Introduction

Founded in 1938 as Agricultural College of State-Run Yunnan University which later gained its independence as Kunming Agricultural and Forestry College (KGFC) in 1958, Yunnan Agricultural University (YAU) was officially established in 1972 after KGFC merged with Yunnan Agricultural and Working University in 1971. The university was authorized to award master’s degree and doctoral degree in 1983 and in 2003 respectively, and established a center for post-doctoral studies in 2007. It was graded as “Excellence” in the undergraduates teaching assessment administered by the Ministry of Education in 2008. Based on the education and management resources, Yunnan Rural Cadres’ Institute was established on the campus of YAU in 2009 and Yunnan Institute of Food Safety Management in 2013 by Yunnan Provincial Party Committee and Yunnan Provincial Government. The present secretary of party committee of YAU is Professor Zhang Haixiang and the present president of YAU is Professor Sheng Jun.

The campus covering an area of 2,161.65 Chinese mu, and the facilities area being over 511,000 square meters, the university enjoys a collection of 1.3257 million volumes of books in its two libraries, with instruments and equipment for teaching and scientific research worth of 151 million Chinese yuan. It has existing in-service staff of 1621 people, 1232 of whom being full-time teachers, of whom 173 are professors, 459 associate professors, 56 Ph.D. supervisors, and 482 master’s degree tutors.

The university has 1 scientist of Chinese Academy of Science, 3 teachers elected to be members of national “Millions of Talents” Project, 22 enjoying the State Council allowance and 20 provincial government allowance, 16 awarded for their great contributions to Yunnan province, 1 with the title of state-level outstanding teacher, 15 of provincial outstanding teachers, 49 being leaders and reserve talents in provincial academic and technological research. There are 1 state-level and 6 provincial-level technology renovation teams and 2 provincial-level innovation teams in philosophy of social science.

As of December 20, 2013, there are 17,801 full-time students, including 16,140 three-year and four-year undergraduates, 1400 graduate students, 160 doctoral candidates, 101 foreign students, and 9,293 students receiving adult education.

The university is composed of 18 colleges, covering planting, breeding, water conservancy and hydropower, agricultural engineering, agricultural economy management, and other agriculture-related disciplines and some humanities and social science disciplines, among which Tobacco College and Pu’er Tea College are two colleges especially set up for the service of the competitive industries of Yunnan Province.

The university provides 63 bachelor’s degree programs for undergraduate students, of which 6 are state-level and 7 provincial-level characteristic specialties, and 8 are provincial-level key specialties. There are 42 state-level and 151 provincial-level “Quality Projects”; 25 provincial-level key disciplines, and 1 center for postdoctoral studies of first-level discipline; 3 authorized locations for doctoral degree of first-level discipline, and 10 of second-level discipline; 12 authorized locations for master’s degree of first-level discipline, and 54 of second-level discipline. The university is authorized to confer master’s degree in agricultural extension, engineering, and professional degree in veterinary medicine, and can offer degree to college teachers studying on the job. It also enjoys the right to recommend excellent fresh graduates to study as postgraduates with exemption from taking the entrance examination.

Yunnan Agricultural University has 5 national platforms for teaching, scientific research and social services, like National Research Center for Applied Technology and Engineering of Agro-Biodiversity and Sino-ASEAN Education and Training Center; 29 provincial and ministerial platforms for scientific research, including the Ministerial Key Laboratory of Pu’er Tea; 2 provincial training centers for innovative talents, the one in Biodiversity and Biotechnology and the other in Environmental Science and Engineering; 18 research institutes (centers) from different departments of the university, including on-campusfarms for experiments and factories for practice, and 59 off-campus teaching bases for practice.

Relying on the rich natural resources in the province, YAU has conducted a number of studies, basic and applied, according to the actual development of agricultural industry and has made a series of pronounced achievements in its key disciplines.

