Founded in 1959, Yunnan Arts University (YNAU) is one of the eight comprehensive art universities in China. It is located in the eternal spring city of Kunming, with one campus in Chenggong and one in Mayuan, covering a total area of more than 930 mu. YNAU consists of 12 teaching units: the Music School, the Dance School, the Drama School, the Film & TV School, the Fine Arts School, the Design School, the Art Management School, the Higher Vocational and Continued Education School, the Research Institute for Ethnic Arts, the Marxism School, the Public Teaching Department, and the Physical Education Department, as well as one attached art school. There are 35 undergraduate majors, covering art, literature, management, engineering and other disciplines. In 2003, YNAU was approved with the right to grant master's degrees, and in 2009, it was approved with the right to grant Master of Fine Arts (MFA). It is qualified to grant master's degrees in five first-level disciplines (Art Theory, Music and Dance, Drama, Film and Television, Fine Arts and Design), and MFA in eight specialties (Music, Drama, Traditional Opera, Film, Radio and Television, Dance, Fine Arts, and Art design).
In 2009, it was approved as a doctoral degree granting unit in Yunnan Province. In 2019, it was approved as a provincial-level postdoctoral research workstation in art theory. There are five provincial key disciplines, two provincial advantageous and characteristic disciplines, three provincial class A plateau disciplines, eight provincial and ministerial research platforms, including Yunnan provincial collaborative innovation centers, key laboratories, engineering research centers, bases and think tanks, and ten provincial teaching and research teams. In the fourth round of China Discipline Ranking (CDR) by the Ministry of Education, YNAU ranked top among the evaluated colleges and universities in the indicators of fine arts, drama, film and television, music and dance, design, and art theory.
YNAU now has nine national first-class bachelor's degree programs and six Yunnan provincial first-class bachelor's degree programs, accounting for 57.7% of the 26 programs. In 2020, six courses were recognized as national first-class courses and ten as provincial first-class courses in the national "Double-10,000 Plan" for first-class undergraduate courses, ranking third in Yunnan Province and first among national art colleges.
Over the past 70 years since its establishment, YNAU has taken the initiative to serve the development strategies of China and Yunnan Province. In the new era, YNAU will seize the major opportunities of the Belt and Road Initiative and Double First-Class Initiative, implement the basic task of fostering virtue through education, uphold the spirit of "championing inclusiveness to forge ahead", the motto of "practicality, creativity and nobility", the school style of "mutual appreciation and achievement", the academic style of "learning widely from other people and benefit from a variety of mentors", and the teaching style of "educating people with great virtue and virtuosity", and adhere to the strategic positioning of "taking root in Yunnan, serving the whole country, influencing Southeast Asia, and facing the world", endeavoring to build itself into a regional high-level art university with international influence and distinctive characteristics.