Towering trees have their roots and the rivers flowing around the mountains have their sources. The predecessor of Xian Jiao Tong University(西安交通大学:Xī'ān Jiāotōnɡ Dàxué) is Nanyang Public University(南洋公学:Nányánɡ Gōnɡxué) that was founded in Shanghai in 1896; in 1905, it was transferred to the commercial department and was renamed High Industrial School; in 1906, it was under the command of postal transmission department. It was renamed Shanghai High Industrial School of Postal Transmission Department.

In 1955, the State Council decided to move Jiao Tong University to Xian. In May of 1956, it began to move. In September of 1957, Jiao Tong University has two parts, one was in Xian. The other was in Shanghai. Later, most departments, specialties, books, equipment and instruments and teachers, students and staffs moved to Xian; on July 31, 1959, No, 212 Guoerluzi document of State Council approved and agreed education department's decision that the Xian part and Shanghai part of Jiao Tong university become independent and set up two universities, Xian Jiao Tong University and Shanghai University.