The predecessor of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University is the Central Academy of Arts & Design.
With the approval of the State Council, the Central Academy of Arts & Design (CAAD) was established in 1956 to meet the country’s demand for art design professionals. As New China’s first academy of art design, CAAD had the country’s best fine art educators, outstanding researchers in the field of national and folk art, and artists and designers who had returned to China after receiving their education overseas. In the nearly 40 years since then, CAAD remained the only independent academy of art and design in China. In November 1999 as China began restructuring its institutions of higher learning, CAAD merged with Tsinghua University and changed its name to the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, opening up a new chapter where it is to develop the art design discipline in a comprehensive university.
The Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University has cultivated a large number of art and design professionals, turning out 8,442 graduates with bachelor’s degrees, 1,085 with master’s degrees and 143 with PhD degrees. In addition, it has trained more than 10,000 people who did not receive academic degrees. Many graduates from the Academy are now holding senior positions in the country’s colleges and universities, research institutes and relevant enterprises.
The Academy’s philosophy of teaching and educational set-up has been predominant in the development of China’s modern art and design education. Since its establishment, the Academy – in light of the needs of the state and the general public – has undertaken and participated in China’s principal art and design projects, aptly playing the role of a national research institute for art and design. The Academy put forth the concepts of “arts and crafts”, “industrial design”, and “art design” for its programs at different stages over the past years, always deciding on the direction of China’s art design.
With 50 years behind it, the Art and Design Discipline of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University boasts the best teaching and research conditions in art and design in all Chinese colleges and universities. It is in a position well ahead of its competitors in this field within China. Under the general Art and Design Discipline there are 18 special areas of study. In the national key discipline review which occurs once every five years, the Academy’s Art and Design Discipline was twice (in 2002 and 2007) designated as the only national level key discipline in its field. In the national first-level discipline appraisal conducted once every five years, the Academy’s Art Study program – focused chiefly on design art – took first place both in 2004 and 2009. The Academy appeared twice in the top 60 best design colleges in the world by Business Weekly of the United States.
At present there are 1,157 undergraduate students, 473 postgraduate students and 104 students studying for doctorate at the Academy. In addition, there are 148 international students from 20 countries. Almost 3/4 of the Academy’s students are taking Art and Design Courses.
The Academy has 198 full-time teachers, of whom 60 are professors (32 are supervisors of students studying in a PhD program), 93 are associate professors, 43 are lecturers and two are teaching assistants.