As the earliest institution of advanced learning and higher education in Northwest China,Lanzhou University was previously named Gansu Law and Politics School in 1909. Then the school developed to become Lanzhou Sun Yat-sen University in 1928. Deng Chungao, a clever academic with rich experience and a wish of saving the nation through developing education as well as the thought of reform, took the position of president and director of Lanzhou University from February 1929 to May 1936?which were the most significant years for development since the university was established. Now, Lanzhou University has been the best university in the northwestern region of China, ranking as one of the top 30 among over 1,500 universities across China. It is one of the key universities administered directly by the Ministry of Education. With almost 20,000 undergraduates and over 10,000 postgraduates, LZU has a long history of excellence in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and geology. It also excels in some unique disciplines and research areas based on the regional resources and culture of northwestern China, such as: Central Asian studies, Dunhuang studies, dry-land ecology, sand fluid dynamics, Tibetan and Loess Plateau sciences, and grassland agriculture.