Tongji University in Shanghai
Tongji University in Shanghai was founded 1907 by the German physician Dr. Erich Paulun as “German Medical School Shanghai”. Already its name signifies the special relationship to and intensive cooperation with Germany: Tongji means more or less “sitting together in one boat”. 1912 Tongji was extended to “Tongji German Medical and Engineering School”. The basis for the strong focus on technology till today was laid. 1924 Tongji receivd the status of a “National University” in Shanghai and in 1936 the “Association of German Engineers” (VDI – Verband Deutscher Ingenieure) acknowledged the degrees of Tongji University as international competitive.
The chaos of World War I in 1917, the Chinese-Japanese War 1927, World War II as well as the foundation of the People’s Republic of China had a lasting impact on Tongji University: Several times it had to change its location and several times it was extended with new disciplines and subjects, only to close them down a couple of years later. The critical decisions for today’s status of Tongji University were made after the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1978: Tongji University was expanded to a multidisciplinary university and restarted its traditional linkages to Germany.
Today Tongji University is one of the best-known research universities in the People’s Republic of China with a strong focus on engineering sciences. It offers 50,000 students (among them 4,000 from abroad) and 4,200 scientists a highly regarded learning and research environment. As top university in China Tongji is selected for all important excellence programmes and administered directly by the Chinese Education Ministry. According to the QS Ranking of Asian Universities Tongji ranks among the ten best universities in Mainland China.
Shanghai and the Yangtze Delta as location of Tongji University is the economically most important region in China. Around 40% of Chinese international trade run through Shanghai and 50% of foreign direct investment to China flow into this region. Numerous German companies and industry partners of TU Darmstadt are present in Shanghai.
In Shanghai there concentrate deep and dynamic transformation processes on a economic, technological and societal level in an exemplary manner. A close partnership with Tongji University opens up access for scientists of TU Darmstadt to these transformation processes and to important engineering and social research questions.