Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton, is the capital and the largest city of Guangdong Province. Located in southern China, adjacent to Hong Kong and Macau, Guangzhou is regarded as the southern gate of China. Known as one of the National Central Cities, Guangzhou is an international metropolis pitched as “One of the Three Comprehensive Gateway Cities in China” together with Beijing and Shanghai. Guangzhou is the center of Chinese economy, finance, trade, shipping and exhibition. Moreover, Guangzhou is the center of politics, military, culture, science and education in southern China. Guangzhou is one of the famous harbor cities worldwide, serving as the transportation hub by air, sea and ground. With more than 2,000 years of history, Guangzhou is a noted historic and cultural city and an opening port to the world with the longest history in China, thus Guangzhou was honored as “Merchanapolis with Thousands of Years of History”. As a window of foreign trade of China, Guangzhou is regarded as “Capital of the Third World” for so many foreigners inhabiting here. Guangzhou represents the Lingnan Culture, and is the place of flourished Cantonese Culture. Guangzhou exerts far-reaching influence on Southeast Asia regarding economy and culture.
Guangdong University of Finance (GDUF) is a state-supported institution of higher education in Guangdong Province. It is the only financial academy in South China and one of the three higher financial institutions of China. In May 2004, the College, authorized and registered by the Ministry of Education of China, was upgraded to an undergraduate university with its present name. Approved by the Academic Degrees Committee under the State Council and the Ministry of Education, GDUF is entitled to confer master’s degree in Finance in 2011. In 2012, the University was granted the enrollment qualification of students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. It was explicitly stated in the Plan for the Twelfth Five-year in Financial Reform and Development in Guangdong that GDUF should be built into a base for financial talents for Guangdong. In 2013, the University was authorized to enroll international students.
The University can trace its roots back to the founding of Guangzhou Banking School in 1950, which was governed by the South China Branch of People’s Bank of China. The six decades witnessed four significant developing periods: from offering training to educating for academic degree; from technical secondary school to college education; from college to university; presently, the University becomes one of those offering master’s degree for the students majoring in Finance. It is evident that GDUF is “beginning with Finance, operating for Finance, and prospering with Finance”. The University has cultivated more than 120,000 talents in economic and financial fields, which makes GDUF the “cradle of talents” in finance and economics.
With 2 campuses, namely the main campus situated in Longdong in the vicinity of South China Botanical Garden, Guangzhou and the ZhaoQing campus which is by the side of the scenic spot Seven Star Lake, GDUF now occupies a total area of 55,000 square meters. The campuses are so attractive that are honored with the title “Excellent Garden-style Campus”.
The campuses of GDUF are well-equipped with several state-level and provincial-level demonstration experimental teaching centers, innovation experimental areas and college students’ practicing teaching bases. They are: one state-level demonstration experimental teaching center, two provincial-level talent-training innovation experimental areas, four provincial-level demonstration experimental teaching centers, four provincial-level college students’ practicing teaching bases. The University has established Guangzhou Monetary and Finance Museum with a collection of 35,000 articles of world currency, which is the largest in South China. The book collection in the library includes nearly 2000,000 paper documents, 1440,000 e-books and thousands of original edition academic journals. Besides, the University has as many as 50 professional experimental labs and language experimental centers. In addition, a set of facilities for recreation and physical exercises is available.
The total number of teaching staff reaches as many as 1,300, among whom more than 900 are full-time teachers including 120 professors and 230 doctoral degree holders. Some members of the faculty were awarded with Special Allowance of the State Council and some others were appointed as Decision-making Consultant by either Guangzhou City or Guangdong Province. Some were chosen as perspective leaders of a project named “Thousand, Hundred and Ten Plan”, a backup talents cultivation plan. The University engages some prestigious experts as visiting scholars, among whom Robert A. Mundell, one of the Nobel Prize Winners for Economics and Father of the Euro, is the most prominent.
The University, now consisting of two colleges, 16 departments, provides 32 undergraduate majors, which cover 42 specialties in financial industry, including 6 discipline categories such as Economics, Management, Law, Liberal Arts, Science and Engineering. Among the 42 specialties, Finance is now the state-level brand specialty and a key discipline in Guangdong Province. Insurance, Labor and Social Security and Marketing are the key disciplines of Guangdong Province. As the unique subject, Credit Administration can be only expected in our university. At this moment, the total number of full-time students (both undergraduates and graduates) has reached over 21,000.
The beliefs that guide the operation of GDUF are: 1) focusing on providing high-quality teaching to our students; 2) accentuating our strengths and designing our unique professional programs to meet the needs of today's society; 3) strengthening our programs by improving the quality of our services to our students and our communities; and 4) utilizing and applying the latest scientific research results when re-developing or evaluating our professional programs. The following measures have been taken to make sure that our students will receive the best professional training and guarantee the continual improvements in the quality of teaching: 1) increasing our funding for teaching; 2) deepening our pedagogical reform; 3) enlisting quality teaching professionals; and 4) improving administrative assistance to teaching. The University has been granted a number of scientific research projects at or above the provincial level, including one State-Level Specialty (Finance), four provincial-level specialties, one provincial-level teaching team, three provincial pilot projects, twenty-three provincial-level teaching reform projects, fifty State-level and one hundred Provincial-Level innovative practice projects. These scientific research projects have highlighted the University’s educational achievements.
The international cooperation programs are improving constantly. By adopting joint training mode like 2+2, 3+1, 3+2, GDUF provides mutual recognized credits and courses, grants mutual recognized or joint degrees with cooperating universities globally, including the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and France, thus providing further study opportunities and degrees and certificates education for students and teachers. Up to now, more than twenty famous universities around the world have signed cooperative agreements and set up cooperative relationship with the University, i.e., Monash University (AUS), Griffith University (AUS), Queensland University of Technology (AUS), Portland State University (USA), California State University Northridge (USA), Utica College (USA), The University of West Alabama (USA), St. Ambrose University (USA), University of the West of England (UK), Keele University (UK), The University of Nottingham (UK), The University of South Wales (UK), Saint Mary’s University (CAN), Université du Québec (CAN)，L’Université Paris Diderot--Paris VII (FRA), L’Université de Cergy--Pontoise (FRA), L’Université de ValenCIPnnese et du Hainaut Cambrésis (FRA), and Linnaeus University (SWE). In 2013, Guangdong-Nottingham Advanced Finance Institute was established under the cooperation framework agreement signed by GDUF and the University of Nottingham, aiming at cultivating high-end financial talents in South China, promoting financial innovation and contributing to the construction of Strong Financial Provinces.