Introduction

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The College of Horticulture, one of the most historical colleges of Northwest A&F University, was founded in 1934 as the “Horticulture Group of Northwest A&F College”. It began recruiting undergraduate students in 1936, Master's students in 1961, and Ph.D. students in 1986. It started to accept students from overseas in 2008. In the year 2000, three institutions, including “Department of Horticulture, Northwest Agricultural University”, “Shaanxi Institute of Pomology” and “Shaanxi Institute of Vegetables and Flowers”, which were also located in Yangling, were merged to form the “College of Horticulture” of Northwest A&F University.


Our college includes five teaching departments: Pomology, Vegetable Science, Protected Horticultural Engineering and Science, Ornamental Horticulture, and Tea Science. The College of Horticulture is also equipped with one Laboratory Center, one National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center, one National Key Laboratory, three National Research Centers, one National Germplasm Resource Nursery, three Provincial Key Laboratories, four Provincial Technology Research Centers, one Provincial Innovation Base, two International Technology and Cooperation Bases, one Provincial Research Society, three University-Based Research Institutions, and twenty Professional Experimental Demonstration Bases.


Our college is qualified for a level-I doctoral degree program in Horticultural Science and four level-II doctoral and master's degree programs in Pomology, Vegetable Science, Tea Science, and Protected Horticultural Engineering and Science. Our college is an admitted center for post-doctoral studies. We have one state-level key discipline that is Pomology, and three Shaanxi Provincial Key disciplines i.e. Pomology, Vegetable Science, and Tea Science. Our college has undergraduate programs for three majors: Horticulture, Protected Horticultural Engineering and Science, and Tea Science.


Our college enjoys excellent academic and research capabilities. The College staff includes accomplished senior professors and researchers, together with young, innovative academic leaders who are on the cutting edge of their research fields. There are 176 full-time faculty members, of which 54 are professors and senior researchers, and 53 are associate professors and junior researchers. Among the professors, 33 are doctoral supervisors, and 42 are master supervisors. Professors include three academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (professors by courtesy), one academic dean, one chair professor, and one guest professor. One “Ten thousands Talent Program” awardee, one "Award for State-level Master Teacher" awardee, three “National Young Talent Program” awardees, one “Outstanding Youth Fund of National Natural Science Foundation of China” awardee, one " Cross-century Outstanding Talent" awardee by the Ministry of Education (MOE), five scholars in the "Program for New Century Excellent Talents" by MOE, and fifteen professors or innovation team with outstanding contributions at ministerial or provincial levels.


Currently, our college has 1593 students, including 930 graduate students and 763 undergraduate students. Since 2000, 350 Ph.D. students, 2370 Master's students, 4000 undergraduate students, and more than 3850 management and technical cadres have graduated from the College of Horticulture. To meet the needs of our society, our college also offers different levels of correspondence courses and short, medium, and long-term technical training and agricultural education courses all year long.


Since the establishment of our university, our college has obtained twenty-six teaching achievement awards, including one national award for teaching excellence and six teaching achievement awards at provincial levels. Our college has one national teaching team, one national specialty major, one provincial brand major, one provincial specialty major, and two provincial first-class majors. Our college was also awarded with one national quality course, one Shaanxi College Innovation and Entrepreneurship Education Course, two provincial first-class courses, eight provincial elaborate courses, six online open courses, five English courses, one bi-lingual course, and two summer courses tutored by foreign teachers. We have edited 38 textbooks since 2007, including thirteen national planning textbooks in the 11th Five-Year Plan, seven national planning textbooks in the 12th Five-Year Plan, and eight national planning textbooks in the 13th Five-Year Plan.


At present, our college carries out 180 research projects at different levels, with research funding of around 70 million yuan. Since the foundation of our college, it has obtained eighty-three scientific research achievements at or above the provincial and ministerial levels, including three second-class national scientific and technological progress awards and thirteen provincial scientific and technological progress awards. At the same time, 236 new varieties have been bred; 1107 SCI and EI papers have been published; 192 patents have been authorized; and 120 books have been published.


Our college adheres to open education, actively expanding international cooperation and communication in science, technology, and education, and strives to improve the level of international education. Since the foundation of the university, more than 990 domestic and international experts and scholars have been invited to give lectures or conduct cooperative research; more than 730 times of our staff have gone to more than 20 countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, and Japan for cooperative research or academic communication. More than 120 undergraduate students have gone abroad for further education after graduation. The accumulated number of graduate students going abroad has reached 95, and more than 40 international students have been trained at our college.


Since the foundation of our college, generations of teachers and students have been adhering to the school motto of "Sincerity, Simplicity, Courage, and Perseverance," inheriting and carrying forward the fine tradition of "Undertaking the country’s duty, Solving people's livelihood, and Advocating Science," and actively promoting the strategy of revitalizing the college through science and education and strengthening the institute through talents. All undertakings have achieved historic leaping development and have made outstanding contributions to the development of our country's horticultural science and education. In order to further improve the level of discipline construction and achieve the goal of a world-class horticultural college, the teachers and students at our college are working harder for the development of our country's horticultural science and education with full enthusiasm, innovation, and determination!