History of National Chiao Tung University
National Chiao Tung University was founded in the suburbs of Shanghai in 1896, sixteen years before the birth of the Republic of China, at the suggestion of Sheng Xuanhuai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Qing dynasty. The University was first named Nanyang College. It was established to meet the need to introduce western civilization into China. The college focused only on politics, law, and translations of western books. In the later years of the Qing Dynasty, the college was renamed the Vocational College of Higher Education and was governed by the Ministry of Post and Transportation. By including new vocational programs, such as business, electrical engineering, shipping management, and railway management, the college played a major role in science and engineering education in modern China.
The Ministry of Post and Transportation in the Qing Dynasty expanded the college by developing three other campuses – the Railway College in Tang-Shan (established in 1905), the Railway Management College in Peiping (1910), and the Merchant Marine College in Wu-Sun (1911).
After the founding of the Republic of China in 1912, the four campuses of the college were reorganized and governed by the Ministry of Transportation, which evolved from the original Qing Dynasty Ministry of Post and Transportation. The names of the Vocational College of Higher Education, the Railway College, and the Railway Management College were changed respectively to the Shanghai Industrial College, the Tang-Shan Industrial College, and the College of Management in Railway, Post and Telecommunications. In 1921, the Ministry of Transportation united these three campuses under a single name: Chiao Tung University. The university reorganized its administrative systems, enlarged its facilities, and formed a new board of trustees. Later on, these three campuses were separated and reunited several times and their names were changed repeatedly because of political turmoil.
In 1926 the Shanghai campus established its Institute of Industry, which was devoted to telecommunication research. At the end of the Northern Expedition in 1928, the university resumed the name of Chiao Tung University and was governed by the newly established Ministry of Railways of the nationalist government. The Shanghai campus thereafter developed into four Colleges: the Colleges of Railway Management, the Colleges of Civil Engineering, the Colleges of Mechanical Engineering, and the Colleges of Electrical Engineering. In 1930, the College of Science consisting of three departments: Mathematics, Science, and Chemistry, was added to the campus. At the same time, the Institute of Industry in Shanghai was expanded to include the Institute of Industry and the Institute of Economics.
In 1937, along with all the other higher education in China, the university came under the authority of the Ministry of Education. During the Sino-Japanese war, the university was relocated to the French Concession in Shanghai and then to various places in central China, such as Chung Ching, Hsiang Tan, and Pin Yueh. At the end of the war, all sectors of the university returned to their original campuses. Shortly afterwards the university was dissolved when the communists gained control of the Chinese mainland in 1949.
In 1957, due to the insistence of Chiao Tung University alumni at home and abroad and in view of the importance of developing the electronic industry for the national economy and defense, the Ministries of Education, Communications, Economic Affairs, and National Defense jointly recommended to the Executive Yuan that the university be reestablished at its present location in Hsinchu, Taiwan. A preparatory committee was appointed, with Mr. H.H. Lin, former president of the University, serving as the chairman. In July 1958, the establishment of the National Chiao Tung University Institute of Electronics was formally recognized by the government. The institute was to offer a two-year graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. S. M. Lee was appointed as the Institute’s first director.
In compliance with a contract between the Ministry of Education and the United Association of International Telecommunications, the Telecommunication and Electronics Training Center (TETC) was established at the Hsinchu campus in 1961, with special funding from the United Nations. The TETC introduced computer technology, initiating television broadcasting, and manufacturing the island’s first transistors and solid-state lasers.
As a result of TETC’s success, the Computer and Electronics Center was established in 1962. Later, in response to requests from the alumni and to the directives given by the Ministry of Education, two undergraduate departments were organized at NCTU in 1964: the Department of Electrophysics and the Department of Electronic Engineering. In the same year, construction commenced on the University’s Semiconductor Research Laboratory. In 1965, the Department of Automatic Control Engineering was established. In 1966, the Department of Communication Engineering (later named Telecommunications Engineering) was established. In May 1967, the Institute of Electronics was formally transformed into the College of Engineering, which then included the Institute of Electronics and four undergraduate programs. K. K. Chung became the first president of the university, serving from 1967 to 1969. He was succeeded by Mr. H.C. Liu, NCTU’s president from 1969 to 1972.
In 1968, the university started a Ph.D. program in the area of electronics. It was the first program to offer graduate study at the doctoral level in science and technology in Taiwan. Besides, within the College of Engineering, the Institute of Management Science was founded in 1970, and the Department of Management Science was founded in 1971.
In 1972, C. L. Shen became the president of the university. During Shen’s tenure, the university expanded rapidly, setting up the Department of Computer Engineering (1972), the Department of Navigation and Marine Engineering (1973), the Department of Ocean Transportation (1973), the Department of Transportation Management (1974) (the latter two departments were combined into the Department of Transport Engineering and Management in 1980), the Institute of Computer Science (1974), the Institute of Traffic and Transportation (1976), the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1976), the Institute of
Applied Mathematics (1977), and the Department of Civil Engineering (1978). In addition, during this period the university conducted a national-level electronics research project with support from the National Science Council of the R.O.C.
In August 1978, Kuo Nan-hong [zh], an alumnus of NCTU’s Hsinchu campus, was appointed the president of the university. During his presidency, the school matured into a complete university, consisting of twelve departments and twelve graduate Institutes. These programs were divided into three colleges – the College of Science, the College of Engineering, and the College of Management.
The graduate institutes established under Kuo’s leadership included: the Institute of Information Science (1980), the Institute of Electro-Optical Engineering (1980), the Institute of Applied Chemistry (1981), the Institute of Control Engineering (1982), and the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (1982). In 1982, the Semiconductor Research Center was set up in cooperation with the National Science Council. In 1984, the Microelectronics and Information Science and Technology Research Center was founded. The Department of Navigation and Marine Engineering was incorporated into the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management. In 1985, the Institute of Civil Engineering was established within the College of Engineering.
Negotiations on a merger between National Yang-ming University and National Chiao Tung University began in December 2018. Both educational institutions voted to proceed with the merger in September 2019, which was approved by the Ministry of Education in June 2020. The two universities merged into National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in February 2021.