Beijing International Studies University [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]
Beijing International Studies University (BISU) is a renowned multi-disciplinary institution of higher education, offering courses such as literature, management, economics and philosophy, with foreign languages and tourism as its dominant and specialized disciplines. It is an important base in China for talent training in and research of foreign languages, translation, tourism, and economics and trade.
BISU, founded in October 1964 with the support of China’s late premier Zhou Enlai, was one of China's first institutions to offer undergraduate education. Throughout its history, BISU has been under the successive leaderships of the former China International Cultural Liaison Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, the Ministry of Education and the former China National Tourism Administration. In February 2000, it was put under the administration of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality. Since March 2022, BISU has been jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the People's Government of Beijing Municipality.
With “Integrity, Diligence, Truth, and Leadership” as its motto, BISU has long dedicated itself to passing down eastern and western civilizations and boosting cultural and educational exchanges between China and other countries. Students are inspired to learn from all civilizations and achieve the unity of knowing and doing, while its exceptional faculty is committed to offering humanistic education. BISU has accumulated profound academic traditions, distinctive experience in teaching and a strong faculty, including a group of recognized professors and famous translators in China.
BISU is located in Chaoyang district, Beijing, with the Central Business District to its west and Tongzhou district, the subsidiary administrative center of Beijing, to its east. At present, the university has nearly 10,000 registered students, including more than 6,100 undergraduate students, more than 1,700 postgraduate students, more than 800 international students, and more than 1,500 students under the seven-year cultivation program. It has 19 schools, namely, the School of English Language, Literature and Culture, the School of Japanese Language, Literature and Culture, the School of Asian Studies, the School of European Languages, Literature and Culture, the School of Middle Eastern Studies, the School of Interpreting and Translation, the School of Tourism and Hospitality, the Business School, the School of Economics, the School of International Relations, the School of Chinese Culture and Communication, the School of International Education of Chinese Language, the School of Marxism Studies, the Department of Physical Education, the Department of Basic Sciences, the BISU Seven-year Comprehensive Training Program, the BISU Institute of Châteauroux, School of International Education, and the Institute for International and Regional Studies. The university library collection is built up of over 1,230,000 volumes, 266 foreign-language newspapers, 127 Chinese newspapers and more than 1,300,000 copies of e-books. It also has 81 databases, including 47 Chinese language databases and 34 foreign language databases.
At present, BISU offers 48 undergraduate majors (including 31 bachelor's programs in foreign languages). Five primary disciplines and 29 secondary disciplines have been authorized to confer master’s degrees. The university also offers six professional master’s degree programs. BISU has a joint doctoral program in translation with Binghamton University - the State University of New York, a joint doctoral program in tourism management with the University of South Carolina, and two post-doctoral research stations co-founded with the Social Sciences Academic Press and the Capital University of Economics and Business. It has two high-grade, featured, advanced disciplines of Beijing (tourism management and foreign language and literature), four municipal key disciplines of Beijing (foreign language and literature, tourism management, business management and international trade), 15 national-level first-class undergraduate majors (English, Business English, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Persian, translation, tourism management, hotel management and financial management), four national characteristic majors (Japanese, Arabic, English and tourism management), 14 municipal-level first-class undergraduate majors (Indonesian, Italian, Hungarian, Serbian, Estonian, exhibition economics and management, marketing, finance, international economics and trade, trade economy, Chinese language and literature, Chinese international education, journalism, and international affairs and relations), two municipal first-rate majors of Beijing (translation and tourism management) and one pilot reform major under the Ministry of Education (Japanese).
