Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (also known as SWUFE, Chinese: 西南财经大学; pinyin: Xīnán Cáijīng Dàxué) is a prestigious national university in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. The university is under the direct administration of the Ministry of Education and it is ranked as a top 3 university with a focus on finance and business in China. The school is listed in both Project 211 and the 985 Innovative Platforms for Key Disciplines Project as part of the national endeavor to build world-class universities.[1][2] In December 2014, SWUFE’s School of Business Administration (SBA) became the first business school in Western China to be accredited by the European Quality Improvement System.[3]


Students of Sichuan Institute of Finance and Economics in 1952

The university traces its origins to the year 1925, when a group of students and academics from St. John’s University in Shanghai, led by the prominent scholar Zhang Shouyong,[4] left the school following the events of the May 30th Movement and founded the Kwang Hua University in Shanghai. In 1938, following the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Japanese advance into mainland China, the university relocated its headquarters to Chengdu. This move was mirrored by other major Chinese universities in the east of China who relocated their operations to western China after the Republic of China moved its capital from Nanjing to Chongqing a city not far from Chengdu.

After the end of World War II in 1946, the university moved its main operations back to Shanghai and the university in Chengdu became a branch campus of Kwang Hua University. That same year, the campus in Chengdu separated from the university and formed an independent private university called Chenghua University. Kwang Hua University was later merged with other universities and formed the current East China Normal University. Another university in western China that can trace back its origins to similar events is Yunnan Normal University in Kunming, which evolved from an association of Peking University, Tsinghua University and Nankai University.

Guanghua Gate on Liulin Campus
Guanghua Gate on Liulin Campus

In 1952, after the foundation of the People's Republic of China, the university was merged with schools and departments of business and economics from 16 other universities and colleges and was reformed as the Sichuan Institute of Finance and Economics. In 1980, the People's Bank of China took over the administration of the university which it held until the year 2000 when the administration was transferred to the Ministry of Education. In 1985, during the tenure of the central bank, the university received its current name of Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.

Bell tower on Liulin campus

Later, in 1995, the university became part of Project 211. Projekt 211 is a project initiated by the Ministry of Education to improve the research standards at Chinese universities and currently includes only 118 universities across China. Later, in 2011, SWUFE was listed as part of the 985 Innovative Platforms for Key Disciplines Project, which is an extension of Project 985.

In 2017, the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and National Development and Reform Commission released the list of Double First-rate Plan universities and that of the Double First-rate Plan discipline (short as "double first-rate") development universities and disciplines. SWUFE was included into the list of China's "double first-rate" development university, and applied economics was selected as a "double first-rate" development discipline.[5]


Guanghua campus main building
  • Liulin Campus (Main Campus): Founded in 2004, approximately 264 acres (107 ha) in Wenjiang District, Chengdu, Sichuan
  • Guanghua Campus: Founded in 1938, approximately 116 acres (47 ha) in Qingyang District, Chengdu, Sichuan

Organization and Administration



The university has 27 schools with 33 undergraduate majors (including centers and divisions). SWUFE has approximately 16,000 registered full-time undergraduate students and is one of the earliest universities to offer graduate programs following the education reform of the 1970s. There are around 7,000 graduate students (6,000 Master's degree candidates and 900 Doctoral degree candidates). The university employs approximately 250 professors, 490 associate professors, and 260 doctor supervisors. SWUFE was the first institution authorized to grant MBA and CPA credentials in southwestern China. It offers 4 national key second-rate disciplines, 4 post doctoral research centers. Marketing, Economics, Finance, Financial Management, Statistics, Insurance, Law, Human Resource Management at SWUFE are in the national rankings marked feature majors.[6]


Institute of Financial Studies

The IFS was established on July 29, 2010. The research institute is dedicated to generating knowledge of international financial studies and the financial development in China. The director of the institute is Philip H. Dybvig. Dybvig is well known for publishing the Diamond–Dybvig model together with Douglas W. Diamond in 1983.[7]

Logo of CHFS

China Household Finance Survey

The Survey and Research Center of the China Household Finance Survey is a non-profit academic institution of survey and research established in 2010 by the Research Institute of Economics and Management at SWUFE. Within a few years it has been established as an internationally renown academic survey institute with comprehensive micro data, including three databases on the household finance of private Chinese households, small and micro enterprises, and community governance. The center provides CHFS data to registered users for the purpose of facilitating scientific and policy research.

Institute of Western China Economic Studies

The institute has three doctoral research fields: Demography; Population, Resources and Environmental Economics; Agricultural Economics. Currently, seven doctor supervisors and 21 researchers work in the institute. Economic analysis and policy consultancy are their main tasks.

Libraries and museums


Inside library on Liulin campus

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) Library was founded in 1952. The total building area amounts to 50,000 square metres (540,000 sq ft). The collection has reached 2,000,000 items in digital resources, making it the biggest library in southwest of China. In May 2002, a Translation Center was set up to provide services for overseas communication and editing and publishing the English version of SWUFE's The Economist.[8]

Money and Securities Museum

The university’s "Money and Securities Museum" was established in 1998 and is one of the earliest of its kind to have on exhibition various real financial items such as currencies, securities, certificates and cards pertaining to planned and market economies. Over 60,000 items have been on exhibition in the 700-square-metre (7,500 sq ft) hall.[9]

International relations

SWUFE started to enroll overseas students in 1996 and was listed as a key university for overseas student education by the Ministry of Education in 2001. At present the university offers 38 Doctoral degree programs, 67 Master's degree programs and 32 Bachelor's degree programs to overseas students. The

International students in SWUFE

university also has four bachelor's degree programs and two master's degree programs delivered completely in English and these programs have trained several thousand foreign students from over 100 countries.[10]

SWUFE has established cooperative relations with 130 universities, financial institutes and enterprises from 36 countries and regions, including Austria, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, United Kingdom and the United States.[11][12][13][14][15]

Notable alumni

Student life

SWUFE students

Student associations

Southwestern University of Finance and Economics has 100 student associations (excluding student associations sponsored by enterprises) covering five domains: thoughts and theories, academic and technology, arts and culture, physical training, public welfare and practice and communication. To name a few: the Research on Philosophy Club, MUN, Starting Point Drama Club, Hip-pop, Green Development Association, Oracle Club, Pre Guide for Career magazine, etc.[16]

See also


External links

Coordinates: 30°40′14″N 104°00′43″E / 30.67048°N 104.01187°E / 30.67048; 104.01187