Leading universities in China are encouraging academics to write online articles promoting socialist values, with some offering authors the same academic credits that they would get for papers published in journals.
According to the South China Morning Post, Zhejiang University issued a notice this month stating that content that is widely circulated online, shows “core socialist values” and influences public opinion with “correct thinking and culture” now carries the same weight as an academic paper – whether it is in the form of an essay, video or animation.
The notice added that content posted on the websites and social media platforms of Communist Party mouthpieces such as People’s Daily and Xinhua News Agency would receive the most credit.
Jilin University is also handing out credits to faculty members whose propaganda is published on state media websites and major commercial news portals, according to the paper.
The institution said that propagating the country’s achievements on “mainstream foreign media” also counted as an academic achievement.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China have launched similar schemes, while a number of other universities have promised to follow suit, according to the South China Morning Post.
The moves follow calls made by China’s president Xi Jinping last year for academics to become advocates of socialist values and firm supporters of Communist Party rule.
In June, China’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, accused 14 top universities of ideological and political weakness.