Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade

Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (上海对外贸易学院, SIFT) is a public university in Shanghai, China.


Founded in 1960, the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT) is an institution of higher learning originally subordinate to the former Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (a Chinese central government agency) but under the administration of the Shanghai Municipal Government (a Chinese province-equivalent government) since 1994. The sole institution of higher education for international business in the East China region, SIFT boasts a long history of business education with its distinctive traits and traditional superiority. SIFT commands a teaching faculty that are well grounded in the specialized theories of international business, closely associated with business circles at home and abroad, and richly experienced in teaching. Especially in recent years, SIFT has brought up an elite group of young and middle-aged teachers, who constantly bring forth new ideas in their work and blaze new trails. They keep close track of the advanced achievements in international economics and trade, employ modern educational means, and are competent in bilingual instruction.In the past forty-six years and more, SIFT has turned out for the country large numbers of top-notch professionals in the field of international business, many becoming the backbone of multinational or foreign–related enterprises, giving full play to their talents in the realm of international trade and business. Since the mid-1990s, with China's further opening to the outside world, SIFT has been making timely adjustments in its academic disciplines and specialized courses to meet the needs of the economic and social development both in Shanghai and in the whole of China. SIFT has now completed its upgrade from a mono-disciplined college mainly engaged in the field of foreign trade to a multi-disciplined higher education institution, offering comprehensive business courses and offering extensive training for various specialized abilities such as handling commodity trade, service trade, and TRIP (trade-related intellectual property). The construction of the Songjiang campus of SIFT was completed in 2003, which provides material conditions for the realization of the strategic transfer of major education activities from the old Gubei campus. By 2004, SIFT achieved an enrollment of 10,000 students, which marks substantial progress for the first stage of its leapfrogging development. Nowadays, SIFT is engaged in carrying out its development goals in the its Strategic Development Planning for 2004-2010. SIFT is endeavoring to intensify its internal management and administration in order to build itself into a world-renowned socialist university, ranking among the finest domestic universities in the field of business education and research.

Current Administration

Wu Kemin, Secretary of the SIFT Party Committee

Wang Xinkui, President

Xia Siyun, Deputy Party Secretary

Lou Wei, Deputy Party Secretary & Vice President

Ye Xingguo, Vice President

Yu Guanghong, Vice President

Xu Xiaowei, Vice President


It is now more than 40 years since SIFT was first founded in 1960. From the difficult pioneering days of establishing the university, its later suspension and re-establishment, to the current expansion in scale towards a new larger Songjiang campus, these years were replete with twists and turns, ups and downs, bearing witness to the quest of SIFT to grow stronger and seek truth.


• The Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China issued an official document, ratifying the establishment of SIFT, which was to be based on the Foreign Languages for Foreign Trade Department of the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages.

• The Shanghai Higher Education Bureau approved the formal transference of the jurisdiction of the Foreign Languages for Foreign Trade Department of the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages to SIFT.


• In accordance with the directive of the State Council, SIFT was terminated, its undergraduate programs merged into the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages and its preparatory courses incorporated into the Shanghai Junior College of Public Finance.


• The State Council ratified the resumption of SIFT.


• Because of the Cultural Revolution, SIFT was closed for the second time and merged into the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Languages.


• Amid nationwide celebration of the Party's prevention of the Gang of Four's scheme to usurp Party leadership and seize state power, SIFT was reopened once again.


• Based on the original four specialties, namely, Foreign Trade, English for Foreign Trade, Japanese for Foreign Trade, and French for Foreign Trade, and approved by the State Education Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, five new specialties and two master's programs were added to SIFT in this time: the specialties of Business Administration and International Economic Law, established in 1987, International Economic Cooperation (1986), Financial Accounting (1987), and the Second Bachelor's Degree in Foreign Trade (1987); the two master's programs were in International Trade and English Language (1985).


• The ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of SIFT was held on October 11. Li Lanqing, Vice Minister of foreign economic relations and trade, and Xie Lijuan, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, among others, sent congratulatory telegrams or letters on the occasion. Attending the ceremony were Zhao Chongde, former Vice Minister of foreign economic relations and trade, Hu Luyi, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Hua Yequan, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Economic and Trade Commission, and many others.

