The discipline of Education at Peking University has a long history. In 1902, the Imperial University of Peking (the predecessor of Peking University) set up a teacher-training sector that was devoted to the preparation of high level teachers. In 1924, an education department was established, which had been headed by such famous education scholars as Jiang Menglin and Hu Shih. In 1949, the Education Department was transferred to Beijing Normal University in accordance with the central government's new higher education plan.
Since the 1980s, the education discipline has gradually regained its recognition in Peking University. The years 1980, 1984 and 1999 have witnessed successively the establishment of the Research Division of Higher Education, the Institute of Higher Education, and the Institute of Economics of Education. Due to the rapid growth of demand for higher education research and training of the high level personnel, the Graduate School of Education, Peking University (PGSE) was established in 2000 by merging the Institute of Higher Education, the Institute of Economics of Education, and the Audio-visual Education Center (established in 1973 to provide technical support for Peking University). The present Dean of the school is Professor Chen Xiaoyu. Professor Min Weifang is the Honorary Dean.
At present, PGSE contains four departments, two institutes, and seven research centers. The departments include the Department of Education and Human Development, the Department of Educational Economics and Administration, the Department of Educational Technology, and the Department of Educational Administration and Policy. The two institutes are the Institute of Higher Education and the Institute of Economics of Education, the latter of which is one of the key research bases for Humanities and Social Science approved by the Ministry of Education of China. The seven centers include Center for Qualitative Research in Education , Center for International Higher Education, Center for Doctoral Education of China, Center of Education and Human Resource Research of China, E-learning Future Lab, Business-Education Research Center, and International Research Center of Education and Information. The Graduate School of Education also sponsors a peer-reviewed quarterly journal entitled Peking University Education Review, which has been considered as one of the top three education journals in China. It is also the sites of the UNESCO Higher Education Chair for the Asia-Pacific Region, and the Secretariat for the Cai Yuanpei Research Association.
PGSE is authorized to confer doctoral degrees in education and the public administration. Currently, the school offers programs that lead to Master of Arts (M.A.) degrees in higher education, educational economics and administration, and educational technology, as well as Ph.D. degrees in higher education, educational economics and administration, foundations of education, and educational technology.
PGSE also provides an Ed.D. program. Additionally, there are two post-doctoral research programs in education and public administration. The major focus of the Graduate School of Education is on training students to solve practical problems, and on enhancing students' leadership potential. Most of the graduates from the school have been accepted by colleges and universities, educational agencies, research institutes, the business, and non-profit organizations home and abroad.
PGSE accommodates scholars of various educational backgrounds and academic perspectives. It now has 69 faculty and staff, of whom there are 38 full time faculty members and four post-doctoral fellows. More than 30 domestic and international scholars are invited as honorary professors, guest professors or affiliated professors.
Research in PGSE mostly focuses on important practical and theoretical problems in education, especially on using different research methods in solving education problems with practical significance. Many of the research outcomes have been adopted for education policy-making and reform in China. The School takes a lead in education research, especially in higher education, educational economics and finance, educational policy, ICT in education, and teacher education.
The international academic exchange and cooperation makes an important component of the school's development. Most academic staff with overseas educational experience have conducted research collaboratively with colleagues in internationally renowned universities under the sponsorship of international organizations such as UNESCO and the World Bank.
PGSE upholds the ethos of being democratic and open, rigorous and realistic, as well as promoting innovation and excellence. As a search-oriented and highly internationalized graduate school, it is dedicated to exploring knowledge in educational fields, training outstanding talents for high-level educational research and administration, and pursuing excellence in teaching and research. The aim of PGSE is to promote development of educational research and contribute to the prosperity of education.