Peking University (PKU;北京大学), is a major Chinese research university located in Beijing and a member of the C9 League. It is the first modern national university established in China, founded as the Imperial University of Peking in 1898 as a replacement of the ancient Taixue or Guozijian, or Imperial Academy. It also served as the highest administration for education in China at the beginning of its founding. By 1920, it had become a center for progressive thought. Peking University is consistently ranked as the top higher learning institution in mainland China. In addition to academics, Peking University is especially renowned for its campus grounds, and the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture.
Throughout its history, the university has educated and hosted many prominent modern Chinese thinkers, including figures such as: Mao Zedong, Lu Xun, Gu Hongming, Mao Dun, Li Dazhao, and Chen Duxiu. Peking University was influential in the birth of China's New Culture Movement, May Fourth Movement, the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 and many other significant events.