China on a mission to build top-class universities

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In a bid to boost the high-quality development of China’s higher education sector, its first stage was launched in 2016 and finished in 2020….reports Asian Lite News

China has issued a list of eligible universities for the second stage of its initiative to build top-class universities and academic disciplines, local media reported.

In a bid to boost the high-quality development of China’s higher education sector, its first stage was launched in 2016 and finished in 2020.

According to Xinhua news agency, based on the monitoring statistics, results, and evaluation of the previous stage, a total of 147 universities and a range of disciplines have been selected in the second stage after optimized procedures and expert reviews.

The Chinese Ministry of Education said on Monday said the second stage will guide universities to achieve the highest standard in fields in which they have a competitive edge and focus on exploring and building category-based development, supporting and appraisal systems.

“Through the initiative, universities will be guided to make innovations in relevant fields and directions and achieve substantial breakthroughs. They will be encouraged to build themselves into world-class universities,” said the ministry.

Submissive obedience to CCP

A study reveals that the curriculum of Chinese citizenship education, a part of China’s universal education system, has always taught that a good citizen is one who is loyal and obedient to the Chinese Communist Party.

According to the study, citizens were taught that they should subsume their individual goals to the collective, socialist good, “which means following the CPC’s leadership”, reported the Hong Kong Post.

The curriculum has carried different names over the years, including ‘moral education’, ‘moral character education’, ‘patriotic education’, and ‘citizenship education.

The study, titled ‘The Construction and Performance of Citizenship in Contemporary China’, authored by researchers Carolyn L. Hsu et al, appeared in the Journal of Contemporary China on January 30, this year.

It notes that since 2012, under President Xi Jinping’s rule, the connection between “good citizenship and loyalty/obedience to the Communist Party of China has only been strengthened”

The study makes the observation that “citizenship education in China teaches a more state-centred form of socialist citizenship, where citizens follow the lead of the Communist Party, and this has only strengthened under Xi Jinping”.

The issue gained momentum for the leadership when the COVID outbreak took place and people critiqued the Chinese leadership and held it responsible for massive unemployment and rising prices. Amid this, the leadership also saw the threat an intelligent, socially aware, politically informed and economically suffering population can pose, reported The HK Post.

The study says the autocrat’s reasoning for citizenship education is for “creating ‘ideal citizens’ encourages citizens to act in similar ways that legitimate and support the autocrat’s rule”.

Comparing Hong Kong and China, the study finds that the intention and the ability to question the state and the party leadership is more among the citizens of Hong Kong than mainland China, explaining the growing pro-democracy voices on the island. (ANI)

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