Professor Li Zhengyou and the others have been awarded by the National Science and Technology Congress for leading in Three-Line Hybrid Rice Breeding and making the world record of the yield of 16.628t/ha.

Professor Zeng Yangzhi and the others have been on the study of Banna Mini-pig Inbreeding Line for 32 years, during which 26 generations of pigs have been bred, with the inbreeding coefficient up to 99.47%.

Professor Zhu Youyong and the others have played a world leading role in establishing the theory and technology of using biodiversity for pest and disease control. His research paper, fully published as cover paper in Nature, has been highly acknowledged in the academic circles at home and abroad.

Professor Sheng Jun and the others have conducted research on the theory of Plant polyphenol metabolism immunity and have been awarded 10 odd patents for the complete technology of instant Pu'er Tea powder and for the realization of a clean, standardized, large-scale production.

At present, YAU is coordinating and doing projects of GEF/UNEP, EU, national key science and technology program (973 & 863), national science foundation, provincial science and technology program, and provincial science foundation. The total project number has been up to over 2400 with current research funds of 334 million Yuan in the year of 2013. Since 2000, the university has been awarded over 300 times by international and domestic organizations: a first prize for scientific research by FAO, a prize for outstanding science by CGIAR, a prize for science and technology progress by Ho Leung and Ho Lee Foundation, a second prize of the national technology invention, and so on.

Having attached importance to the transformation and promotion of scientific and technological achievements, the university has gradually formed a new pattern of social services called “One College, Multiple Stations” and has already achieved marked results. Yunnan Rural Cadres College has been training more than 10,000 rural grassroots cadres and rural practical talents, contributing to the construction of rural cadres in our province. Food Safety Management Institute has played a positive role in improving the level of the food safety and guaranteeing people’s health and security. The institute has also actively participated in the “Plans for Increasing Grain Production by Tens of Billions of Kilos”, the project launched by the Government of Yunnan Province. Implementation of high yield and promotion of biodiversity to optimize planting technology ensures the food security in Yunnan Province; Efforts made to innovate social service model and further promote joint action between school and county to serve economic and social development in ethnic minority area in western region. The provincial government and provincial party committee have awarded the university titles of honor such as advanced unit for poverty alleviation, food production advanced collective, poverty alleviation and advanced collective during 11th five-year plan.

The university has a fruitful construction of spiritual civilization with over 100 staff and faculties respectively awarded national outstanding communist party member, national moral models, advanced individual for national professional ethics, the national top ten member for San Nong, issues concerning agriculture, farmer, and rural area; national advanced individual for ethnic unity, member of provincial talents, outstanding youth in Yunnan province, labor models at ministerial and provincial level. Accordingly, the university was awarded excellent prize in national construction of campus culture; advanced unit of national spiritual construction, and the advanced unit of moral education in Yunnan Province.

To improve the quality of the education and the scientific research level, YAU successively established the intercollegiate exchange and cooperation of science and technology with colleges, universities and research institutions in Britain, the United States, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia and other countries and regions. School also employed nearly 200 leading experts, visiting professor, and academicians to promote the development of the school teaching and scientific research work. School has been rated as excellent in the provincial assessment of employment of gradates from 2005 to 2012, thereby selected to 50 national classic of models in 2011-2012 and awarded advanced unit in the national employment work by the State Council. In its more than 70 years of foundation, YAU has cultivated over 100,000 professional and technical personnel with scientific ethics, liberal conscience, and feelings for the farms and agriculture.

The idea of teaching for righteousness, fostering truthfulness, serving agriculture and enriching people has always been the pursuit of the university in its education over the past seven years, leaving its footmark in the agricultural education in Yunnan Province. The university develops with the pace of age, making irreplaceable contribution to the stability of the region, unity of ethnic groups and progress of economics. Years witnessed the loyalty of the university to the cause of education, and age summons its faculties and staffs continue to forge ahead. Together with 46 million people of all ethnic groups, YAU will live up to the expectations of the party and the people, and persistently create a promising future!