Northwest Light Industry College was established in Xianyang, Shaanxi, in 1970, on the basis of a college of light industry that was moved from Beijing, where it had been set up in 1958. Even in the Northwest, where economic growth did not provide such a ready rationale for expansion, there was considerable potential for provincial initiative. Northwest Minorities Institute was a priority university under the State Minorities Commission, and it mainly served the large minority populations in the Northwest. Generally, university administrators in the Northwest were energetic in seeking ways to develop alternative funding bases, though they faced many difficulties. Traditionally, its role has been to educate minority people for positions of leadership as cadres throughout the Northwest, and its programs had focused on areas such as politics, history, literature, and languages, with some attention also to such practical fields as animal husbandry and medicine.