Qinghai University is located in the historical city of Xining, a well-known summer resort on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The university was established in 1958, originally under the name “Qinghai Institute of Polytechnic”. In November 1960, its name was changed to Qinghai University by merging with Qinghai Agricultural and Animal Husbandry College, Qinghai Medical College and Qinghai Finance and Economics College, but the name was revoked in 1969. In 1971, the name Qinghai Polytechnical and Agricultural College was adopted, with industry and agriculture as its major disciplines. In 1988, it was renamed as Qinghai University. In October 1997, Qinghai Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medical College merged in. In January 2001, Qinghai University was reconstructed after merging with Qinghai Agriculture and Forestry College, Qinghai Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medical College, and Qinghai Vocational College of Finance and Economics; and in 2004, Qinghai Medical College merged to form a new Qinghai University.
Qinghai University has developed into a university of teaching and researching giving priority to engineering, agriculture, medicine, and management as the main body and other disciplines coordinately develop. Ever since 2001, six top-rated universities, namely Tsinghua University, Northwest Agriculture and Forestry University, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), East China Institute of Chemical Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Beijing University of Chemical Technology, have been providing paired assistance with Qinghai University. In 2004, co-sponsored by the Qinghai provincial government and the Ministry of Education, Qinghai University became a university of “Province-Ministry Cooperation”. In 2008, it was one of the key universities under the “211 Project”. In 2012, it was one of 14 universities supported by “The Midwest University Comprehensive Strength Promotion Project”. In 2016, it was listed in the first batch of “100 Model Universities of Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. In 2017, it was one of the universities aiming to become a world-class comprehensive research university. In 2018, it became one of 14 Midwest universities of “Ministry-Province Cooperation”. It won the Second Prize for National Teaching Achievement Award and the First Prize of ASC World University Supercomputing Competition, ranking among the top 20 worldwide. In 2019, it was approved for 5 national first-class undergraduate majors, receiving the only annual major contribution award from Qinghai Province, and participating in the series activities of “Youth Innovation Competition on Lancang-Mekong Region’s Governance and Development” (YICMG) that entered the “Large-Scale Achievements Exhibition Celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China". In 2020, it was approved for the first provincial-ministerial joint innovation center, "Sanjiangyuan Ecosystem Field Scientific Research Observation Station"by the Ministry of Education, and five national first-class undergraduate majors, along with the only annual major contribution award from Qinghai Province. In 2021, it was approved to have four new first-level Doctoral degree authorization units of Hydraulic Engineering, Grass Science, Clinical Medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and won the first prize in the ASC World University Supercomputing Competition, ranking among the top 10 in the world. In 2022, it was successfully selected as one of the 147 "Double First Class" construction universities across the country and Ecology was included again in the "World Class" construction disciplines. It was approved for 6 key laboratories from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, 11 national first-class undergraduate majors, along with the second provincial-ministerial joint innovation center. The Provincial Government Office issued "Qinghai University High-Quality Development Master Plan".
Qinghai University, with coverage of a total area over 3,000 mu, is now open to the whole world and country. It has a full-time enrollment of 27,958 students, of which 4,493 are postgraduates and 23,465 are undergraduate students. Currently, the university has 5,372 teaching and administrative staff (including 3,090 from Qinghai University Affiliated Hospital), of which 1,465 are academic staff of teaching, among them, 626 (43%) have doctorate degrees, 98% master’s degrees.
The university now has 1 world-level key discipline, 2 national-level key disciplines and 1 provincial key discipline; 1 national second-level key discipline and 1 national (incubation) key discipline; 12 provincial first-degree key disciplines and 5 provincial second-degree key disciplines; 5 first-level Doctoral degree authorization units, 20 first-level Master’s degree authorization units, 1 cross-disciplinary Master’s degree authorized unit, 108 second-level Master’s degree authorized units; 15 categories of Master’s degree authorized units, all together 96 specialties. The university has 1 mobile workstation for post-doctoral research, 67 undergraduate majors including 6 national-level construction of characteristic specialties, 4 national-level teaching groups, 1 national-level Training Mode of Talents Innovative Experiment, 1 national-level experimental teaching demonstration center, 3 national-level excellent video open courses, 7 national first-level courses, 21 national-level specialty construction units, 9 national-level excellent programs, 1 state-level off campus teaching bases for college students, 1 national-level specialty comprehensive reform program and 2 virtual teaching and research offices. The university also has 2 national teaching teams of Huang Danian style (named after the eminent Chinese physicist), 1 national ideological and political famous teachers’ studio, 2 professional honored teachers,1 state key laboratory, 3 state key sub-laboratories, 3 national & local joint engineering laboratories (research centers), 3 MOE key laboratories, 2 MOE engineering research centers (including 1 cultivation center), 1 MOE scientific field observation research station, 9 Ministry of Agriculture laboratories/centers, 1 State Forestry Bureau key laboratory, 1 Guoyu Huayu VR world laboratory, 2 provincial laboratories, 18 provincial key university laboratories, 23 provincial key science and technology laboratories (including 1 sub-lab), 1 national university science and technology park and 1 national-level research institute for rural development.
