China tightens ideological control on campus

Seven top universities establish political monitoring units in response to state ‘rectification reports’

August 30, 2017
China flag

Several of China’s top universities are establishing units to monitor the politics of their lecturers after they were criticised for failing to promote Communist Party ideology.

Seven leading Chinese institutions have set up “teachers’ affairs departments” under their Communist Party committees after they were ordered to improve “ideological and political work” among teaching staff, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported.

It follows the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection’s publication of so-called “rectification reports” on eight top-tier universities in late August, which followed a tour by the disciplinary watchdog of 29 universities across mainland China earlier this year, the Post said.

Those visited for the “political check-up” included Peking University and Tsinghua University, in Beijing, with the latter setting up a leading group on teachers’ ideological and political work headed by its party secretary.

Other universities were criticised after the months-long inspections for their weakness in promoting ideology, while party committees were also chastised for weak leadership and failing to toe the party line, the Post said.

Dalian University of Technology, in Liaoning province, has pledged to make annual training plans to improve the ideological and political education of teachers, according to its report.

Beijing Normal University said that the “virtues” of teachers, which include their ideological and political thinking, were included in their appraisals this year.

All universities and colleges in China are under the control of a party committee, which oversees party affairs on campus and the running of the schools.

Twenty-one other universities inspected by the commission have yet to release their “rectification reports”.

jack.grove@timeshighereducation.com

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