Peking University or Beijing University (pinyin Běijīng Dàxué) is a top comprehensive university in China. It was opened in December 1898 during the Hundred Days Reform, originally known as the Metropolitan University (京師大學堂, pinyin: jing1 shi1 da4 xue2 tang2).
It was then the most prestigious institution of higher learning, as well as the highest administrative organisation of education in China. In 1912, the Metropolitan University was renamed as Peking University. Famous scholar Cai Yuanpei was appointed the principal on January 4 1917 and contributed to the transforming the university into the country's largest institution of higher learning, with 14 departments and an enrollment of more than 2,000 students. In 1919 it became the first Chinese university to accept female students.
In 1946, after World War II, Peking University moved back to Beijing. At that time, the university comprised six schools (Arts, Science, Law, Medicine, Engineering, and Agriculture), and a research institute for the humanities. The total student enrollment grew to 3,000.
When the new government was established in 1949, there was a major readjustment. Yenching University was merged with Peking University and combined institution took on Yenching's location.
By 1962, the total enrollment grew to 10,671 undergraduate students and 280 graduate students.
Peking University has trained more than 100,000 students, many of them have became the backbones of the country on all fronts in China.
Scholars who lectured in the university include:List of universities in Mainland China