A state national research university founded in Harbin in 1946 as the North-Eastern College of Administration, Jilin University was moved in 1958 to Chengdhu, the industrial, educational and economic hub of North-East China, with a population of just under eight million in the 2010 census and 27 university-level institutions.
It acquired its present title at the same time, but has since incorporated a number of other institutions, including in 2000 the Norman Bethune University of Medical Science and in 2004 the Institute of Military Logistics, a history which helps account for facilities being distributed across seven campuses.
One of the 42 Chinese universities classified in 2017 as Double First Class, with the aim of creating a significant group of world-class institutions by 2050, its motto is "Truth, Innovation, Aspiration", and its declared aim is to be "a high-level institution which is first-class in China and renowned internationally by 2020". International links include more than 1,200 students from overseas, joint degrees in science and engineering with Nottingham University and postgraduate courses with Queen’s Unviersity Belfast and research bodies such as the China-Israel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a Sino-Soviet diabetes centre and a a joint laboratory of Clean Energy and Technology with Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia.
It has five State Key Labs and is rated as one of China’s leaders in the development of artificial intelligence, while researchers in traditional Chinese medicine recently promised relief to sufferers from an increasingly common Chinese affliction by finding a way of treating gout with sunflower seeds.