Founded in September 1958, Jishou University is a provincial-level university in the western part of Hunan Province. The university is located in Jishou City, which is the capital of Tujia and Miao Nationalities Autonomous Prefecture of Western Hunan .
Over 43 years later, Jishou University has developed into a modern university with distinctive characteristics, with students coming from more than 20 provinces and cities in China. Currently, the University has over 24,000 students. There are over 600 full-time lecturers, with over 300 Full and Associate Professors. Jishou University also employs overseas teachers, as well as inviting well-known scholars from both within China and abroad to be Visiting Professors. The campus occupies an area of 70 hectares, with university buildings occupying 400,000m2. The university comprises 13 teaching institutes (departments), 26 undergraduate courses covering 9 major disciplines, 11 research institutes, and 43 laboratories. The university is equipped with educational and scientific equipment with a total value of over 40 million RMB. The library holds over 800,000 books as well as over 2,000 periodicals. Among these journals, the ¡°Natural Sciences Edition¡± of the Jishou University Journal was awarded third prize in a national competition for outstanding periodicals; while the ¡°Social Sciences Edition¡± ranked among the top hundred journals for the liberal arts in China.
In 1997, the State Education Commission confirmed that Jishou University had achieved the required standards for undergraduate education. Among the honorary titles conferred on the university were those of ¡°Advanced Institution for Minority Education in China¡±, ¡°Outstanding Institution for Tertiary Education in Hunan Province¡± and ¡°A ¡®Green¡¯ University in Hunan Province with Landscaped Gardens¡±. The successes and experiences of Jishou University in tertiary education have been reported on numerous occasions by the media, including China Central Television (CCTV), Hunan Television, the Overseas Edition of The People¡¯s Daily, and other newspapers such as the Guangming Ribao, Zhongguo Jiaoyubao (¡°Education in China¡±), Minzu Tuanjie (¡°National Unity¡±), and Hunan Daily.
In April 2001, Primer Zhu Rongji made an inspection to the university and praised highly its achievements in school-running.