National Sun Yat-sen University

National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU; Chinese: 國立中山大學) is a public research-intensive university renowned as an official think tank scholars' community, located in Sizihwan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and Pratas Island in the South China Sea. NSYSU is listed as one of seven national universities in research,[1] and one of four universities that make up the Taiwan Comprehensive University System, a research-led university alliance in Taiwan. NSYSU Management College is among the best in East Asia.[2][3]

National Sun Yat-sen University
2017 NSYSU maingate.jpg
The main entrance of NSYSU
Motto in English
Erudite, Interrogated, Deliberate, Discerning, and Persistent (taken from the Doctrine of the Mean )
TypePublic, Research
EstablishedFounded 1924
Re-established November 12, 1980
PresidentCheng Ying-Yao (鄭英耀)
Academic staff
479 full-time, -- part-time
AffiliationsAACSB-Accredited, APAIE, AAPBS, CFA, EUTW, PACIBER, Taiwan Comprehensive University System
Website(NSYSU Home)
National Sun Yat-sen University
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The first national comprehensive university in Southern Taiwan,[4] NSYSU was founded twice (in 1924 and 1980) in response to national development needs. The alumni of both the original Sun Yat-sen University and the historical Moscow Sun Yat-sen University also have contributed to the re-establishment of the university. In the beginning, each the Sun Yat-sen Universities adopted a statism educational model (中山大學模式) based-on Dr. Sun Yat-sen's philosophy.[5] At present, NSYSU is a normal public university, and is famous for its powerful political and commercial relations.[6] The exchange offices of the US Federal government, the Japanese government, and the European Commission are present on the campus.

NSYSU usually is ranked among the top 5~10 universities in Taiwan and among the top 1000 universities in the world.[7][8][9][10] The university is organized into six colleges, but it also contains a considerable number of research institutes.[11] Furthermore, the university is the birthplace of the first Sinophone bulletin board system (中山大學美麗之島).

NSYSU's faculty maintain strong ties to industry and government officials, many of whom also serve as elite bureaucrats and NGO advisors.[6] The university will be transformed into an English-taught university by 2030.[12]


NSYSU Administration Building
NSYSU College of Science

In 1923, two years before his death, the Founding Father of the Republic of China (ROC), Dr. Sun Yat-sen, established two universities, one civil and one military. The civil university was National Kwangtung University (國立廣東大學, renamed National Sun Yat-sen University in 1926), and the military university was Whampoa Military Academy. Both universities generated remarkable contributions and played an important education role in modern Chinese history.

After National Sun Yat-sen University was established in Canton, it was forced south due to the Sino-Japanese War. The university moved first to Yunnan, and later to North Guangdong. Finally, in 1945, the university moved back to and resumed operations at its original campus in Canton.

In 1949, the government of the Republic of China moved to Taiwan. Its alumni expected the National Sun Yet-sen University (NSYSU) to be re-established in Taiwan, but appropriate timing didn't occur until 1980, when Moscow Sun Yat-sen University graduate, President Chiang Ching-kuo, gave his approval, Dr. Lee Huan then led the project to establish the university at its current campus location at Sizihwan in Kaohsiung City, the second-largest metropolitan area in Taiwan. Several successive presidents all carried the tradition of nurturing the university's growth and development.

When it was re-established, the university had four departments, two graduate institutes, and 189 students. Today, the university has six colleges (Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Management, Marine Sciences, and Social Sciences) and over 9500 students, offering 18 undergraduate majors, 35 masters programs, and 26 doctoral programs. NSYSU has grown, and is now recognized with international distinction as one of Taiwan's most important research and learning institutions.

NSYSU was named by the Ministry of Education as one of the country's seven major research-intensive universities in 2002. Two years later, the College of Management became the nation's first AACSB accredited public university. In addition, NSYSU received a first/second stage grant from the "Aim for the Top University Plan" from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and 2016. Four years later, the university held the 1st "NSYSU & UCSD Joint Symposium" on international academic cooperation.[13]

In the final two months of 2014, Nobel laureates Akira Suzuki and Hiroshi Amano visited the university.