• Upon the approval of the State Education Commission, the Diploma in Foreign Trade program commenced.


• Li Lanqing, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Minister of foreign economic relations and trade, wrote a dedication for the Maoyuan Bao (the SIFT Bulletin) on the eve of the publication of its 100th issue.

• Implementing the spirit of Document No. 112, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, SIFT took concrete measures to speed up curriculum development for the specialty of International Business Administration.

• Li Guohua, Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, as well as the Personnel, Education, and Labor Departments in the same Ministry, sent a telex in congratulation of the establishment of the SIFT Joint Development Education Fund on the 33rd anniversary of SIFT.


• Following review by the leaders of SIFT, the Foreign Trade and Economics Department was renamed No. 1 International Trade Department; the International Economic Cooperation Department was renamed No. 2 International Trade Department; the Foreign Languages for Foreign Trade Department was renamed Foreign Languages for International Business Department; the International Enterprise Management Department was renamed International Business Administration Department; the Continuing Education Division was renamed Continuing Education Center; the Social Sciences Education Division, Physical Education Division, and Chinese Language Divisions were incorporated into the Integrated Social Sciences Education Faculty (which was later christened the Basic Education Faculty on May 5); and finally, the Audio-Visual Studio and Computer Center were merged into the Computer and Audio-Visual Education Center.

• A memorandum on the hand-over of SIFT was signed by Li Guohua, Vice Minister of foreign economic relations and trade, and Xie Lijuan, Deputy Mayor of the Shanghai Municipality . As from September 1, while still under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade and the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Economic Relations and Trade Commission in its operational business, the jurisdiction of SIFT was transferred from the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade to the Shanghai Municipality.

• The Shanghai Higher Education Bureau approved the establishment of the Corporate Financing specialty; the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade approved the setup of Accounting and Marketing specialties.


• A program for long-term curriculum development was formulated, and the addition of new specialties was planned. The establishment of two undergraduate programs in International Finance and Financing Economics were approved, and the subsequent enrollment of both started in 1996.

• In cooperation with the U.S. EDC Corporation, SIFT Mao-De-Shen Finance School was initiated. On November 10, an agreement to set up the SIFT-California School of English and Business School was signed by SIFT, the U.S. West Valley Community University, and the Singapore Jinghua Investment and Management Company.

• To guarantee the implementation of the overall planning for the reform and development of the university, the SIFT Party Committee decided after considerable deliberation on March 15 that based on the original five departments, body of faculty, and single center, preparations were to be made for the creation of a Business School, Language School, Finance School, Law School, and Continuing Education School. The five schools were formally launched on October 11, amid celebrations of the 35th anniversary of SIFT.


• Approved by the higher authorities, the newly established three undergraduate programs in International Finance, Investment Economics, and International Economic Law (focusing on service trade law) began recruitment, and preparatory work prior to the enrollment for the International Tourist Guide and International Transport specialties was completed. The Shanghai Municipal Education Commission approved World Economy under the International Trade specialty and Business English under the International Business English specialty in SIFT to be placed in the third phase of the Municipal Key Curriculum Development. The Shanghai Municipal Academic Degrees Committee approved Law (a first-order discipline) and International Economic Law (second-order discipline) in SIFT to be master's programs. Preparations for the establishment of the Shanghai Collegiate Internship Center for International Business were basically completed.

• A credit system was introduced to students admitted in 1996 to Diploma programs, bachelor's degree programs, and second bachelor's degree programs.


• The inauguration ceremony of the Shanghai Collegiate Internship Center for International Business was held in SIFT. Zheng Ningde, director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education, announced the establishment of the Center, and together with Zhao Xiaoding, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, unveiled the commemorative plaque for the Center.


• Upon the approval of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education, SIFT-RMIT International Business School was established, the fruition of three years of academic cooperation and exchanges in the specialty of international business between SIFT and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia (RMIT).

• On October 20, the opening ceremony was held for students majoring in Finance and Corporate Financing, a joint program between SIFT and Douglas College, Canada, and also the first Sino-foreign cooperative undergraduate program in SIFT.


