers and candidates, and 3 provincial teaching groups. At present 6 scholars enjoy “the Special Government Allowance of the State Council”; one person is awarded the “National Educational System Model Worker”; there are 6 “National Outstanding Teachers.”
Teaching is of the highest importance at HNIST, and the education and teaching quality at the school has been improved steadily. Since 2004, the school has won 2 National Teaching Achievement Awards and18 provincial-level teaching achievement awards, obtained 52 national, provincial reform projects in teaching and research, and published 107 textbooks. Currently there are 4 state-level characteristic specialty construction points, 4 provincial preferentially constructed key disciplines, 5 provincial key specialties, 9 provincial characteristic specialties, and 12 provincial excellent-quality courses; there are also 1 provincial key laboratory, 4 provincial basic course model laboratories, 9 provincial excellent teaching practice bases, and 3 practical teaching model center construction units in regular institutions of higher learning in Hunan province.
Scientific Research is also of high importance at HNIST. As a result, the level of scientific research has been improved rapidly. In the past 5 years, our teachers have presided over 42 national research projects, including 13 of the “National Natural Science Foundation”, 8 of the “National Social Science Foundation Project”, 4 of the “National Planning Project of Education Science”, 4 subprojects of “863” Program(the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China), 1 of “Ministry of Education Key Project”, 5 of “Ministry of Education Humanity and Social Science Project”, 14 of the State Council and other ministries. We have hosted a total of 264 provincial scientific research projects, including 47 of the “Provincial Natural Science Foundation” and 61 of the “Provincial Social Science Fund”. The school has earned 13 provincial and ministerial scientific and technological awards and 40 national patents, published 92 monographs and more than 5,000 academic papers, of which 386 articles have been retrieved by SCI, EI and ISTP and 370 have been reprinted by “Xinhua Digest”, the Duplicated Materials of China People's University and CSSCI. Journal of Yunmeng has been selected as one of the “Humanities and Social Sciences Core Journals in China” and was entitled “Top 100 Social Science Journals”; Journal of Hunan Institute of Science & Technology (Natural Science Edition) was listed in the 1st Science and Technology Journals with Distinctive Characteristics of China Universities. Frequent academic exchanges occur between HNIST and other schools, including hosting important national and international academic meetings. Nowadays there are 1 provincial engineering technology research center, 1 provincial social science research base, 1 provincial philosophy and social science key research base, and 2 ‘production, teaching, research’ model bases in regular institutions of higher learning in Hunan province. The school has been named “Hunan Province Advanced Unit of Natural Science Foundation Project Management” and “Hunan Province Innovation Unit of National Social Science Foundation Project Management”, and has been identified as the “Science and Technology Popularization Base in Hunan Province.”
The school actively carries out cultural exchanges with students and teachers from the United States, Canada, Russia, Japan, Korea and other countries in order to promote friendly relations and understanding. HNIST has been enrolling international students in various subjects since 1985, and the school has also employed foreign teachers to teach in various schools. There are currently 25 foreign teachers teaching more than 20 courses in such colleges as School of Foreign Languages and Literature, School of Economics and Management, School of Music, School of Fine Arts, School of Physical Education. More than 10 foreign teachers have won “Xiaoxiang Friendship Award” and “Lotus Award” issued by Hunan Province Government and Department of Education. In 2004, the Russian teacher, Vladimir Cleveland, won the national “Friendship Award” and was cordially received by Premier Wen Jiabao. The school has been awarded “Advanced Unit of Foreign Affairs of Hunan Province” for many times. In 2008, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs recognized the school as a “national advanced unit in the introduction of foreign intelligence”.
HNIST adheres to the concept of “student-oriented, loving care education”, forming a good education environment for students and teachers. Many national and provincial media have reported the moving stories of the school’s loving care of educating students and the positive school characteristics. In recent years, the school Party Committee has been awarded advanced grass-roots party organization, grass-roots model sites, higher college advanced grass-roots party organization across the province. The school made typical speeches in many ideological and political work conferences in Hunan Province. The school has awarded the “National Advanced Unit of College Students’ Social Practice” for 17 years, and won the “National Advanced Unit in Developing Teachers’ Professional Ethics”, the “National Advanced Unit of Art Education”, the “national advanced unit of mass sports”, the “Hunan civilized model unit” and many other honors.
The school emphasizes the educational reform and enhancement of the quality of students. Students have performed well in national art performances. In the past 5 years, students participated and won awards in 331 races in the national and provincial mathematical modeling and electronic design, which reflects the innovative ability of students. The students’ average postgraduate admission rate reaches 12%, which is among the best in the entire province.
HNIST graduates are well received by employers. In recent years, the employment rate for alumni remained at 95% or more. The school has won the “Advanced Unit of Employment in Hunan Province”. In 2009, HNIST was named the “National Advanced Unit of Employment”. Since the founding of China, the school has trained 30,000 specialized personnel, including a large number of local party and government leaders, experts, scholars and outstanding teachers and entrepreneurs.
The school is in the process of ongoing, hard work and self-improvement, achieving remarkable results, creating a tradition of excellence. Inheriting the essence of Hunan culture and advanced cultural thought, the school actively practices the school motto “striving for the highest excellence and seeking for truth thoroughly” and the “three-centered” educational philosophy and sticks to the strategy of “strict requirements, strict management” to govern the school to gradually form a good school spirit of “Rigorousness, Harmony, Truth-seeking and Innovation”.