Yunnan Nationalities University is located in 121 Yi Er Yi Da Jie, Wuhua Qu,Kunming, Yunnan, China. Formerly known as Yunnan Nationalities Institute when established on August 1, 1951, the university was founded in part to instruct government leaders to assist minority ethnic groups of Yunnan to ensure their political rights.

The school was renamed Yunnan Nationalities University (YNU) on April 16, 2003. Subsequent university goals have included the need to cultivate professional support for ethnic groups to insure political, economic and cultural development and to foster international outreach.

Yunnan Nationalities University has established cooperative relations with 26 universities in 10 nations, including Baylor University and University of Virginia, USA; University of Bergen, Norway; and La Trobe University, Australia.

Since its establishment, the university has received over 20,000 students and scholars from over 80 countries, visiting to study or to conduct academic exchanges and scientific research.

In February 1993, Yunnan Provincial People’s Government ranked the institute as a key university of the province.