蔡元培 (1868 - 1940)

字鶴卿,號孑民。浙江紹興人。光緒15年 (1889年)中舉人,翌年中進士。戊戌變法失敗後,棄官回鄉,任紹興中西學堂總理,主力改革教育兼提倡新學。1901年後歷任中國教育會會長、愛國女校校長。1907年赴德國留學,回國後任南京臨時政府教育總長。1917年任北京大學校長,實行「思想自由,兼容並包」的辦學方針,支持新文化運動。

在教育部和北大期間,提倡國民教育、公民道德等,倡「教育事業,當完全交予教育家,保有獨立資格」。認為大學,不只是為人提供學歷資格,也是研究學術的地方。反對中學文理分科,強調中學生須兼備文理兩方面基礎知識。1927年任南京國民政府大學院院長。1929年任中央研究院院長。1937年抗日戰爭爆發後移居香港,1940年3月在香港病逝,享年72歲。


Cai Yuanpei (1868 - 1940)

Also known as Cai Heqing and Cai Jiemin; born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. Cai Yuanpei passed the civil-service examinations in 1889, and earned the title of Jinshi (doctorate) in the following year. After the Reform Movement of 1898 failed, he abandoned his government post and returned to his hometown, where he became president of the Shaoxing Zhongxi Academy. He pushed forward education reforms and advocated new forms of learning. After 1901, he successively became president of Chinese Education Association and principal of the Shanghai Patriotic School for Women. In 1907, he went to Germany to pursue his studies. Upon his return to China, he was appointed Minister of Education by the Provisional Government at Nanjing. In 1917, he became president of Peking University. He advocated the educational principle of “freedom of thought and acceptance of diversity” and supported the New Culture Movement.

During his term of service in the Ministry of Education and Peking University, he promoted citizenship and moral education, and advocated that “the task of running the education system should be turned over completely to the hands of educators, and should remain untouched by external influences.” He believed that the university was more than a place for the provision of academic qualifications, but that it was also a site for academic research. He was opposed to the division of secondary studies into science and arts streams, emphasizing the importance of secondary students acquiring basic knowledge in both fields. In 1927, he was named president of the Daxueyuan (the University Council) of the National Government in Nanjing. In 1929, he became the first president of the Academia Sinica. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japan in 1937, he moved to Hong Kong. He died of illness in Hong Kong in March 1940 at the age of 72.

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