Located in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province of China, Anhui Agricultural University (AAU) is a key university, with a long history specializing in agriculture and forestry. It is supported by the Anhui provincial government, jointly with China Ministry of Agriculture and China Bureau of Forestry. It was recognized by the Chinese central government as one of the first ten universities nationwide to establish a Research Institute for New Rural Development, and it was selected as one of the “distinctive universities with unique features” in Anhui Province. Mr. JIANG Chun is the Chair of the University Council and Professor CHENG Beijiu is the President.
AAU started its history as a college of agriculture in 1935 under Provincial Anhui University founded in 1928, it became an independent higher learning institution in 1954 and changed its name to Anhui Agricultural University in 1995. Its campus covers an area of 235 hectares. Its teaching and research facilities are valued at approximately 479 million RMB. Its library has a holding of 3.2 million book volumes. AAU currently has 19 schools, with a full-time enrollment of 20,904 students, of whom 2,861 are postgraduates. Among the 1,727 staff, 673 are professors or associate professors. Among this group, over 800 work as PhD and master’s students’ supervisors.
AAU has outstanding faculty, including one grant recipient of “The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars,” four professors under the Anhui provincial plan “One Hundred Talents Program” and five “Wanjiang Scholars.” In addition, AAU employs 60 distinguished professors.
At present there are 80 undergraduate programs, including five national-level programs of distinction, two national-level pilot programs, two nationally recognized pedagogical teams, four nationally recognized courses (two superior courses, two national online open courses). AAU has one nationally recognized off-campus internship base, one national-level teaching laboratory, three national-level integrated agriculture, science and education training bases, two national-level pilot projects in advanced agricultural personnel training.
In terms of postgraduate education, there is one national key discipline in process, 19 provincial key disciplines, five post-doctoral mobile research stations, five A-level and 38 B-level PhD programs, as well as 13 A-level, 45 B-level and six special master’s programs.
AAU has great strength in research, possessing one state key laboratory, one national engineering laboratory, one international joint laboratory, and 37 provincial key laboratories, two provincial “2011” collaborative innovation centers, one provincial key think tank, one provincial research institute of industrial technology, one innovation team under the “Yangtze River Scholar and Innovative Team Development Plan” supported by China Ministry of Education，nine “115” provincial innovation teams, seven provincial university scientific innovation teams, 6 scientists are appointed to the posts of national modern agricultural extension technology network specialists, seven scientists are appointed to the posts of provincial modern agricultural extension technology network chief specialists. During the past five years, AAU has been granted 333 projects funded by Chinese central government and won 88 awards of provincial or ministerial levels, including one second prize of National Scientific and Technological Progress Award, one Provincial Scientific and Technological Significant Achievement Award, four first prizes of Provincial Scientific and Technological Progress Award, 18 second prizes of Provincial Scientific and Technological Progress Award, three awards from Ministry of Agriculture，plus 3 second prizes of National Pedagogical Achievements.
With an open-minded strategy for educational internationalization, AAU has set up close links with universities and research institutes from over 30 countries and regions, such as US, UK, Canada, Japan, Germany and Australia. AAU was ratified respectively by China Association of Science and Technology as one of “Anhui Overseas Talents’ Agricultural Bases” and by China Ministry of Education as one of Chinese universities eligible to admit international students funded by China Scholarship. China Ministry of Agriculture conferred to AAU one of its foreign language training centers for the South-South Cooperation Project. A “National Demonstrative International Science and Technology Cooperation Base” was approved as well. The cooperation between AAU and Colorado State University of USA has been incorporated into the “China-US University-Based Agricultural Extension Alliance.”
Upholding the school mission of serving “Agriculture, Countryside and Farmers”, AAU has always dedicated itself to developing rural areas via science and technology and developing Anhui via science and education. It has successfully created a well-known “Dabieshan Road” with the goal of advancing the university through instructional innovation and poverty alleviation.
In recent years, AAU advocated and implemented the “Modern Young Farmers Project,” and explored a new framework of agricultural extension, called one station & one alliance & one center, which is a combination of industry-university research cooperation and agricultural extension, which has received high praise from China’s Central Government leaders and the provincial government for its great significance and contributions to alleviating poverty through education and industrial development.
Guided by the vision of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, AAU is currently taking the opportunity of the “Double First-rate” project, moving towards a high-level agricultural university with its own distinctive features, trying to make even greater contributions in making the beautiful Anhui Province a prosperous society.