Colleges vital for Party
Xi says goals of higher education must align with development plan for the nation
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.