Yunnan University has attached great importance to internationalization since its foundation. In the 1920s, the founder of its precursor Private Donglu University, Tsang Jiyao, pointed out that Donglu University should be a university of East Asia, not a university of Yunnan province. Xiong Qinglai, during his presidency, focused on cultivating and introducing talents of international vision and attached great importance to academic cooperation and exchange between countries. Thanks to his guidance, the university finally walked out of the borderland into the world arena. In 1946, Yunnan University was listed by Concise Encyclopedia Britannica as one of China's 15 world famous universities.
Since the reform and opening-up, Yunnan University has considered internationalization as one of its most important developmental strategies. Since it became one of the first universities to win membership in "Project 211" in 1996, Yunnan University has followed the world's development trends in higher education and aimed at becoming a first-class regional university. It has sped up its internationalization to implement the national policy guidelines and serve the economic and social development of Yunnan province. In April 2012, it issued a document formally recognizing internationalization as one of its critical development strategies.
Over 90 years of development, the idea of internationalization has been rooted in Yunnan University and become the engine of its development and a tradition of its growth. Now, as its home, Yunnan province is actively involving itself in the national internationalization strategy, developing in a frog-leap way to become a model province of national and ethnic solidarity, a pioneer of ecological conservation and the hub of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Yunnan University has made huge progress in reaching out to other institutions around the world over the past 90 years.
A complete network of global partners:
Yunnan University has partners in more than 100 countries. It has established a "China-South Korea Cultural Exchange Center" with Sookmyung Women's University, a "Yunnan University Macquarie College" with Macquarie University in Australia, and a "Yunnan University-Tel Aviv University Innovation Center" with Tel Aviv University.
An active role in the national strategy, and success in beginning to emerge as a hub of South Asia and Southeast Asia:
Taking advantage of its geographical position neighboring South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, Yunnan University plays an active role in regional education cooperation organizations. It was nominated by the MOE to be the Chinese secretariat of the "China-ASEAN University Rector's Forum", and a member of the ASEAN+3 University Network, GMSTEC, GMSARN and AUAP.
A system of regional and national studies:
Yunnan University boasts many organizations focused on other cultures, such as the Southeast Asian Studies Institute, the South Asian Studies Institute, the GMS Research Center, the Myanmar Studies Institute, the Thai Studies Institute and others. It is planning even more such centers and to add to its courses in the Thai, Myanmar and Vietnamese languages with more in other South Asian Languages.
Yunnan University is building a South Asia and Southeast Asia International Communication College with China Radio International. It will focus on cultivating high-quality South Asia and Southeast Asia-oriented international communication talents.
A multi-level and far-reaching international student education system:
Yunnan University offers more scholarships than any other university in Yunnan province. That fact, plus its beautiful campus set in the pleasant weather of Kunming, its talented teachers and developed curricula means that more and more international students are arriving each year. Yunnan University now has 1,600 international students of whom 18.25 percent are scholarship recipients and 33.26 percent are degree candidates.
Yunnan University is one of the universities that recruit Chinese Government Scholarship international students, Yunnan Provincial Government Scholarship international students, and South Asian Local Chinese Teachers Confucius Institute Scholarship students.
Yunnan University is implementing a full-participation strategy that will enable the number of its international students to reach 3,000 in three to four years. It's also developing joint degree programs at the bachelor, master's and PhD levels with South Asian and Southeast Asian universities.