Colleges established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen
Established Re-established
"One civil"
Sun Yat-sen University
In 1924
Guangzhou, Canton, China
In 1980
Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
"One military"
Whampoa Military Academy
In 1924
Guangzhou, Canton, China
In 1950
Kaohsiung County, Taiwan

Campus and facilitiesEdit


Located alongside the Kaohsiung Harbor and a military base, the NSYSU campus is surrounded on three sides by mountains and also faces the open waters of the Taiwan Strait, thus making it a natural fortress. The Sizihwan beach (one of Eight Views of Taiwan) is located right on campus which makes the university campus a very attraction location in Taiwan.[14] The environmental characteristics are unique in the country, including the nature of the montane ecosystem, marine ecosystem, and coral reefs. In addition to the university buildings on the campus, there is also a seaside resort, a stadium constructed by land reclamation, Sizihwan Tunnel, and historic places remaining from the Japanese ruling era.

The campus is close to the downtown but far away from congestion and noise of the city. There are only four roads connecting the campus to the outside city, all the lanes are close to the mountains and the sea, and the terrain is challenging. NSYSU faculty and students live amongst a variety of wildlife. There are a large number of Formosan rock macaques, cockatoos, Pallas's squirrels, and Reeves's muntjacs, and the campus area is rich in natural ecology. However, a nearly daily occurrence involves macaques snatching food from students and breaking into dormitories and classrooms. In addition, the Sizihwan waters are inhabited by the endangered coral species Polycyanthus chiashanensis, with only about 50 remaining.[15]

Campus buildings and Sizihwan Bay

Sizihwan historic placesEdit

Takao Imperial Guesthouse before 1945
Imperial Guesthouse
From April 21 to 22, 1923, Prince Hirohito visited the Takao Port to inspect Kongō Maru. He lived in the Takao Mountain Guesthouse (打狗山賓館) a.k.a. Takao Imperial Guesthouse (高雄泊御所), which was newly built. In order to celebrate the birthday of Prince Hirohito on April 29, Den Kenjirō, the Governor-General of Taiwan, renamed the Guesthouse Juzan-kan (寿山館). After the Government of the Republic of China took over Taiwan, Juzan territory became a military control district, and then Guesthouse was dismantled. The site is now a dormitory for faculty and staff of National Sun Yat-sen University.[16][17]
Sizihwan Tunnel
Sizihwan Tunnel was completed in October 1928, and it was called Juzan-do (寿山洞), connecting Sizihwan of that time and downtown Takao. Currently, it connects National Sun Yat-sen University and Hamasen.
Sizihwan Guesthouse of Chiang Kai-shek
In 1937, the Imperial Japanese Navy built a two-story building named Takao Sightseeing Hall (高雄観光館). After the R.O.C. government took over Taiwan, it became one of Guesthouses of Chiang Kai-shek. President Chiang Kai-shek and his madame lived at the Guesthouse each time they traveled to southern Taiwan. In 1980, the building was transferred to National Sun Yat-sen University, and in 1999 it was given another name, Sizihwan Art Gallery. In 2004, the gallery was designated as a Kaohsiung City Historic Site.[18]

Pratas IslandEdit

Campus cultureEdit

NSYSU Windsurfing Club

National Sun Yat-sen University is located in Kaohsiung City, the largest port city of Taiwan. Based on the academic style that emphasizes ocean and commerce, it not only is the birthplace of Taiwan's first college of maritime sciences but also is unique in hosting water sports activities directly on campus. NSYSU's graduation requirements for its students include demonstration of swimming ability. NSYSU also has a regular windsurfing competition relationship with prestigious Osaka University in Japan. Furthermore, NSYSU has a special sister school relationship with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in the United States, a research university with a similar academic style, and which also is located near a coast.[19][20]


NSYSU College of Marine Sciences old building
NSYSU College of Marine Sciences is adjacent to Taiwan Strait

NSYSU has six colleges: Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management, Marine Sciences, Science, and Social Sciences.


