About HNU at a Glance
HNU at a Glance
About Hainan University
Hainan University (HNU) was a merger with the former South China University of Tropical Agriculture in August 2007. It is a comprehensive key university jointly constructed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Hainan Provincial People’s Government.
Hainan University motto
The University adheres to the motto of “All rivers run into sea, all efforts aim for the highest ideals” and advocates the spirit of “self-improvement, dedication, virtue and perseverance”.

In December 2008, HNU was approved by the central government as a key university of the national Project 211.


In 2012, it was included in the Plan of Strengthening Higher Education in Central and Western China, and was successively supported by the National Basic Ability Construction Project of Central and Western China and the National Comprehensive Strength Enhancement Project of Central and Western China.


In 2017, it was included in the national project of building world-class disciplines.


In 2018, the CPC Hainan Provincial Committee and the Hainan Provincial People’s Government made a strategic decision to gather the efforts of the entire Province to fully sponsor the development of HNU.


On April 13, 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping at the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hainan Province and the Hainan Special Economic Zone instructed that the government should “support HNU in developing world-class disciplines”. In the same year, HNU was included under the joint development of the MOE and the Hainan Provincial People’s Government, and became a university ...


In 2022, it was re-selected as one of the universities of “double world-class project”.

Hainan University Data

The campuses of the University cover an area of 4.087 million square meters. HNU has 42,000 full-time students, 31 secondary schools, 13 first-level discipline doctorate programs, one professional doctorate program, 34 first-level discipline master’s programs, 21 professional master’s degree programs, 69 undergraduate programs, six centers for post-doctoral studies, 45 state-level first-class undergraduate programs, six state-level first-class undergraduate courses, two state-level excellent courses, one state-level excellent online open course, and two designated as exemplary ideological and political education courses by the MOE. The disciplines offered by the University cover major fields such as philosophy, economics, law, humanities, science, medicine, agriculture, engineering, management, and art. Crop Science has been selected as a world-class discipline for two consecutive rounds, and eight disciplines, Plant and Animal Science, Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Agricultural Sciences, Engineering Science, Environmental Science and Ecology, Biology and biochemistry as well as General social science are ranked among the top 1% worldwide according to ESI (Essential Science Indicators). The University employs more than 2,700 full-time teachers, including 60 national-level researchers such as academicians, Changjiang Scholars, and China National Distinguished Young Scholars. Among them are one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, one fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Engineering Institute of Canada, one foreign fellow of the Engineering Academy of Japan, one foreign fellow of the Russian Academy of Engineering, two fellows of the European Academy of Sciences, and four national-level teaching masters.

31 +


69 +


62 +

National level

2700 +

Full time
teaching staff

Research platform
In terms of research platforms, the University has established the State Key Laboratory of Tropical Crops Breeding, the State Key Laboratory of Digital Medical Engineering, the State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in the South China Sea (co-sponsored by Hainan Province and the MOE), the Cultivation Base of the State Key Laboratory for Sustainable Utilization of Tropical Bioresources (co-sponsored by Hainan Province and the Ministry of Science and Technology), and the National Center of Technology Innovation for Saline-Alkali Tolerant Rice. Moreover, it has four Higher Education Discipline Innovation Projects funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, three collaborative innovation centers jointly sponsored by Hainan Province and the MOE, 21 provincial/ministerial level key laboratories, 17 provincial/ministerial level engineering research centers, 15 academician workstations, two MOE International and Regional Study Centers, two provincial-level key think tanks, and 11 provincial-level key research bases in humanities, philosophy, and social sciences. Additionally, the University has built Hainan Research and Communication Center for Dongpo Culture to contribute to the cultural development of the Hainan FTP. Notably, the HNU Belt and Road Research Institute was included in the 2022 “Chinese Think Tank Index (CTTI) Top 100 University List” and rated as an A-level think tank.
Teaching quality

