Xiangtan University (XTU) is a comprehensive and national key university. The great man Mao Zedong initiated its establishment in 1958. On September 10 that year, Mao inscribed the name of the university, and bade university administrators to “do their best to make a success of it”. In 1974, the Central leaders including Deng Xiaoping and Li Xiannian approved to reconstruct the university. In 1978, it was identified by the State Council as one of the 16 national comprehensive key universities. In 1981, it became one of China’s first batch of higher educational institutions to award master’s degree. The Central Government leaders, including Hua Guofeng, Jiang Zemin, Li Peng, He Guoqiang, and Liu Yandong, have paid great attention to its development.
XTU has gained an increasing influence internationally and domestically. It has successively established cooperation platforms and launched 30-plus international cooperation training projects with 60 universities and research institutions from more than 20 countries, including the US, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, UK, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Uganda, Ghana, Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. XTU set up Confucius institutes in Leon University in Spain and Makerere University in Uganda respectively. XTU was included into the “China-Africa Universities 20+20 Cooperation Plan” by the Ministry of Education of PRC.