Today there are 65 members in the faculty, among whom 34 are professors and 47 are returned scholars with doctoral degrees earned from first rate universities around the world. In terms of academic achievement, more than a few of the faculty have won recognition both in and outside China . Among the outstanding are the six professors who served or are currently serving at the Academic Degrees Committee of the State Council: Tian Yuqing, the late He Fangchuan, Zhu Fenghan, Luo Zhitian, Qian Chengdan and Li Jianming; the four professors who serve as members of the Social Sciences Committee under the Ministry of Education: Ma Keyao, Qian Chengdan, Yan Buke and Li Jianming; five Chang Jiang scholars: Wang Xi (Chair), Yan Buke (Distinguished), Peng Xiaoyu (Distinguished), Wang Qingjia (Chair) and Rong Xinjiang (Distinguished). Closely following these authoritative members is the group aged around 40. As direct beneficiaries of the opening up, they are characterized by good and complete academic training, adequate foreign language skills and the open-mindedness actualized only in a great era. Last but not least, there are those highly respectable names of the late professors, including Deng Guangming and Zhou Yiliang.
The History Department provides three major programs, B.A., M.A., and Ph. D. Each year 30 students are accepted for the undergraduate program, majoring either in historiography or world history. They earn the B.A. degree upon completing all the required courses in four years’ time. On the graduate level, 40 students are annually enrolled for the MA program and 36 for the Ph. D. program. It generally takes three years or more to complete the graduate requirements. It is a department tradition to lay special emphasis on rigor of scholarship, originality of the research, and academic integrity. As one policy to promote this tradition, the graduate symposium is held once a year. The excellence of the graduate program is also attested by the fact that each year sees the publication of papers by our graduate students in some prestigious academic journals.
In the past hundred years, over 4,500 men and women have completed their undergraduate or graduate studies in the History Department. Many of them have developed into academic backbone, either in higher education or research institutes. Still more have gone into diverse areas like government departments, business management, finance, media, and international communication. They have proved, with their performance and achievement, their own worth and the excellence of the education provided by the History Department.
Supported by the upgraded facilities, the History Department has developed, over the past decade, a network serving the faculty and students in their teaching/ learning and research. The website provides timely information concerning all the 60 plus courses (including the syllabus and list of reference books) and other academic events. The fact that much of the teaching and learning (e.g. Q&A, group discussions) can be effected in the cyberspace increases efficiency and brings the faculty and students closer.
For the newly arrived books or other documents to promptly reach the faculty and students, a software named “New Publications in Historiography and Their Retrieval” has come into use.
Another benefit of information technology is that it promotes academic exchange with schools outside China. One telling example is the cooperation with Freie Universit?t Berlin, where students can complete on net all the course work of “History of the People’s Republic of China”.