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Famous People

Ruiqing Li: Pioneer of Modern Higher Education for Teacher Training

Ruiqing Li (1867-1920), famous poet, educator, painting and calligraphy artist, one of the key founders of China’s Modern Education.

Ruiqing Li served as Supervisor (i.e. President) of Liangjiang Excellent Normal Institute from 1905 to 1911. During his administration, he dedicated himself to running the school and educating its talent by taking "Education as life, campus as home, and students as children” as his creed, and by taking "Rising from obscurity to prosperity” as the school motto. He initiated an expansive project of building and rebuilding to add space to the campus, appointed competent instructors, reformed its academic system, included new subjects, and promoted the development of the Institute. As a result of his leadership, the school was listed among the top higher education institutions in southern Jiangsu in terms of educational performance at that time.

Ruiqing Li was a pioneer in promoting scientific and artistic education in China’s modern history. In 1908, he was the first to offer an Honor Bachelor’s education in Liangjiang Excellent Normal Institute. He also added skill-oriented subjects to the syllabus such as labor education, physics and chemistry, and established physics and chemistry laboratories as well as farms for students to hone those skills. As a famous artist and calligrapher in China’s modern history, he set up the first painting and handicraft subject at Liangjiang Excellent Normal Institute in 1904, and cultivated the first generation of fine arts instructors in China, including famous artists and calligraphers such as Daqian Zhang, Xiaoshi Hu and Fengzi Lv.