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The Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade (SIFT), established in 1960, is a cradle for nurturing future professionals who specialize in economics and international trade. Despite the ups and downs it underwent during the course of development, SIFT has grown into a medium-sized, multi-disciplinary, and business-oriented university with its own distinctive characteristics.


SIFT now consists of 12 schools, namely, School of Business, School of Foreign Languages, School of Finance, School of Law, School of Management, School of Accounting, School of Events Management and Tourism, School of Business Information, School of International Studies, School of Continuing Education, School of WTO Research and Education, School of International Education. The university confers bachelor’s degrees in 32 specialties and master’s degrees in 4 Level-I disciplines and 20 Level-II specialties. Besides, the university boasts a state-level demonstration center for experimental teaching, a state-level center for innovative and experimental models of education, and a state-level center for undergraduate entrepreneurship education. Among the 32 undergraduate specialties, International Economics and Trade, English, Finance, Logistics Management, and Business Administration are considered by the Ministry of Education as characteristic specialties. Among the courses offered, Financial Management and International Trade Practices are national top-level courses while Marketing, Securities Investment Analysis, Business Logistics are state-level demonstration courses for bilingual teaching. Among the various teaching teams, the team teaching courses for business administration is rated as state-level teaching team. With over 1000 faculty members and staff, SIFT educates a student population of over 10,000.


Thanks to its philosophy of creating talents by focusing on the harmonious development of knowledge, ability, and quality in students, improving students’ cross-cultural communication skills and practical abilities, and raising students’ awareness in professional ethics and social responsibility, SIFT has turned out over 30,000 professionals in the field of economics and international trade, many of whom have become business leaders and elites. Some of them have established their own businesses, providing jobs in numbers greater than SIFT graduates putting together. In recent years, SIFT students have won championships in a number of national and international professional contests.


Dedicated to serving social and economic needs through scientific and research studies, the faculty members of SIFT have undertaken a total of 26 projects, funded by the National Foundation for the Planning of Social Sciences, the National Foundation for Social Sciences, and the National Foundation for Natural Sciences. SIFT has also made active contributions to China’s resumption of founding member status to the GATT and China’s accession to the WTO by initiating the GATT Shanghai Research Center, establishing the WTO Shanghai Research Center later, and recently becoming educational institutions to hold the WTO Chair. The SIFT International Economics and Trade Research Center is nominated as one of the key research bases among common institutions of higher learning in Shanghai that are engaged in the study of humanities and social sciences. Some SIFT professors are recognized as leading experts at the Shanghai Center for the Innovative Study of Social Sciences and the studio of Shanghai Research Institute for Development Strategies, spearheading advanced studies in international trade.


SIFT is proactive in international educational exchanges and cooperation. Joint programs have been launched in partnership with universities and colleges in Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany to enrich students’ educational experiences and open opportunities of short-term exchange programs to the students. Besides, SIFT has also established relationship of academic cooperation and exchanges with more than 40 institutions of higher learning in over 10 countries and regions, facilitating the exchange of faculty members and students among the institutions on one hand and promoting the internationalization of the university on the other hand.


Pursuant to the Outline of the National Plan for Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) and the Outline of Shanghai’s Medium and Long-Term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020), SIFT is also implementing its own medium and long-term development plan on full scale to take full advantage of another boom in the development of higher education across the country. By making every effort to upgrade educational quality and improve operational efficiencies, SIFT is working towards the goal of becoming an internationally recognized university with its distinctive features in economics and international trade while maintaining a leading position among national universities in the same specialty areas.