Initially known as "Fudan Public School", Fudan University was founded in the year 1905. "Fudan", literally meaning "(heavenly light shines) day after day", indicates inexhaustible self-reliance and industriousness.
Fudan consists of seventeen schools, (which comprise sixty-six departments) and four independent departments: Physics, Chemistry, Macromolecular Science, and Environmental Science and Engineering. The University confers bachelor's degrees in sixty-eight academic disciplines, and master's degrees in two hundred and nine disciplines (with thirty-eight of them established by the University itself), and doctoral degrees in twenty-two Level I and one hundred and thirty-five Level II academic disciplines (with twenty-four of them established by the University itself). There are also twenty-nine research stations that offer postdoctoral fellowships.
Fudan now has an enrollment of 25,000 full-time degree candidates. Another 11,000 are studying at the schools of Continuing Education and Online Education. Besides, the University's population of foreign students ranks second in the whole country, which has reached 1,650 today.
Fudan boasts a qualified faculty of over 2,300 full-time teachers and researchers, including 1,350 full professors and associate professors, twenty-five academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, 746 doctoral advisors, thirty-two chair professors and eight lecture professors of the Cheungkong Scholars Program, six chief scientists of Project 973 and thirty-one "Young and Middle-Aged Experts Nationally Acknowledged for Their Outstanding Achievements". In the recent years, the University has been proactive in recruiting youthful strengths and optimizing the echelon of its faculty. Fudan has nine teaching hospitals, such as Zhong-shan (Dr. Sun Yat-san) Hospital and Hua-shan (Mount Lotus) Hospital, which offer quality medical service to the general public, conduct clinical education to student doctors and perform advanced scientific researches.
Since the 1950s, Fudan has enrolled international students, as one of the first few institutions in China to do so. Since that time, Fudan has accepted and trained over 10,000 foreign students from 100 different countries and regions worldwide. Many students have received systematic training and have earned Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral Degree. Presently there are over 2800 long-term international students in Fudan, half of whom are actively pursuing degrees, the rest are general scholars and visiting scholars. Besides, Fudan will also enroll over 1700 short-term students each year.
Fudan accepts international students into its Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctoral programs as well as advanced programs in liberal arts, sciences, and medicine. The university has also established a Bachelor of Arts program called the Chinese Language for international students and there have been seven groups of graduates. Besides all levels of Chinese language teaching, the university has opened courses such as Chinese literature, Chinese history, Chinese economy, Chinese philosophy and Chinese law for interested international students. According to their different requirements, these courses will introduce basic knowledge of Chinese social economy, history and culture.