HNU has been improving the quality of its education and teaching with significant achievements. In 2018, the teaching model of taking classroom practice as the primary, and campus practice, social practice and online practice as secondary tools for ideological and political theory courses initiated by the School of Marxism won the second prize in the National Teaching Achievement Awards, marking a breakthrough since August 2007. In 2023, three teachers from the University were awarded the first, second, and third prizes respectively in the final of the 6th National Teaching Competition for Young Teachers in Colleges and Universities, a historical breakthrough for Hainan Province in the competition. The University has been enhancing the quality and competitiveness of its students. In 2021 and 2022, student teams from the University secured the gold medal in the China International College Students’ “Internet+” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, the championship in the National Lee & Li Cup Moot Court Competition, and the first prize in the 6th National College Student Art Exhibition. In 2022, HNU was awarded the Outstanding Winner and also won the SIAM Award in the 38th Mathematical Contest in Modeling and Interdisciplinary Contest in Modeling.

Educational Strategy

HNU is committed to openness in education. Leveraging the advantages of Hainan FTP’s opening-up to the outside world, the University has realized the rapid development of international cooperation and exchanges and gradually formed a pattern of open education that focuses on serving the BRI’s educational cooperation and exchanges, and features education cooperation with tropical countries and regions. The University launched the “One HNU School, One Global University” Initiative, and has established partnerships with 222 overseas universities or institutions from 41 countries and regions. The number of student enrollments for China-foreign cooperative educational programs approved by the MOE has reached 2,470. Through arduous efforts, HNU was listed in the second batch of model universities for studying in China by the MOE, offering a complete range of higher education programs (from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees) to international students.


Countries and




Enrollment Plan for Sino-Foreign
Cooperative Education

Hainan University
Development strategy social development
1 Strategy
2 Strategic positioning
3 National strategy

The University is committed to pursuing national development strategies and meeting the needs of Hainan Province’s economic and social development. Adopting the approach to “solving real problems and providing effective solutions,” the University establishes seven collaborative innovation centers, focusing on key research fields including free trade port development and institutional innovation, ecological civilization, culture and tourism, seed breeding and tropical high-efficiency agriculture, marine technology, one health, and information technology. Such endeavor would support and guide the University’s relevant fields or disciplines to “meet the urgent development needs of Hainan Province and become top-rated national-level ones”, and render strong support for achieving great self-reliance and strength in science and technology.

The University seizes major opportunities yielded by the “joint construction by the MOE and the Hainan Provincial People’s Government” and the initiative to “gather the efforts of the entire Hainan Province to fully sponsor the development of HNU”. Leveraging the geographical advantages of Hainan Province, the University has developed four distinctive educational characteristics, namely, tropical agriculture, marine science, tourism, and special economic zones. Meanwhile, the University takes General Secretary Xi Jinping’s instruction on “supporting HNU in developing world-class disciplines” as the fundamental guideline. Under such a backdrop, HNU has been entrusted with the mission of serving as the participant, advisor, incubator and backup in the Hainan FTP development, embracing the philosophy centered around taking the leading role through its irreplaceable contributions, distinctiveness, high threshold, and adherence to opening up and innovation. To achieve this mission, the University carries out three critical reforms covering the full-credit system, the collegiate system, and the establishment of seven collaborative innovation centers, upholds the principles of “seeking support through services and stimulating development through contributions”, and strives to foster an academic atmosphere that “integrates knowledge and practice, values academic achievements, and pursues excellence”.

HNU was established according to national strategies and thrives with the reform and opening up. The University can play a great role in satisfying the needs of the development of Hainan Province. Looking forward, the University will firmly root itself in Hainan to devote to education, align itself with the national strategy of the FTP with Chinese characteristics, and facilitate Hainan FTP development. The University will comprehensively improve its independent capacity of training talents and strengthen the development of basic sciences, emerging disciplines and interdisciplinary disciplines. The University has been committed to establishing world-class disciplines and developing itself into a first-level university in China as well as a spearhead in China’s higher education reform and opening up in the new era.

(Data as of Oct 17, 2023)