Institutions to stay alert against 'incorrect' Western thought: experts
Experts have called on colleges and universities in China to heighten Marxist values, help students to adopt “correct values” and conscientiously resist wrong theories, especially those suggesting the ideology should be ended or weakened.
“Colleges and universities are on the front line of ideology work and it is the Party committees' job to have dominant power over ideology work,” Han Jin, head of the Party committee at Wuhan University said, during a seminar on ideology work in colleges, according to a press release from the university's website.
The seminar was jointly held on March 26 by two research centers affiliated to the Ministry of Education and Wuhan University, with more than 70 experts present, the People's Daily reported on Monday.
“Ideology work in universities is always an important part of the Communist Party of China (CPC)'s ideological and cultural work, especially when philosophy and social sciences which contain Western ideologies have gained more influence in some universities,” said Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Chongqing Municipal CPC Committee.
In January, 2015, a guideline on the ideological work in colleges issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council stated that ideology-based instruction in colleges is “a strategic project that can consolidate the foundation [of values] and shape spirit.”
“Ideology work in China's colleges has faced challenges since multiple thoughts and trends are popular in colleges nowadays… some students do not believe in Marxism and some teachers have made improper remarks in classes,” said Zhuang Deshui, deputy director of the Research Center for Government Integrity-Building at Peking University.
Zhuang noted that the spread of wrong ideological theories in universities could affect their direction and future development, leading to a lack of social belief threatening the ruling foundation of the CPC.
“Promoting ideological work in colleges is not a cliche. We should not allow the theory of ending or weakening ideology work to 'make waves.' We should resist wrong ideological trends and actively defense ourselves from the influence of Western ideology,” read an article published by the Guangming Daily.
Since 2004, the Party has launched a nationwide Marxist textbook publication and education project in universities.
The project, known as “the Marx Project,” has been carried out by key Party publicity and education institutions. It was initially planned for just four years, but experts said due to dwindling Marxism awareness, it has continued into the present. The project aims to put Marxism “into textbooks, into classrooms, into minds.”
Zhuang said that colleges should strengthen ideological education on its faculties, especially for those who have received education overseas, including organizing them to have classes in local Party schools.
“Colleges should also set a higher threshold on employing and evaluating teachers, especially when inspecting their political and ideological performance,” said Zhuang.