Nankai Economics Discipline Celebrated its 100th Anniversary


On October 14, the centenary conference of Nankai economics discipline was held at the main auditorium of  Balitai Campus .

Around 9 a.m., the centenary conference kicked off with the solemn sound of the national anthem.

The conference was attended by Duan Chunhua, Deputy Director of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress; Ren Xianliang, Secretary-General of the World Internet Conference; Lei Mingshan, Chairman of China Three Gorges Corporation; Huo Xuewen, Chairman of Bank of Beijing; Hao Shouyi, former Deputy Director of the Administrative Committee of Tianjin Binhai New Area; Tian Guiming, former Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of Tianjin Municipal People’s Government; Zhuo Zhi, former President of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics; Liu Yingqiu, former Dean of the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Chai Yu, Director of the Latin American Institute of the Faculty of International Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Hou Yongzhi, Director of the Department of Development Strategy and Regional Economy Research under the Development Research Center of the State Council; Chang Xiuze, a professor at Chinese Academy of Macroeconomic Research; Cai Jiming, Director of the Center for Political Economy Research of Tsinghua University; Zhang Ya, Secretary of the Party Committee of Tianjin University of Commerce; Xia Jingbo, Secretary of the Party Committee of Tianjin Vocational Institute; Zhao Yi, Chairman of Tianjin Haitai High-tech Industrial Park; Li Lianqing, Chairman of Tianjin Property Rights Exchange Co., Ltd.; Chen Qiang, Mayor of Songyuan City, Jilin Province; Guo Wanda, Executive Vice President of China (Shenzhen) Development Institute; Hong Junjie, Vice President of University of International Business and Economics; Xie Shenxiang, Vice President of Shandong University of Finance and Economics; Cui Bingwen, Vice President of Shanghai Pudong Development Bank; Liu Yudong, Chairman of Financier Capital Group, among others.

Yang Qingshan, Chancellor of Nankai University; Chen Yulu, President of Nankai University; Xue Jinwen, former Chancellor of Nankai University; Hou Zixin, former President of Nankai University; Pang Jinju, former Vice President of Nankai University; Li Wei’an, a chair professor at Nankai University and former President of Tianjin University of Finance and Economics; Liang Qi, Vice Chancellor of Nankai University; Sheng Bin, Vice President of Nankai University and Dean of the School of Economics, attended the conference. The conference was also attended by more than 600 participants, including heads of departments and colleges of Nankai University, alumni representatives, and faculty and students representatives. The conference was moderated by Shen Limei, Chair of the Council of the School of Economics.

On behalf of Nankai University, Yang Qingshan extended a warm welcome to the participating guests and expressed sincere gratitude to faculty and students, alumni at home and abroad, and people from all walks of life who have been concerned about and supported the development of the economics discipline and the university. He said that economics is a major pillar discipline at Nankai University, and the School of Economics is one of the earliest schools established by Nankai University and one of the oldest economics departments among Chinese universities. Over the past century, it has produced a wealth of high-quality and influential academic achievements and a large number of high-caliber and responsible talents. Yang Qingshan said that the university will, as always, increase support for the economics discipline so as to build a world-class economics discipline.

Sheng Bin reviewed the 100-year development history of Nankai economics discipline.