Despite its small-to-medium size, National Sun Yat-sen University has always had outstanding research capabilities. The "Asia Pacific Ocean Research Center" at NSYSU is a world-class Kuroshio research center, it possesses the most advanced marine current power generation technology worldwide.[21] The "Electronic Commerce and Internet Society Research Center" at NSYSU is the only social science research center in Taiwan that has been selected for the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme (FP7) SSH-NCP.

As of 2017, NSYSU had 68 research centers,[22] including the following most important key centers:

Top level
  • Asia Pacific Ocean Research Center
  • Electronic Commerce and Internet Society Research Center
  • Large-scale multi-antenna system Research center
  • Functional Crystalline Amorphous Complex Research Center
  • Medical Science and Technology Center
  • Centre for Humanities Innovation and Social Practices
University level
  • Sun Yat-sen Research Center for Social Science
  • Multidisciplinary and Data Science Research Center (MDSRC)
  • Management Studies Research Center
  • Engineer Technology Research & Promotion Center
  • Frontier Center for Ocean Science and Technology
  • Center for the Humanities


National Sun Yat-sen University has been ranked consistently among the top 10 universities nationally in QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World Universities and U.S. News & World Report.[23][24][9][25]

University rankings (overall)
THE Asia[26] General 201-250
QS Asia[27] General 73
THE World[26] General 801-1000
QS World[27] General 416
ARWU World[28] Research 601-700
  • Academic Ranking of World Universities
According to Academic Ranking of World Universities (2020), NSYSU ranks #8-9 among Taiwan's national universities (601-700th worldwide).[28]
Mathematics: 75-100th (2015).[29]
Engineering: 101-150th (2016)[29]
Computer science: 151-200th (2015)[29]
  • US News Best Global Universities
According to US News Best Global Universities (2021), NSYSU is the 10th-ranked university in Taiwan (949th worldwide).[30]
  • Times Higher Education
According to Times Higher Education (2021), NSYSU is the 10th-ranked university in Taiwan (201-250th Asia; 810-1000th worldwide).[31][32]
  • THE 100 Under 50 university rankings
According to Times Higher Education ranking of the 100 best universities under the age of 50 (2020), NSYSU ranks as the 6th university in Taiwan (201-250th worldwide).[33]
  • THES - QS World University Rankings
According to the THES - QS World University Rankings, NSYSU ranks among the world's 500 best universities, ranked at 401+ (2009).
  • Financial Times - Executive MBA Ranking
According to Financial Times (2017), NSYSU's Global EMBA programme ranked 69th in the 2017 Financial Times Executive MBA rankings,[34] the only ranked institution from Taiwan.[34]
  • Eduniversal World TOP 300 Business School
According to Eduniversal,[35] among the ranked fields, NSYSU's maritime management ranks first in Asia.
Taiwan Business School Level 2014 Recommendation Rate (per 1000) School
1 UNIVERSAL 252 ‰ National Taiwan University - College of Management
2 TOP 164 ‰ National Chengchi University - College of Commerce
3 EXCELLENT 140 ‰ National Sun Yat-sen University - College of Management
4 EXCELLENT 104 ‰ Taiwan Tech - School of Management
5 EXCELLENT 60 ‰ Fu Jen Catholic University - College of Management
6 EXCELLENT 56 ‰ National Chiao Tung University - College of Management
7 GOOD 72 ‰ National Cheng Kung University - College of Management
    • 19th worldwide (2nd in Taiwan) in Public Administration/Management.[36]
    • 24th worldwide (1st in Asia) in Maritime Management.[37]
    • 91st worldwide (1st in Taiwan) in Health Management[38]
    • 6th in Far East Asia (1st in Taiwan) in Human Resources Management[39]
    • 9th in Far East Asia (1st in Taiwan) in Corporate Communication[40]
    • 15th in Far East Asia (1st in Taiwan) in Information Systems Management[41]
    • 23rd in Far East Asia in Corporate Finance[42]
    • 28th in Far East Asia in Executive MBA[43]

