Shantou University (STU), founded in 1981 with the approval of the State Council, is a key comprehensive university under the “211 Project” in the Guangdong province. It is a university co-developed by the Ministry of Education, People’s Government of the Guangdong Province, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation. It is also the only public university in the world which is continually supported by a private foundation—the Li Ka Shing Foundation. It is located in the northwestern area of Shantou, a seaside city, with its campus covering a total area of 1.28 sq.km. and atotal floor space comprising 448,400 sq.m.
Since its inception, Shantou University has received a generous support from the distinguished philanthropist and international entrepreneur, Mr. Li Ka-shing. The Li Ka Shing Foundation has committed and donated over HK$6.2 billion to support Shantou University (including the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business). Mr. Li has given his heart and soul to the nourishment and development of the University, a manifestation of his lofty ideal to “serve the good of all” and his firm conviction that education is vital to the young generation of the country.
STU now has one National Key Discipline, “Cheung Kong Scholars” Professor Chair positions, two post-doctoral programs, one first-level Ph.D. degree program, twenty-five second-level Ph.D. degree programs, ten first-level master’s degree programs (including first-level discipline covering number), eighty-four second-level master’s degree programs and seven professional master’s degree programs. Additionally, STU has eight Provincial Key Programs, one Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education, six Provincial Key Laboratories, three Guangdong International Scientific & Technological Cooperation Bases，three Guangdong Universities Key Laboratories, one Guangdong Key Industry Scientific & Technological Innovation Platform, four Guangdong Demonstration Bases for Integrating Industry, Education and Research, two Guangdong Universities Engineering Technology Research Centers, two Guangdong Universities International Scientific & Technological Cooperation and Innovation Platforms, two Guangdong University Humanities and Social Sciences Research Bases, one National Model Experimental Teaching Center, seven Guangdong Provincial Model Experimental Teaching Centers, two National Pilot Sites for Innovative Talent Training, five Provincial Pilot Sites for Innovative Talent Training, seven National Distinctive Programs, eleven Provincial Distinctive Programs, four National Quality courses, two National Demonstration Courses of Bilingual Teaching, one National Teaching Team, four Provincial Branded Programs, and one Provincial Key Program. The seven-year program for Clinical Medicine is also offered. STU has established a comprehensive talent training system of undergraduates, graduates, and doctors. There are 5,113 faculty members and medical workers, 9,842 full-time students in STU. STU has cultivated more than 80,000 talents in various fields for the society. The different colleges at STU are as follows: College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, College of Engineering, Medical College, Law School, Business School, Cheung Kong School of Art and Design, Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communication, Graduate School, School of Continuing Education, and Veritas College. STU enrolls undergraduates, graduates, and doctors across the country (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).A modern digital library is available at the University. Medical College has 5 affiliated hospitals with 3,533 hospital beds. The First Affiliated Hospital is awarded “National Top 100 Hospital” and graded as “Upper First-class Hospital”, providing good opportunities of internship for medical students.
Under the auspices of Li Ka Shing Foundation, the University has widely conducted international academic exchanges and cooperations, inviting world-class and well-known scholars to give lectures to the students. Among them are Nobel winners Yang Chen-Ning, Lee Tsung-Dao, and James A. Mirrlees. The University has established close relationship with almost 20 international universities from such countries as USA, UK, France, Japan, Russia, Australia and Germany, etc. Exchange programs for graduate and postgraduate students have been offered.
Shantou University is committed to the student-centered reform in terms of university administration and talent training, in order to cultivate talents with the motto, “Aspiration, Knowledge, Perseverance, Achievement”. It is also planning to relocate the Medical College into the main campus and develop a globally advanced curriculum focusing on life science. Since 2001, with the support of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, the University has conducted a profound internationalization-oriented reform program. STU has invited elite academicians from overseas to hold the posts of Provost, Vice President, Dean and other positions. A significant and comprehensive educational reform has been explored in the curriculum, teaching, resource management and personnel system. Most reform experiences have been confirmed, supported, and promoted by the nation. Comrade Li Lanqing, the former member of the Standing Committee of Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, highly praised the Shantou University as “the pilot site for higher educational reform in China”. In 2012, the Ministry of Education, People’s Government of the Guangdong Province, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation decided to cooperate with each other to manage the affairs of Shantou University. They support STU to further and deepen its reform, in order to develop STU into an advanced and famous top-tier university both at home and abroad.
With the unwavering efforts over the past three decades, Shantou University has managed to meet the expectations of the Central, Provincial and Municipal authorities and Mr. Li Ka Shing. It has created a congenial environment for training talents to meet the social demands in the 21st Century, and laid a solid foundation for sustainable development. STU will strive hard to become a modern institution of higher education with favorable institutional system and high-quality education, and a leading university in China with the ability to enter the global spotlight.