Harbin Institute of Technology

Harbin Institute of Technology (Chinese: 哈尔滨工业大学, abbreviated as HIT or 哈工大; Hā GōngDà) is a research university and a member of China's elite C9 League.[2] HIT is a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.[3] It has three campuses, spanning the country from north to south: the Harbin campus in Heilongjiang Province, the Weihai campus in Shandong Province and the Shenzhen campus in Guangdong Province.

Harbin Institute of Technology
Motto in English
Strict Standards, Solid Skills[1]
PresidentZhou Yu (周玉)
Academic staff
2957(incl staff)
CampusUrban, 4.293 square kilometres (1.658 sq mi)
AffiliationsC9 League
Harbin Institute of Technology
Simplified Chinese哈尔滨工业大学
Traditional Chinese哈爾濱工業大學

HIT is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the country[4] with a focus on science and engineering.[5][6][7] HIT was ranked 6th in the Best Global Universities for Engineering by U.S. News in 2017-2020.[8] HIT is one of the only handful of universities in the world that have designed, built, and launched their own satellites (in 2004, 2008 and 2013).


The Harbin Institute of Technology was originally established in 1920 as the Harbin Sino-Russian School for Industry to educate railway engineers via a Russian method of instruction. Students could select from two majors at the time: Railway Construction or Electric Mechanic Engineering. On April 2, 1922, the school was renamed the Sino-Russian Industrial University. The original two majors eventually developed into two major departments: the Railway Construction Department and the Electric Engineering Department. Between 1925 and 1928 the University's Rector was Leonid Aleksandrovich Ustrugov, the Russian Deputy Minister of Railways under Nicholas II before the Russian Revolution and a key figure in the development of the Chinese Eastern Railway.

On February 4, 1928, the institution came under the leadership of the Northeastern Provincial Special Administrative Region of the Republic of China, and was renamed the Industrial University of the Northeastern Provincial Special Administrative Region. On October 20, 1928, the Law College and College of Commerce were incorporated, and the institution was officially named the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), co-managed by China and the USSR, with General Zhang Xueliang as the President of the School Board. Postgraduate students were enrolled from the spring of 1931.

In the spring of 1931, it began to recruit postgraduate students.

During the Japanese invasion of China in 1935, the university fell under Japanese control. At that time, classes were taught in Japanese only. Furthermore, only Chinese and Japanese students were permitted to enroll. On January 1, 1936, the name of the institution was changed yet again to the National Harbin Polytechnic. By January 1937, the entire educational system had been altered to reflect traditional Japanese instruction. However, on January 1, 1938, the name Harbin Institute of Technology was reinstated, which it has retained up until the present.

After the Allied defeat of Japan in World War II, HIT came under the joint management of the Chinese and Soviet governments through the China Changchun Railway Administration.

In 1949, Harbin Institute of technology began to recruit graduate students from all over the country. It is one of the earliest institutions to train postgraduates in China.

In June 1950, the administration of HIT was taken over by the Chinese government, which started a period of full-scale reform and growth. June 7 is the anniversary of the establishment of HIT. In 1951, HIT was approved by the central government to become one of the two institutions of higher learning to learn advanced techniques from the USSR. HIT then became an important base for learning from the USSR and training students for universities throughout the country. HIT enjoyed a reputation as the 'Cradle for Engineers'.

In 1958, HIT expanded the variety of academic disciplines in which it offered majors such that by 1962 it had fundamentally transformed from a trade based school to a fully-fledged multidisciplinary university, credited with aiding in the construction of a national economy and making important contributions to national defense science and technology.

During this era, enrollment in the university's programs increased dramatically with the largest enrollment exceeding 8000 students. The number of teachers also increased at this time and by 1957 there were roughly 800 teachers responsible for all of the teaching and research duties of the university, each of them on average only 27.5 years old. Their skill and determination, however, earned them the moniker the '800 warriors' of HIT. During this period the research capabilities of HIT greatly expanded and improved. Departments actively sought cooperation agreements with factories and other national research institutes, laying a solid foundation for the integration of teaching, research, and production on a national level.

The Cultural Revolution, which started in 1966, drastically affected the normal teaching capabilities and research activities of HIT.

In Spring 1970, by government order, a small number of HIT personnel and most of the university's research equipment were moved south to Chongqing, and, together with Department 2 of the PLA Military Engineering Institute, established the Chongqing Institute of Technology. The rest of HIT combined with the Heilongjiang Institute of Technology and the Harbin Institute of Electrical Technology to form the new HIT. In August 1973, the State Council and the Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee decided that the Chongqing Institute of Technology should again move back north to Harbin.

In 1977, the undergraduate programs reopened with graduate programs following in 1978 then in 1982 doctoral programs were offered for the first time. In 1984, HIT appeared in the list of 15 favorably built universities. That same year, HIT became one of the first 22 universities to establish a graduate school. In 1992, HIT High-and-New Tech Park was founded. In 1996, HIT was in the first batch of universities to enter the list of Project 211. In November 1999, HIT was appointed by the Central Government as one of the nine best universities to be preferentially built according to the standards of internationally renowned universities.