Distinctive government think tanksEdit

NSYSU Siwan College
The US, EU, and Japanese offices
Founded under the auspices of the United States government, European Commission, and Japanese government: the Sun Yat-sen American Center (est.1999), European Union Centre at NSYSU (est.2009), and Center for Japanese Studies at NSYSU (est.2010) are Southern Taiwan's only official office for political and academic exchanges.[44][45][46]
Lee Teng-hui Center for Governmental Studies
Named in honor of former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui, the " Lee Teng-hui Center for Governmental Studies" established on February 1, 2017 (succeeding the "Dr. Teng-Hui Lee Political Economy Seminar," founded in 2002). The center serves as a regional think tank, with the purpose of providing prescient and integrated research or advice for governmental policies and social issues.[47]
Center for Market Research and Public Opinion Polling
The Center at NSYSU is the most important social science research center and public opinion survey unit in Southern Taiwan. The Center and National Chengchi University's Election Study Center are listed as Taiwan's two major university polling institutions.[48]

International ExchangeEdit

Every year there are about 50 international exchange students who come to study, primarily in management and business-focused areas taught in English. They also learn about Taiwanese culture as well as some varieties of Chinese language. The university also has a separate language institute where fee-paying students can study Mandarin and Taiwanese. There also are a similar number of out-going exchange students who travel each year to NSYSU's partner universities. NSYSU has an active International Student Association. In 2009-2010 well over 250 international students were members of the ISA association at NSYSU, participating in over 20 student events. ISA has five key points: Student Services, Public Services, Social Events, Sports, and Scholarship. The 2010-2011 International Student Executive Board will tentatively be elected in the fall of 2010 at NSYSU. The Office of International Affairs at NSYSU traditionally has monitored the election process.

The first Chinese (PRC) and Burkina Faso student in Taiwan to receive a PhD is a graduate of the Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies at NSYSU.[49][50]

Notable alumniEdit

More see List in Chinese version

NSYSU graduates include the President of the Legislative Yuan Su Jia-chyuan, the Mayor of Kaohsiung Chen Chu, Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives David H. Rowe, and a sizable number of CEOs from among the 500 largest companies in the world,[51] such as John Lin, the Vice President of eBay,[52] Yuei-An Liou, a space scientist and distinguished professor, and chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission Huang Tien-mu.

Member of Legislative Yuan
And others: Ng Hong-mun (Guangdong period), Lin Ruo (Guangdong period)

Honorary doctorateEdit

Name Year Reason
Lien Chan 1995 the Vice-President of the Republic of China
14th Dalai Lama 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner
Yuan T. Lee 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner
Kao Ching-yuen 1997 Uni-President Enterprises Corporation CEO
Robert C. Merton 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner
Lee Huan 1999 the Premier of Taiwan
Gao Xingjian 2000 Nobel Prize in Literature winner
Peter Raven 2001 an academician of National Academy of Sciences
Vernon L. Smith 2003 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences winner
Alex Horng 2004 CEO, Sunonwealth Electric Machine Industry Co., Ltd.[53][54]
Gennady P. Turmov 2004 President, Far Eastern State Technical University, Russia[55]
Chi-Huey Wong 2007 president of Academic Sinica

2019 Information Security IncidentEdit

NSYSU experienced a serious information security incident in November 2019. It is suspected that overseas hackers from China used XSS to monitor the email boxes of nearly 100 faculty members of NSYSU's College of Social Sciences and the College of Marine Sciences.[56][57]

Because the primary victims (politics, Cross-Strait relations, and public policy scholars) are associated with government think tanks, the invasion may have introduced a threat to national security.[58]

Affiliated schoolEdit

See alsoEdit


Partner institutionsEdit


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  56. ^ 中山大學驚傳師生電子郵件被監控長達3年,起因是駭客濫用Open WebMail漏洞,其他學校也應留意相關系統安全 | iThome
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External linksEdit

Coordinates: 22°37′36″N 120°15′57″E / 22.62667°N 120.26583°E / 22.62667; 120.26583