Lanzhou University：The buzz from China’s west
There is a buzz about the ‘Lanzhou University phenomenon’, among China’s higher education community. Situated in the hinterland of northwest China, where economic development lags behind the rest of the country, Lanzhou University (LZU) shines as an outlier in several university rankings for research output. How has it thrived so markedly, without all the advantages of its national counterparts?
“We have cultivated a healthy academic spirit,” says Yan Chunhua, the LZU president. “LZU faculty and students are diligent, pragmatic and enterprising,” he continues. “Also, we have found our niche areas for growing in the west.”
Rooted in the Gansu Law and Politics School established in the late Qing Dynasty in 1909, LZU is a national key university under direct administration of the Chinese Ministry of Education. With a mission to boost economic and cultural development and cultivate talents and skills to meet regional needs, the university has become pivotal in China’s blueprint for its development in the country’s west. It was selected to be part of Project 211 and Project 985, the two national initiatives dedicated to elevating research and talent cultivation capacity of high-level Chinese universities. In 2017, LZU moved into the national ‘double first-class’ initiative, beginning a new chapter in its growth.
To become a world-class university, LZU will follow its motto to “constantly improve and blaze its own trail.” The ‘LZU phenomenon’ will grow.
LZU at a glance
- Out of more than 1,500 universities in China, LZU is consistently ranked among the top 30 in output, and has a strong tradition in fundamental science
- 12 disciplines ranked among the global top 1%, according to the latest Essential Science Indicators (ESI) subject area rankings, of which, the chemistry programme is ranked among the global top 0.1%
- Comprehensive academic programmes, covering 12 disciplines, offering 103 undergraduate programmes
- Currently enrols 20,030 undergraduates, 11,285 master’s students, and 2,773 doctoral students
- Among LZU’s faculty members, there are 18 CAS or CAE members, 19 ‘Cheung Kong Scholars’, 24 recipients of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars
- Houses 2 State Key Laboratories, 4 Creative Research Groups of National Natural Science Foundation of China , 6 national-level talent training bases, 7 national teaching demonstration centres, 2 national talent training model innovation pilot sites
- Has established ties with 206 universities and research institutions from 44 countries and regions
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1 June 2019 - 31 May 2020
Subject/journal group: All
The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Lanzhou University (LZU) published between 1 June 2019 - 31 May 2020 which are tracked by the Nature Index.
Hover over the donut graph to view the FC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.
Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.
Outputs by subject (Share)
|Earth & Environmental Sciences||49||18.38|
Highlight of the month
Forests retreat as drylands expand
© Nick Brundle Photography/Getty
Climate change could turn forest into grassland and grassland into desert, reducing global plant productivity as lush landscapes dry out.
Drylands, such as grasslands and savanna, support nearly two fifths of the world’s population and are a major carbon sink. But drylands are expected to expand as a result of climate warming and it is unclear how this expansion will affect plant productivity.
A team that included researchers from Lanzhou University gathered satellite data on vegetation productivity and measured carbon cycling across a range of ecosystems worldwide.
By combining this data with models of future climate change, they predict that global dryland productivity will increase by around 12% by 2100 compared to a decade ago. However, overall vegetation productivity may decline as drylands either transform formerly productive ecosystems or degrade.
Understanding how climate change affects drylands’ ability to absorb carbon and support biodiversity will help guide the conservation of the most productive areas.
- Nature Communications 11, 1665 (2020). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-15515-2
See more research highlights from Lanzhou University (LZU)
Top articles by Altmetric score in current window
Global change effects on plant communities are magnified by time and the number of global change factors imposed.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Nature Climate Change
1 June 2019 - 31 May 2020
International vs. domestic collaboration by Share
- 67.33% Domestic
- 32.67% International
Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.
Top 10 domestic collaborators by Share (186 total)
- Lanzhou University (LZU), China
- Domestic institution
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China
Jinchuan Group Co., Ltd., China
Peking University (PKU), China
Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), China
Nanchang Hangkong University (NCHU), China
University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China
Central China Normal University (CCNU), China
Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), China
Northwest University (NWU), China
Top 10 international collaborators by Share (357 total)
- Lanzhou University (LZU), China
- Foreign institution
Centre in Green Chemistry and Catalysis (CGCC), Canada
University of Montreal (UdeM), Canada
McGill University, Canada
Concordia University, Canada
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada
University of Sherbrooke (USherbrooke), Canada
Laval University (UL), Canada
French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), France
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore
Note: Collaboration is determined by the fractional count (Share), which is listed in parentheses.
Affiliated joint institutions and consortia
- BESIII Collaboration, China
- Collaborative Innovation Centre for Arid Environments and Climate Change, China
- Gansu Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering Research Center, China
- Gansu Provincial Key Laboratory of Nonferrous Metals Chemistry and Resources Utilization, China
- Hall A Collaboration, United States of America (USA)
- International Centre for Tibetan Plateau Ecosystem Management (ICTPEM), China
- Research Center for Hadron and CSR Physics, China
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