• Accompanied by Chen Zhili, Minister of Education, and Gong Xueping, deputy secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Li Lanqing, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Vice Premier of the State Council, made an inspection visit to SIFT.

• The attempt of SIFT to operate Sino-Australian cooperative programs came to fruition. On April 1, the commencement was held for the first graduates of SIFT-RMIT International Business School , which was jointly run by SIFT and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology , Australia (RMIT). On December 14, the commencement for the second graduates of the SIFT-RMIT International Business School and the signing ceremony of the cooperative agreement in sponsoring an undergraduate program in Transport and Logistics were held by SIFT and RMIT.


• On June 5, two key research projects under the Municipal Social Sciences Program commissioned to SIFT by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education, “Analysis of the Characteristics, Textbooks, and Pedagogics of International Business” and “Questionnaire Survey of Business English Proficiency of Shanghai's Foreign Economic and Trade Professionals,” were evaluated to be up to the advanced level in China and accepted by the Appraisal Group appointed by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education. On July 24, two key specialities in SIFT conferred by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education – International Business and International Business English – were reviewed and accepted by the Key Discipline Assessment Panel of the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education.

• On August 26, the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the new Songjiang Campus was held. With a total investment of 400 million RMB Yuan, the new campus covers an area of 669 mu, and the floor space of educational facilities amounts to 100,000 square meters. The new modern campus, featuring a harmony of buildings, greenery and scenery with nature, was scheduled for completion in 2003.

• On October 11, the ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of SIFT was held. Shi Guangsheng, Minister of foreign economic relations and trade, Xu Kuangdi, Mayor of Shanghai, Gong Xueping, Deputy Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, Zhou Muyao, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, among others, sent letters or messages of congratulation. Attending the ceremony were some 500 delegates from home and abroad, including Hu Zhengchang, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress.

• On November 3, the 1st SIFT Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was convened. The Congress resolved to turn SIFT into an international socialist business university with its own distinct characteristics.


• On June 6, Li Lanqing, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and vice Premier of the State Council, accompanied by Huang Ju, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party and Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, and Xu Kuangdi, Mayor of Shanghai, made a tour inspecting the construction of the SIFT Songjiang campus. The leaders of SIFT briefed the inspection team on the project design and the construction progress of the new Songjiang Campus.

• In October, 2,000 new students were admitted to the new Songjiang campus.

• The agreement on expanding cooperative programs was signed between SIFT and the University of Central Lancashire, UK, and the International Business English program jointly run by the two sides became the first such program in China franchised and validated by the University of Central Lancashire. An exchange agreement on jointly carrying out research on the WTO and a memorandum on strengthening cooperative educational programs were signed between SIFT and the Kokushikan University, Japan, and Douglas College, Canada, respectively. An agreement to set up a joint graduate program in law was signed between SIFT Law School and Canberra University of Australia.


• The construction of the Administrative Building, Riverside Hotel, and Students' Center on Songjiang campus was completed. The enrollment of students in Songjiang campus reached 4,000, exceeding that of Gubei campus for the first time. Basic Education Faculty, Technical Service Section, Library, Students' Affairs Office, Logistic, and Security Section were moved to Songjiang Campus.

• On the afternoon of June 18, the commencement for the first graduates of the SIFT-Canadian joint program was held in the Rainbow Hotel. As a new step in international exchanges and cooperation, SIFT, for the first time, offered a study abroad opportunity for selected students to go to Australia, and credits awarded abroad were recognized by SIFT.

• Gong Xueping, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress, was invited to attend the opening ceremony for students admitted in 2002, and unveiled the plaque inscribed by him for the Siyuan Lake on Songjiang campus.

• On October 18, the inaugural ceremony for the School of WTO Research and Education, the first of its kind in China, was held on Songjiang Campus. Qiang Weichang, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, unveiled the commemorative plaque of the School. Long Yongtu, Vice Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, and Jiang Yiren, Vice Mayor of Shanghai, attended the unveiling ceremony.