The centennial economics discipline, as always, develops with a deep academic atmosphere. Nankai University had a business department when it was founded in 1919, and established the department of economics under the liberal arts program in 1923. In 1927, Dr. He Lian, who had previously studied in the United States, founded the Institute of Economics of Nankai University. In 1931, the Business Department, the Department of Economics and the Institute of Economics were merged to form the first School of Economics among Chinese colleges and universities. In order to achieve “localization” of economics, Nankai economists, represented by He Lian, Fang Xianting, and Chen Xujing, strongly advocated the use of modern economics theory and methodology to study China’s industrialization path, China’s rural economy and other practical issues. They created the well-known “Nankai Index”, laying the cornerstone of Nankai University’s century-old economic discipline. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Nankai University economists have conducted many in-depth studies on the socialist economic system, contemporary capitalism, multinational companies and other issues, in keeping with the tradition of Nankai University’s economics discipline. In 1959, Premier Zhou Enlai visited the Institute of Economics and gave guidance during his inspection. After the reform and opening up, the School of Economics resumed in 1983. Under the leadership of veteran economists such as Teng Weizao, Gu Shutang, Qian Rongkun, and Xiong Xingmei, the School of Economics established a number of applied subjects urgently needed by the state at that time, making it one of the largest and most powerful economics schools among Chinese universities. At the same time, Yang Shujin, Sang Hengkang, Duan Kailing and other well-known Chinese economists were invited to preside over the establishment of new institutions and new disciplines, a model for introducing foreign intellectual support and operating open education. In 2014, the Collaborative Innovation Center for China Economy was rated as the only national-level collaborative innovation center in the field of economic administration in China. In 2020, it won the first prize at the 8th Outstanding Achievement in Humanities Award by the Ministry of Education. In 2022, its applied economics discipline was on the list of national “double first-class” discipline. Its theoretical economics discipline has also achieved excellent results in the fifth round of discipline evaluation and ranking by the Ministry of Education. At present, eight of its undergraduate programs, including economics, international economics and trade, and finance, have been selected as the national first-class undergraduate programs. The school has achieved productive results in many research areas such as the theory of socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics, APEC policy consulting, coordinated Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei development, China’s outbound investment, digital economy and trade, China’s pilot free trade zones, and income distribution. In recent years, it has established a sound talent system that covers all majors and all levels of personnel, and introduced a large number of outstanding domestic and foreign talents. The school currently has nearly 300 full-time faculty and more than 100 top talents in various fields, an optimized structure for producing flourishing academic achievements and cultivating talents. The centennial economics discipline has made important contributions to China’s progress.

Zhuo Zhi attended and delivered a speech as a representative alumni and sister universities representative. Zhang Donggang, Chancellor of Renmin University of China; Yi Xiaozhun, former Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization; Wang Jiaqiong, Secretary of the Party Committee of Beijing Jiaotong University; Lin Yifu, Dean of the Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University and a well-known economist; Jiang Xiaojuan, a well-known economist; and Zhang Jun, Dean of the School of Economics of Fudan University and a well-known economist, sent video congratulatory messages as representatives of alumni at sister universities and international organizations as well as representatives of domestic economics experts. Ren Xianliang, Lei Mingshan, Huo Xuewen, Chen Zongsheng and Li Wei’an spoke as alumni representatives. Xian Guoming, a chair professor at Nankai University, and Guo Bing, a master’s student admitted to the School of Economics in 2022, spoke as representatives of faculty and students.

The inauguration ceremony of Nankai Economics Alumni Association was held simultaneously. Chen Yulu, Li Luoli, Liang Qi as well as Liu Binglian, Dean of Nankai University College of Economic and Social Development, jointly unveiled the Association. Chen Yulu presented letters of appointment to Li Luoli, president of the Association, Guo Wanda and Chang Xiuze, vice presidents of the Association, and Liu Hui, executive vice president and secretary-general of the Association.

The development of Nankai economics discipline has been supported by alumni and all sectors of society. On the occasion of the centenary, .alumni have altogether donated a total of 7.3 million yuan to set up a development fund, in order to promte the building of a first-class discipline and other works related to discipline building, scientific research, and talent training. The donation ceremony was held on site.

In the afternoon of the same day, the Nankai Economics Summit Forum themed “Global Changes and Chinese Modernization” was held at the main auditorium on Balitai Campus. The forum provides a platform for discussing the hot issues of momentous global changes and Chinese modernization, and for pooling wisdom and contributing to China’s economic development. Pang Jinju attended the forum and made concluding remarks. Sheng Bin and Li Luoli attended the forum and delivered speeches. Liu Yingqiu, Chang Xiuze, China-U.S. Green Fund chairman Xu Lin, and Hong Junjie delivered keynote speeches entitled “deepening research on economic theory and advancing Chinese modernization”, “how to address the weaknesses of marketization”, “international rules and policy autonomy”, “scientific and technological revolution and talent training”, respectively. In addition, two round-table forums were held, with Guo Wanda and Liu Yudong as the moderators respectively. Participating experts and scholars discussed the topics of “Chinese modernization and innovation in China’s economic theory” and “China’s macroeconomic and financial development”, sharing key insights and suggestions for better promoting the building of China’s independent knowledge system of economics.

(Edited and translated by Nankai News Team.)