East China Normal University (ECNU) is a comprehensive public research university in Shanghai. It was formed in 1951 by the merger of the Great China University founded in 1924 and Kwang Hua University (est. 1925) which had its ultimate origins in the St. John's College established in the city in 1879. Its original role was to train teachers for secondary and higher education, as suggested in the name "Normal", but very soon housed top-class researchers and evolved into an elite research-intensive university.
ECNU is now organized into more than 22 schools, colleges, and institutes, located in two campuses throughout Minhang and Putuo. The university comprises 2 affiliated schools across the Shanghai metropolitan area: NYU Shanghai in Pudong, Asia-Europe Business School in Zizhu International Education Park. ECNU also maintains a National Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station in Tiantong National Forest Park, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.