• On October 21, the Experts' Panel of the Evaluation Committee of the Shanghai Municipal Education Commission made an all-around assessment of SIFT undergraduate programs. The Experts' Panel stated that the development objective of SIFT was properly targeted and distinct in its characteristics, the educational quality assurance system innovative, and the file management system was up to standard.


• On June 26, the commencement ceremony was held on Songjiang Campus for the first graduates (2000-2003) of the SIFT-UClan EIB (English for International Business) Joint Program.

• The number of SIFT specialties increased from 19 to 26. The newly added seven specialties were Business Administration (focusing on Human Resources Management), Economics (focusing on International Business, a Sino-Australian program for a second bachelor's degree), English (focusing on Translation and Interpretation), English (focusing on International Economic News Reporting), Travel and Tourism (focusing on International Exposition Management), Finance (focusing on Insurance), and Law (focusing on Administrative Management).

• SIFT was awarded the title of Shanghai Model Unit with a High Cultural and Ideological Level in early August.

Wen Jiabao, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Premier of the State Council, accompanied by Chen Liangyu, secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, and Han Zheng, mayor of Shanghai, made an inspection visit to SIFT on the morning of August 29. On behalf of nearly 10,000 teachers and students, Pi Nai'an, secretary of SIFT Party Committee, and Wang Xinkui, President of SIFT, accorded Premier Wen a warm welcome.

• The history of over 40 years since the birth of SIFT attests to the development of SIFT from strength to strength. At present, SIFT is at the height of its third phase of development. Committed to cultivating more future business leaders and to building a world-class business-oriented university, both teachers and students of SIFT are making concerted and relentless efforts to fulfill this great ambition in the near future.


• The University Party Committee convened the enlarged meeting, ensuring that the proper establishment and implementation of SIFT's Development Blueprint 2004-2010 would be the key to receiving the Undergraduate Assessment from the Ministry of Education. Under the instructional principles, the university will improve the overall education quality, and make great efforts to eliminate any major setbacks that could undermine quality assurance for an undergraduate education. The university has confirmed its major efforts in 2004 based on the appropriate understanding of three major relations: mainstream and unique characteristics, improving academic standards and teaching quality, and faculty and administrative staff. The chief objectives to achieve in 2004 were: • Establishment of the SIFT Development Blueprint 2004-2010 • Preparation for the Undergraduate Assessment in 2006 • According to priority, solve the serious problems in teaching quality and enforce the specially featured academic disciplines through specific channels of scientific research

• The successful establishment of Zuoyue Manufacturing Asia Pacific Training Center through the joint efforts of the Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade, Douglas College of Canada and Levco International Holdings Company Limited [] . The signing ceremony was held at the Longbo Hotel. The training center is designed to actively promote healthy development of small to medium sized enterprises and to focus its efforts on providing various certificate training in such areas as seminars and conferences, subject and degree training services for the manufacturing industry, on-campus students and other individuals interested in the manufacturing industry.

• The Graduate Careers Promoting Fair of 2005 was successfully held at the small auditorium in Jinjiang Hotel. The university unified the relevant data of all graduate students into categories and CDs for the use of potential employers. This is an effective innovation of our university to promote the brand of SIFT Talents.


• The university convened a middle-level staff meeting, discussing the most recent draft of the SIFT Development Blueprint for 2004-2010. This meeting was a turning point in the establishment and implementation of the blueprint in preparation for the Undergraduate Assessment as well as the launch for the connotation of development with the university. The university leaders requested all the meeting attendees to unify thought and put forward thorough implementation based on the explicit understanding of the plan and future mission.

• The university convened the research working conference, indicating the overall target of developing scientific research personnel: utilize the WTO studies as a keystone to form research special features; use the research team organization as an opportunity to construct a research platform; use project management as a keystone to perfect the research management system; enforce the functions and roles of all levels of research committees; constitute the Management on Academic Research in SIFT and Management on Scientific Research Highland Building in SIFT. The holding of this meeting motivated the university faculties to actively set up research teams and research projects therefore develop a positive environment for academic research.