In 2000, Harbin Institute of Technology merged with Harbin University of Architecture, one of the famous eight old schools in China, with the same roots, and formed a new Harbin Institute of Technology.

In 2013, the results of the third round of discipline assessment were announced. The school has 16 first-level disciplines ranked in the top five in the country, and 25 disciplines rank among the top ten in the country; among them, the first-level discipline of mechanics ranks first in the country.

In September 2017, it was selected as a “double-class” (world-class university and first-class discipline) to build a list of universities. On October 25, 2017, the world's best university rankings were released in 2018, and Harbin Institute of Technology ranked tenth in China.

University system and campuses

Greater HIT system

In 1985 HIT established a new campus in Weihai then in 2000 Harbin University of Architecture merged into HIT in Harbin. In 2002 HIT established a new graduate school in Shenzhen. These three campuses form the Great HIT structure.

  • Harbin Main Campus: located in the heavy industrial base area of China, specializes in engineering and especially defense, aerospace, mechanical, civil, environmental, and material engineering.
  • Weihai Campus: based in the national high-tech park of China, offers courses in science and technology and especially marine science, chemistry, biotechnology, automotive, software, computer, and management.
  • Shenzhen Campus: situated in the University Town of Shenzhen in collaboration with Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Hong Kong universities for research, applications and production.

Harbin Campus (Main Campus)

The institute's main building is a smaller version of the main building of the Lomonosov Moscow State University with the majority of the buildings constructed during the time of Sino-Soviet friendship from 1949 to 1959 when the Soviet Union were actively involved in the development of Northeast China. The School of Architecture is located on No.66 of XiDazhi Street, near the Main Building. It originally belonged to HIT, however, when HIT was divided into three institutes in 1959, it was used by the Harbin Architectural and Civil Engineering Institute. After the integration of Harbin University of Architecture (formerly Harbin Architectural and Civil engineering Institute) into HIT, the building was renamed the "Civil Building", although it houses the school of architecture.

The No.2 campus in Harbin was originally a campus of the Harbin University of Architecture. All undergraduate students have spent their first year at this campus since 2003. School shuttles between two campuses are provided free of charge.

Weihai Campus

Weihai campus is located in Weihai's Torch Hi-Tech Science Park, a scenic seaside city on the Jiaodong Peninsula.

The campus, along with the picturesque scenery and mild climate, adjoins the sea (Golden Beach) and is surrounded by mountains. It is ranked in the best 50 universities in satisfaction degree in China.[9] It now covers totally 1,560,000 square metres (16,800,000 sq ft), with a construction area of 383,000 m2 (4,120,000 sq ft).

HIT, Weihai now has 10 schools and 1 department, 10,466 undergraduate students, 542 master students, 110 Ph.D. candidates, 89 international students, and 861 staff members including 97 professors and 219 associate professors. HIT, Weihai provides 37 bachelor programs and shares HIT's 22 master programs and 18 doctoral programs, with the same HIT educational standards. Complementing to the Harbin campus, HIT, Weihai has developed with the characteristic disciplines such as Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, Automotive Engineering, and the highlights in the domains of Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology and Electric Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Material Science and Engineering.[10]

Shenzhen Campus

Along with the graduate schools of Tsinghua University and Peking University, the HIT Shenzhen Graduate School occupies 0.17 square kilometres (0.066 sq mi) of space within Shenzhen University Town. The Shenzhen Campus covers a total floor space of 73,700 square metres (793,000 sq ft) including teaching, research, administration, conference centers, student housing and cafeteria. Additional space of approximately 53,500 square metres (576,000 sq ft) is under construction.

Administration and organization

Harbin Institute of Technology is organized into 20 full-time schools, which hold 73 undergraduate degree programs, 143 master programs and 81 doctorate programs. Though most of HIT's schools focus on science and engineering, it also has several schools offering course in humanities, social sciences, and management. HIT does not have an agriculture or medical school.


HIT operates on a year-round schedule that includes both a fall, a spring and a summer semester. Winter and summer holidays are scheduled to occur between semesters. During vacation periods, the dormitories and select dining halls remain open for students.

Undergraduate program

The Harbin campus of HIT offers 86 undergraduate degrees across its eighteen schools:

  • School of Architecture
  • School of Astronautics
  • School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
  • School of Civil Engineering
  • School of Computer Science and Technology
  • School of Economy and Management
  • School of Electrical Engineering and Automation
  • School of Electronics and Information Engineering
  • School of Energy Science and Engineering
  • School of International Studies
  • School of Life Science and Technology
  • School of Marxism
  • School of Material Science and Engineering
  • School of Mechatronics Engineering
  • School of Transportation Science and Technology
  • School of Science
  • School of Environment
  • School of Humanities, Social Science & Law

There are 15,653 undergraduate students at Harbin campus, including 1,408 international students from 128 countries and regions.

Graduate program

The Harbin campus hosts 1,831 doctoral students and 8,354 master graduate students. The amount of international graduate students is 1,365.


