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In the summer of 1939, Japanese aggressors and the Kuomintang die-hards intensified their attacks on liberated areas, changing the situation of the Anti-Japanese War. In June, the CPC Central Committee decided to merger Shanbei Public School, Luxun Academy of Arts, Yan’an School of Workers, and Anwu Youth Training Centre into one institution named North China United University, which was later moved to areas behind the enemy lines in North China. On July 7, North China United University was founded in Yan’an. Cheng Fangwu was appointed President and Secretary of the Party Group of the University. The Principal Accountability System was implemented under the leadership of the Party. Social Sciences Department, Arts Department, Workers’ Department, and Youth Department were set up under the University. The cadres cultivated in the university could meet the needs of working during war time.The North China United University was the first institution of higher education established by the Communist Party of China in the enemy’s rear areas.

A year later, the University was gradually standardized, changing former departments into schools. There were School of Social Sciences (including Department of Political Science and Law, and Department of Finance and Economy), School of Education (including Department of Education), School of Arts (including Department of Drama, Department of Music, Department of Fine Arts, and Department of Literature), and School of Engineering (including Department of Mechanics, and Department of Mining). In addition to special courses, undergraduate courses and preparatory courses were added. Later, School of Political Science and Law, Mass Work Department, and High School Department were set up. That was the heyday of North China United University, with a total of more than 4000 people, including over 3000 students.

During the Anti-Japanese War, North China United University operated in harsh conditions behind the enemy lines for six years, educating thousands of cadres. Among them, there were more than 3000 cadres in political and economic administration, over 3000 cadres in education work, over 1000 cadres in literature, as well as hundreds of teachers and theorists in political theories, literature and art, education, political science and law, and finance and economy. More than 2000 cadres received short-term training from the university..

In August 1945, the Anti-Japanese War ended. On December 10, the Shanxi-Chahar-Hebei Central Bureau of the Communist Party of China decided to fully restore North China United University. Cheng Fangwu was appointed university President and Secretary of the Party Committee. The Principal Accountability System was implemented. There were political programs, School of Education (including Department of Education, Department of Chinese, and Department of History and Geography), School of Political Science and Law  (including Department of Political Science and Law, and Department of Finance and Economy), School of Literature and Art (including Department of Literature, Department of Music, Department of Drama, Department of Fine Arts, Department of Journalism, and Dancing Group), School of Foreign Languages (including English Department and French Department), and the re-established Art Troupe . There were about 1100 people in the university, of whom 400 were staff and 700 were students.

From August 1945 to August 1948, North China United University cultivated about 2000 cadres in fields like politics, economics, education, literature and art, foreign languages, and journalism.

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