There are 10 double employed academicians from Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), 4 double-employed professors, 6 specially appointed professors and 1 youth project award winner under the “Yangtze River Scholar Award Program” of MOE, 2 national “Thousand Talents” experts, 2 winners of “National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars”, 24 national-level talents selected from the national "Ten Thousand Talents Plan", "Millions of Talents Project", "New Century Talent Support Plan” from Ministry of Education, and other national programs in University. 38 talented staff receive “State Council Special Allowance”, 19 won such awards as the “National Innovation Competition Award”, “Hongkong Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation Science and Technology Innovation Award”, “Fok Ying Tung Education Foundation Young Teacher Award”, “Chinese Overseas Chinese Community (Innovative Talents) Contribution Award” and “Third World Academy of Science(TWAS) Unique Basic Medical Science Award”. There are over 30 nationally and provincially honored teachers, outstanding teachers and educators, over 60 provincial outstanding experts, professional and technical personnel. 643 faculty members and 25 teams have been included in the Qinghai provincial “Thousand High-end Innovative Talents Plan” and over 260 have been recognized as provincial “135” high-level talents and discipline leaders of natural science and engineering technology. 1 team was selected into the “Innovative Research Team Development Plan”, and 16 as “Qinghai Provincial Talents Sub-highlands ”.
In order to serve the national and regional strategies for economic and social development, Qinghai University is promoting the combination involving production, teaching and research. The university has distinctive discipline advantages and college running characteristics from Sanjiangyuan ecological protection, high plateau agriculture & animal husbandry, to high plateau medicine, Tibetan medicine, salt lake chemistry engineering, new energy and new materials. It has made great contributions to the economic and social development in Qinghai province.
Since 2016, the university has been approved 2,591 research projects, including 8 national key R&D plans. The total amount of research funding exceeded 1.7 billion yuan, and 874 scientific achievements were identified. The university has won 1 national second prize for science and technology progress, 2 national first-class creation and excellence awards, 85 provincial and ministerial awards, and 3 honorary titles for significant contributions to science and technology in Qinghai Province and published a total of 10,466 academic papers in various domestic and international journals. It has 874 appraisement of sci-tech achievements. The university received a second prize for National Scientific and Technological Progress Award, 2 second prizes for National Awards for Excel in the Performances, 3 awards for Qinghai Provincial Science and Technology Major Contribution, and another 85 various awards at provincial and ministerial level. The teaching staff have published 10,466 academic papers in journals domestically and internationally.
Qinghai University adheres to a policy of opening up and has taken active part in international academic exchange and cooperation. It has signed memorandums of exchange and cooperation, and carried out practical cooperation with universities from over twenty countries and regions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. The university is a part of “Silk Road Agriculture Education and Research Innovation Alliance”and “Lancang-Mekong River Basin University Alliance” and is included in “111 Program”( Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities). Its application for Tibetan Medicine International Cooperation Base (Qinghai) is approved. “Three Brothers” mode of cooperation (Tsinghua University-the University of Auckland-Qinghai University) continues and becomes one of the highlights of Sino-New Zealand cultural exchanges. Its international exchanges and cooperation are expanding in an all-round, multi-disciplinary, distinctive and high-level way.
On a new historical start, the university takes “Aspiration lofty, like majestic Kunlun Mountain, ever seeking knowledge, like Yangtze and Yellow Rivers” as its motto, carries forward the new Qinghai spirit. With moral education as the basis, innovation as the drive, serving social development as the guidance, Qinghai University strives for the realization of its goal of developing into a modern university with high level and unique characteristics.