Dedicated to serving the national strategy and the needs of Beijing, BISU takes training multilingual and interdisciplinary talents with an international vision as its fundamental task. It values the combination of education and practice and has grown into an application-typed university following years of educational experience. The university emphasizes skill and practical training in educating foreign language-majored students while paying close attention to their basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating. As for non-foreign language-majored students, it offers application-oriented education based on its foreign language teaching resources and multi-cultural environment, and focuses on the integration of production, teaching and research. BISU is proud of its graduates possessing broad horizons, creativity, solid practical skills, and competitiveness in the job market. Many of them go on to become outstanding figures in the political, diplomatic, business, cultural and educational circles. Well-known alumni of the university include Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee; Gao Hucheng, former commerce minister; Liu Hongcai and Xu Lyuping, former vice-ministers of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee; Cheng Guoping, former vice-foreign minister; Chen Jian, former vice-commerce minister; Wu Sike, former special envoy to the Middle East; Chang Zhenming, former Party secretary of the CPC CITIC Group committee and chairman of the corporation; Jiang Bo, former vice-president of Tongji University; and Liu Shijun, secretary-general of the World Tourism Alliance.
BISU has insisted on serving the major development strategies of China and Beijing, given full play to its disciplinary advantages, strengthened disciplinary integration, actively promoted innovative and characteristic research and high-level versatile talent training in such fields as culture-tourism convergence, services and cultural trade, the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, public policy translation, international cultural communication, regional and national research, as well as politics and diplomacy, and intensified the building of new-type think tanks and advisory services. The university is home to 20 research institutions, namely the China Institute of Culture and Tourism Industry, the China Academy for Tourism Talent Development, the Big Data Institute of Culture and Tourism Research, the China Academy of Higher Regional and National Studies, the China Academy of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Beijing Institute of Culture and Tourism Development, the Beijing Institute of Intercultural Communication, the China-Arab States Research Center on Reform and Development, the Beijing Institute for International Communication, the China Academy for Public Policy Translation, the China Institute of Service Trade, the Institute of Politics and Diplomacy, the Institute of Chinese Studies, the Institute of Political Education Studies, the China Animation and Cultural Innovation Institute, the China Academy for the Modernization of Ecological Civilization Governance, the Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the Belt and Road Data Analysis and Decision Support Beijing Key Laboratory, and the Digital Resources and Knowledge Service Laboratory. A platform of fundamental research has been built through nine scientific research bases at the provincial and ministerial level, one collaborative innovation center at the provincial and ministerial level, and eight national and regional studies centers under the Ministry of Education. The university is the host of several important academic organizations, including the Translators Association of Beijing, the Beijing Comic Society and the Beijing Tourism Society. Its academic journals include the Journal of Beijing International Studies University, Tourism and Hospitality Prospects, Transcultural Studies, and Arab Studies.
The university faculty is well-structured in terms of faculty members’ ages, degrees, specialties and professional titles. BISU now has nearly 1,000 full-time teachers, among whom, nearly 60 percent are Ph.D. holders and nearly 50 percent are professors or associate professors. Most of them have had obtained their academic degrees abroad. It has also employed more than 120 part-time professors and nearly 60 foreign experts. The university is proud of having two National Outstanding Teaching Teams, four Excellent Teaching Teams of Beijing, and eight Innovative Academic Teams of Beijing.
Through leveraging its multi-lingual advantages, BISU has vigorously participated in international exchanges and cooperation, and has established substantial collaborative relations with more than 170 universities and higher educational institutions from over 40 countries and regions across the world. Each year, a considerable number of teachers are sent abroad for further studies, academic visits, joint research projects and Mandarin teaching. Annually, the university sends more than 500 students on average to further their studies abroad, and receives more than 1,500 foreign students to study at BISU. Six Confucius Institutes have been established by the university in partnership with the Autonomous University of Chihuahua in México, the University of Central Lancashire in Britain, the Mohammed V University in Morocco, the French city Clermont-Ferrand, the University of Coimbra in Portugal and the University of Panama in the Republic of Panama.
Adhering to the mission of promoting Sino-foreign cultural exchanges and shouldering the responsibilities of serving the national strategy and Beijing’s development, BISU has led its students to learn from both Chinese and foreign civilizations and integrate knowing with doing. With foreign languages & literature and tourism management as its key disciplines, the university has been steadfast to connotative development, strengthened interdisciplinary education, and committed to training composite talents with patriotism and international vision. BISU will strive to build itself into one of China’s top foreign language universities with distinctive Beijing characteristics.
(Data as of May, 2023)