Zhejiang University Ningbo Institute of Technology (ZJUNIT), was founded in June, 2001, with the approval of the China Ministry of Education and the Zhejiang Provincial Government. Under a cooperation agreement, NIT is funded by the Ningbo Municipal People's Government and administered by Zhejiang University (ZJU). NIT is a full-time undergraduate university established as a non-profit and independent legal entity.
Located in the Ningbo Higher Education Zone, the NIT campus covers an area of approximately 80 hectares. Total floor space exceeds 360,000 square meters, and gross investment totals 840 million RMB. NIT has well-equipped teaching and laboratory buildings and a main library with over 1 million books. Digital information resources are also available, including a fiber-optic network connection to the main campus of Zhejiang University in Hangzhou which gives NIT students direct access to its educational resources.
With the cultivation of talent as its guiding principle, NIT's top priority is the ongoing development of its undergraduate education programs, while simultaneously expanding its postgraduate, adult education, and further education programs. The Institute is currently comprised of nine schools, including the School of Economics & International Trade, School of Foreign Languages, School of Media & Design, School of Information Science & Engineering, School of Biological & Chemical Engineering, School of Mechanical, Electrical and Energy Engineering, School of Civil & Architectural Engineering, and the School of Law & Management. Overall, 35 specialty programs are being offered to the over 11,000 enrolled students from 12 provinces in China.
Diplomas are bestowed on qualified students upon completion of a four-year study program. In addition, NIT awards bachelor's degrees to students who meet the specific program requirements. Students who demonstrate outstanding ability during their freshman year may be allowed to transfer to Zhejiang University to pursue the next three years of their major program. Over the past 8 years, the comprehensive quality of more than 20,000 NIT graduates has been fully recognized by society. Part-time students can enroll in programs that provide an education equivalent to the undergraduate or junior-college level, as well as several non-degree courses offered by the School of Adult Education and the School of Continuing Education. The School of Manager Training, jointly established by NIT and the Ningbo Municipal Organization Department, provides advanced workshops for executives from public and private enterprises and a wide range of courses for the continuing development of senior management talent.
NIT gives high priority to key academic disciplines in fields such as engineering as part of a coordinated multi-disciplinary system which includes specialty studies in science, literature, law, economics, and management. On the provincial level, NIT boasts three key disciplines, one key specialty, and one key laboratory. On the municipal level, there are four key disciplines, five key specialties, and three key laboratories. As a participant in the construction of a service platform for promoting technological innovation, NIT is helping to foster the municipal base of application-oriented, bio-medical personnel through its support of the Ningbo branch of the Zhejiang University Post-Doctoral Research Center.
NIT actively collaborates with the Ningbo local government and a variety of enterprises in the development of 61 research institutions in key areas, 14 of which operate at the municipal level. NIT was accorded the great honor of being awarded research grants from the NSCF (Natural Science Foundation of China) and the National Philosophy and Social Science Foundation. In 2011 alone, research grants for scientific research in NIT-supported programs totalled 62.46 million RMB.
NIT's sophisticated faculty includes 43% full-time teachers at the associate professor level or above, and 36% of faculty members hold doctorate degrees. NIT's leaders and most of its middle management staff are appointed by Zhejiang University, while its consultative committee and specialty steering committee are comprised of professors, experts and executives from ZJU, government departments, and celebrated enterprises. A considerable number of seasoned full professors and associate professors from ZJU teach major courses at NIT and provide instruction and guidance on graduation strategies and thesis work. Over 70 renowned scholars associated with the Academicians of Chinese Academy of Sciences serve as honorary professors and adjunct professors at NIT together with more than 100 graduate tutors and 27 doctoral-level supervisors. With the support of Zhejiang University, NIT endeavors to foster its postgraduate program, which enables over 200 doctoral candidates and master's students to conduct studies and research.
NIT has established in-depth programs of international exchange and friendly cooperation with universities in America, the UK, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, France and Canada, and in several other countries and special administrative regions including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. In addition to its successful Sino-US Joint Program with the University of Indianapolis, NIT has launched two Sino-UK Joint Programs – one with Queen's University and the other with the University of Worcester.