• SIFT students won the first prize of the 1st China Case Analysis Contest held by the Richard Ivey School of Business, Canada (the Ivey Business School is a subordinate school of the University of West Ontario which is a prestigious business school in Canada, as well as the second global business case analysis center after Harvard University. The School is well known for its unique teaching methodology). This achievement is much-valued by SIFT on the classroom case analysis for many years.

• SIFT established the first Professional Development Center in China – SIFT PDC. Yan Junqi, the Vice Mayor of Shanghai, attended the Inauguration ceremony. The SIFT PDC is dedicated as a platform for student's career development. By establishing the training linkage for students through certificate, degree and career development training, students could enhance their competence in the job market. SIFT PDC introduced advanced educational principles and resources to improve students' professional development training and career consultation. Moreover, the SIFT PDC facilitates internationally approbated professional development training collaborations designed for middle and advanced talents to adapt to the demands of the current service.

• At the SIFT 45th anniversary, the Students' Service Center, Students' Motivating Center and Students' Venture Center were founded. Li Xuanhai, the Party Committee Secretary of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission, Zhang Weijiang, the director of Shanghai Municipal Education Commission held the inauguration ceremony. The establishment of three Centers motivated the innovation of college education mode, truly representing the orientation of Student-centered principle.

Campuses & Facilities

  SIFT is located on two campuses, one in Gubei and the other in Songjiang.

  Situated in the Songjiang University Town, the Songjiang campus, a first-class modern university campus, covers a total area of approximately 700 mu , with a floor space of roughly 100,000 square meters of educational facilities and with more than 10ser buildings. The modern Lecture Building, housing more than 100 classrooms for various purposes. A landmark building on the Songjiang campus, the elegant five-storied Language and Information Center Building houses a library, a language center, a business internship center, a computer center, an internet center, a multimedia education software design center, as well as conference halls. The campus also has a stadium, a floodlit basketball court, and a gymnasium. The spacious, modern gymnasium covers a floor space and includes such facilities as a fitness center and a gymnastic hall.

  Adjacent to Hongqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone, the Gubei campus covers an area of 70 mu or so . The campus has a five-storey library; an audio-visual education center, which includes a television studio, a language laboratory, and a multimedia classroom; the Shanghai Collegiate Internship Center for International Business, the first web-based simulation center for the training of foreign economic relations and trade personnel in China, which is jointly run by SIFT and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Education; a multimedia language training center, which is the product of cooperation with many overseas multimedia companies; an up-to-date computer center; as well as a guest house for foreign experts, an international students'dormitory, a gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool.

Education Objectives&Modes

The vision of SIFT is dedicated to develop morally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically competent students who are capable and reliable for China's social economic development. In terms of specialized training and teaching standards, students are required to • Achieve the basic merits as business school graduates: career ethics, theoretical knowledge, professional specialties, and practical abilities etc.; • Obtain foreign language proficiency, computer skills and mathematical thinking; • Enhance the professional knowledge structure as compound advantage in future job market. SIFT adopts different teaching modes to different courses. Competitive foreign language teaching and learning is traditional advantage and special feature of SIFT. SIFT is dedicated to enforce and innovate its foreign language education, advocate classroom teaching and facilitate multi-media assisted language center with different levels as well as target management focused on practical ability training. The applied computer courses adopt various modules and levels teaching; carry out in and out classroom teaching practice. The mathematic courses are compulsory for students majored in economics and management, and also are available as optional courses for language and law students. Practical teaching projects are special features of SIFT, which including: International Trade Simulation, E-Business Comprehensive Simulation, Finance Simulation, Simulated Court, Interpretation Practice (English, Japanese, French), ERP Software Application, Business English Autonomous Learning (Multimedia), Journalism Simulation and Practice, Simulated Tourism, Simulated Exposition, etc. They are all designed for developing students' practical application, problem solving and analyzing, and general practice abilities. SIFT also actively support all forms of bilingual education, case analysis teaching, specialists and research scholars seminars, cooperated teaching with other universities, foreign experts' lectures and professional career development training within its overall education modes.

External links

* [ Web site] (in English)
* [ 3d map]

Athenian style institute.

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