University rankings
ARWU World[11] 151-200
THE World[12] 401-500
USNWR World[13] 249
QS World[14] 277
BCUR China[15] 10

For 2020, HIT was ranked within the 401-500 band globally by Times Higher Education,[12] 249 by U.S. News & World Report[13] and 277 by QS World University Rankings.[14] In 2019, it was ranked in the 151-200 band by Academic Ranking of World Universities.[11]

Harbin Institute of Technology is a C9 League University, and a member of the University Alliance of the Silk Road.[16] Key honors include the following:

Subject rankings on ARWU [11]

Subject rankings on U.S. News [13]


Research at Harbin Institute of Technology spans a broad range of topics with a strong focus on engineering sciences. A 2009 analysis of research citations by Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators found HIT among the top 1% of institutions in the fields of Material Science, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics, and ninth in the number of theses published in the area of material science worldwide.[17]

Research teams

Harbin Institute of Technology has a high-level research faculty with over 2,900 full-time teachers and researchers, including 1,950 professors and associate professors, 41 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Engineering, nearly 640 doctoral supervisors. It has 12 principal scientists working on Projects 973 and 13 "Young Experts with Prominent Contributions to the Country".

Laboratories and facilities

HIT currently has 7 State Key Laboratories and 3 National Engineering Laboratories granted and funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Development and Reform Commission, and State Council of China.

HIT also has 40 national key disciplines granted by the Ministry of Education P.R.C, and 30 provincial / ministerial-level key laboratories.

Research expenditures

With a strong emphasis on scientific research, HIT has been bold and innovative in its scientific research and has consistently undertaken large-scale and highly sophisticated national projects. Because of this, funding for research increases yearly. In 2018, the total research funding from government, industry, and business sectors reached 3.76 billion RMB yuan (537 million US dollars).


HIT undertakes research and numerous projects covered by official secrets (e.g. in space science and defense-related technologies)[18][19]. It made the largest contribution to the success of the Shenzhou series spacecraft and Kuaizhou series spacecraft.[20][21] One minor planet (#55838) is named after the Harbin Institute of Technology and nicknamed "Hagongda Star" by the International Astronomical Union for HIT's achievements in science and engineering.[22][23]

HIT is known to have close links to the People's Liberation Army and the space program of China as one of the main universities in China for space and defense-related research. HIT has made major contributions to the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft project. In 2010, the Astronautics Innovation Research Center was established at HIT in conjunction with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The establishment is the biggest investment of this class in China.[24]

The faculty, staff, and students at HIT have led the research and development of several satellites: Shiyan-1 (Experimental satellite, launched in 2004), Shiyan-3 (Experimental satellite, launched in 2008), Kuaizhou-1 (Quick response and rescue satellite, first launched in 2013), Kuaizhou-2 (Quick response and rescue satellite, first launched in 2014), Longjiang-1 and 2 (Lunar orbiter and smasher, launched in 2018), LilacSat-1, LilacSat-2, and CE-4 (developed by students and launched in 2015 and 2018).

Notable faculty and alumni

Academia and education

Business and entrepreneurship

Engineering and technology

Politics and government

Sports and arts


  1. "Overview HIT". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  2. "Best universities in China 2018". Times Higher Education. 6 September 2017.
  3. 教育部 财政部 国家发展改革委 关于公布世界一流大学和一流学科建设高校及建设 学科名单的通知 (Notice from the Ministry of Education and other national governmental departments announcing the list of double first class universities and disciplines).
  4. "Chinese Universities Alumni & Association". Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  5. "NETBIG Chinese University Rankings". Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  6. "NETBIG China University Technology Rankings". Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  7. "China University Engineering Top 100". Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  8. "Best Global Universities for Engineering". Archived from the original on 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2017-10-25.
  9. 全国大学生满意度50强高校. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  10. "About Harbin Institute of Technology, Weihai". HIT Weihai Copyright. Retrieved 99 September 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  11. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". shanghairanking.com. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  12. "World University Rankings". timeshighereducation.com. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  13. "US News 2020 Best Global Universities". https://www.usnews.com/education. 6 November 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  14. "QS World University Rankings". topuniversities.com. 21 September 2019. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  15. Best Chinese Universities Ranking, Overall Ranking - 2018
  16. Wen, Zhang (16 June 2015). "HIT joined "Universities Alliance of the New Silk Road—UANSR"". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  17. 提示信息. news.hit.edu.cn. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  18. "Kuaizhou – China secretly launches new quick response rocket". Retrieved 2014-01-09. Built by the Harbin Institute of Technology, the new satellite will be used for emergency data monitoring and imaging...
  19. "Work at HIT as lecturer after graduation". Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  20. 哈尔滨工业大学新闻网. news.hit.edu.cn. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  21. "NASA Spaceflight: Kuaizhou-China secretly launches new quick response rocket". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  22. Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs): A Chronology of Milestones Archived 2013-12-05 at the Wayback Machine
  23. "News of ScienceNet: A minor planet named after Harbin Institute of Technology". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  24. 提示信息. news.hit.edu.cn. Retrieved 8 April 2018.

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