Col­leges vi­tal for Party

Xi says goals of higher ed­u­ca­tion must align with de­vel­op­ment plan for the na­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By ZHAO XINYING zhaoxiny­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Col­leges and univer­si­ties should al­ways ad­here to the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping told heads of do­mes­tic higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions at a con­fer­ence held in Bei­jing on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day.

Xi said the Party com­mit­tees of higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions should al­ways take the helm, be re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing de­ci­sions and en­sure that the in­sti­tu­tions are de­vel­op­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

He also said Party com­mit­tees at all lev­els across the coun­try should at­tach great im­por­tance to the ide­ol­ogy of col­leges and univer­si­ties and make this one of their pri­or­i­ties. Party chiefs and mem­bers should visit the ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions fre­quently, com­mu­ni­cate with teach­ers and stu­dents, take sug­ges­tions from them and an­swer their ques­tions.

Xi stressed that China has its own his­tory, unique cul­ture and spe­cial cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, which means that higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions should walk on their own path and make them­selves so­cial­ist in­sti­tu­tions with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

He added that the goal of col­leges and univer­si­ties should be con­sis­tent with the whole coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment tar­get.

Their work should serve the peo­ple, the Party’s gov­er­nance, the de­vel­op­ment of the so­cial­ist sys­tem with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics and re­form and open­ing-up, as well as the so­cial­ist mod­ern­iza­tion drive.

Xi also said a teach­ing sys­tem for phi­los­o­phy and so­cial sci­ences with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics should be built as soon as pos­si­ble.

More high-qual­ity text­books on these sub­jects should be com­piled and pub­lished, and a more sci­en­tific and trans­par­ent sys­tem of eval­u­at­ing the aca­demic out­comes in these fields should be es­tab­lished, he said.

Liu Wei, pres­i­dent of Ren­min Uni­ver­sity of China, who at­tended the con­fer­ence, said he was in­spired by Xi’s re­marks about “nur­tur­ing tal­ent for the cause of so­cial­ism”.

“Set­ting moral ex­am­ples for stu­dents and help­ing stu­dents de­velop their tal­ent should be the top pri­or­ity of col­leges and univer­si­ties, as well as teach­ers,” he said.

“To do that, phi­los­o­phy and so­cial sci­ences, with deep thought and hu­man­is­tic con­cerns, can play a key role. We should re­form the teach­ing and cur­ricu­lum in these sub­jects, mak­ing the cour­ses more at­trac­tive, per­sua­sive and ap­peal­ing to stu­dents,” Liu added.

Peng Long, pres­i­dent of Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Uni­ver­sity, said he was par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by Xi’s words about col­lege teach­ers’ role as guides and in­struc­tors for stu­dents.

“From Pres­i­dent Xi’s re­marks, we know that col­lege and uni­ver­sity teach­ers are very cru­cial to stu­dents’ growth. And for this rea­son, teach­ers must have both ex­cel­lent aca­demic abil­i­ties and noble char­ac­ters,” Peng said.

YU FANGPING / FOR CHINA DAILY

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