Inherit revolutionary spirits and spread them eastward. Northeast Normal University, originally under the name "Northeast University", is the first comprehensive university founded by the Communist Party in Northeast China in 1946. Established in Changchun in 1949, the university was renamed "Northeast Normal University" in 1950. Then it was put under Jilin Province's administration in 1958 and the name 'Jilin Normal University' was adopted. Later it was incorporated into the Ministry of Education, restoring the name "Northeast Normal University" (NENU) in 1980. In 1996, NENU was selected as one of the first group of universities given priority in construction in the "211 Project". And in 2004, NENU was approved to establish the graduate school by the Ministry of Education.
NENU has two campuses (Ziyou campus and Jingyue campus) and a variety of majors. There are over 28,024 full-time students and 1,557 full-time teachers, including 497 professors and 616 associate professors. The university comprises 23 schools, 78 undergraduate specialties, 38 M.A. programs of the first-level discipline, 17 M.A. master programs of professional degree, 22 Doctoral programs of the first-level discipline, two doctoral program of professional degree, 20 Post-doctoral Research Stations and 5 national key disciplines. In all, NENU has all the 11 disciplines except for Military Science and Medicine.
NENU has distinctive characteristics, and it has made great achievements. Education and teaching is regarded as the foundation of the school. Over the past 70 years since the establishment of the university, NENU has formed a distinctive school-running characteristic of "Serving Basic Education", being praised as "The Cradle of the People's Teachers". In the 1950s, President Cheng Fangwu, a famous educator of our country, proposed the educational ideology of serving the primary and secondary education, marking that NENU blazed a trail of correspondence course among Chinese normal universities. In the 1980s, the university took the initiative in serving the basic education in rural areas, opening up the "Changbai Mountain Road" with a prestige for the basic education. In the 1990s, the implementation of "Excellent Educator Project" in NENU contributed to training many excellent teachers for basic education. Ushering into the new century, NENU embarked on "Educator Training Project" and explored "A New Model of U-G-S Teacher Education". "Excellent Teacher Project" and 'A New Model of U-G-S Teacher Education' were awarded the first prize of State-level Teaching Achievements of higher education.
Scientific research strengthens the university, and great successes have been achieved. NENU regards scientific research as the foundation of strengthening school, forming such superior representative disciplines as Education, History, Ideological and Political Education, Biology, Ecology and Chemistry. In recent years, the four disciplines, including Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering, and Plant and Animal Science, have been listed in the top 1% of the ESI global ranking, and NENU has ranked fourth of the ESI total cited articles among national colleges and universities. There is one national engineering laboratory and six ministerial-level key laboratories for drug gene and protein screening. And there are two key research bases for Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education, i.e. The Research Center of World Civilization History and The Institute of Rural Education. Professor Bai Zhidong, Professor Wang Enbo and Professor Liu Yichun were awarded the second prize of the National Natural Science in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Professor Lin Zhichun and Professor Han Dongyu were awarded the first prize of the Seventh Outstanding Social Science Achievement Award in 2015. The comprehensive strength of NENU's disciplines ranked World Top 500 in 2016. Six disciplines of NENU, Marxism, world history, mathematics, chemistry, statistics, materials science and engineering, have been selected into the "Double First-rate" construction disciplines in 2017.
Adhering to the principle of open-running school, NENU continuously strides forward. It has established cooperation and exchange relations with more than 297 universities and research institutions in over 30 countries and regions, including the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia, Korea, Japan and Russia, etc. In 2015, NENU co-founded Rutgers University Newark Institute at NENU with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Also, NENU has established Confucius Institutes in Korea, Spain, the U.S., Canada, and Mongolia. Office of Chinese Language Council International (known colloquially as 'Hanban'), Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs respectively set up "International Chinese Language Teacher Training Base", "Chinese Culture Education Base", "Education Aid Base" and "China-ASEAN Education Training Center" in NENU. Preparatory School for Chinese students to Japan is also founded here.
NENU has cultivated many academic elites and talents of many generations. The university has a number of famous experts and scholars at home and abroad. There were many well-known scholars who were former NENU faculties, including the poet and lyricist of "Chinese People's Liberation Army" Gong Mu(Zhang Songru), the writers Xiao Jun and Wu Boxiao, the literary historian Yang Gongji, the linguist Sun Changxu, the historians Li Xun, Ding Zemin, and Lin Zhichun, the educator Chen Yuanhui, the musicians Ma Ke and Lv Ji, the pathologist Bai Xiqing, the mathematician Zhang Dexin, the nuclear physicist Wang Lin, the geographer Ding Xizhi, the ornithologist Fu Tongsheng, the biologist of Chinese Academy of Sciences Hao Shui, one of the founders of new Chinese school physical education Yang Zhongxiu, and the choreographer and artist of Grand Group Calisthenics Yang Ruixue, etc. Over the past 70 years since the establishment of the university, NENU has cultivated over 300,000 graduates in all fields and at all levels, and a large number of talents have stood out in the field of education, for example, Lu Jiaxi, a teacher of No.9 High School in Baotou who worked out the difficult mathematical problems recognized worldwide; Feng Zhiyuan, a teacher who moved China by his devotion to the border areas education; Guo Lihua, a national model teacher; Dou Guimei, a national Principal Master Teacher; Ma Xianhua, one of National Top 10 Teachers. Meanwhile, the university has also graduated talents in various fields represented by famous academicians—the ecologist Zheng Guangmei, the physicist Sun Changpu, the geographer Liu Xingtu, as well as the renowned writer Zhang Xiaotian.
With a history of 70 years, NENU will inherit the past and open up a path for the future. In 2016, the university ushered its 70th anniversary. NENU will take its 70th anniversary as a fresh starting point and a new opportunity, complying with the concept of “Respectable Education, Creative Education”, adhering to moral education, devoting to education innovation, developing distinctive school-running characteristics, enhancing education equality, and making great efforts to build NENU into a world-wide first-rate normal university.