Focus on Cornell in China


The Ivy League in America is composed of 8 famous universities in northeast America: Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University and Yale University. They are all famous, and enjoy high reputation in academics. Among them, Cornell is the youngest, the only one that was set up after American War of Independence, more precisely, in year 1865. However, it is the biggest in area, and has 19,800 students, which is the most among the Ivy League.

Compared with other privately ran Ivy League schools, Cornell is special because some of its 14 colleges are privately ran, and the other colleges are ran by the government.

Cornell has been being among the world’s top 15 universities for a long time. In the rank of the world’s universities made by Web in Spain, Cornell ranked the 4th in 2011. In 2012, in the High School Counselor Rankings made by US NEWS & World Report, it ranked the first with Harvard, MIT and Princeton. Among the Ivy League, Cornell has the best college of agriculture and life sciences, college of architecture, art and planning, college of engineering, college of veterinary medicine, and school of administration.

There are many famous Chinese people who have studied at Cornell. Hu Shi(胡适), the famous Chinese scholar, poet, historian, litterateur and philosopher, spent his undergraduate years in Cornell. Mao Yisheng(茅以升), the famous Chinese engineer who designed Qiantang River Bridge, received his master’s degree from Cornell. And, Zhao Yuanren(赵元任), the Chinese pioneer in modern language and music, was studying mathematics in Cornell from year 1910 to year 1914, and had worked there as a teacher for physics for one year. The great architect Liang Sicheng(梁思成), the son of China’s great revolutionist, Liang Qichao(梁启超), obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Cornell in architecture.

Cornell has an important influence on China. In year 1915, Chinese students in Cornell, Ren Hongjun(任鸿隽), Bing Zhi(秉志), Zhou Ren(周仁), Hu Mingfu(胡明复), Zhao Yuanren(赵元任), Yang Xingfo(杨杏佛), Guo Tanxian(过探先), Zhang Yuanshan(章元善) and Jin Bangzheng(金邦正) created Chinese Club of Science, the predecessor of Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS). Also they created the magazine Science, which later became an authority science magazine in China.

The academic exchanges between Cornell and Chinese schools started from the 1920s. In 1921, Cornell cooperated with the commission of International Education and University of Nanking(金陵大学), which later became Nanjing(南京) University to study for possible improvements in some crops.

There are now many famous Chinese universities that have set up cooperation relationships with Cornell. Shanghai Jiao Tong University(上海交通大学) and China Agricultural University(中国农业大学) both have 2+2 undergraduate exchange programs with it. Also, in 2012, Southwest Jiaotong University(西南交通大学) sent its 35 undergraduate students to Cornell for 4 weeks of campus living, studying and sightseeing. Donghua University(东华大学), Tsinghua University(清华大学), Beijing University(北京大学), Renmin University of China(中国人民大学) and Chinese Academy of Sciences(中国科学院) all have more than one regular exchange programs with Cornell.

Edited by Amy Wang from Daxue Consultant China

Credit Photo: Baidu