Towards World-Class Universities and Disciplines

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-27

Towards World-Class Universities and Disciplines*


December 7, 2016


Education in political philosophy at institutions of higher learning is about the purposes of and approaches to higher education. Building strong moral character should be taken as the central task of higher education. We should integrate moral and political education into every aspect of the entire education process, striving to elevate China's higher education to a new level.

A country thrives when its education is well developed. Higher education is a key gauge of a nation's development and potential. We cannot overlook education if we are to achieve the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. We have more urgent need than ever before for higher education, science, and elite brains. The CPC Central Committee has resolved to build world-class universities and disciplines, which means scaling up China's higher education and core competitiveness.

China, with its unique history, culture and conditions, has to follow its own path of higher education, and build institutions of higher education founded on Chinese socialism. China's higher education should be closely integrated with its actual development goals, and head in the same direction as its future development. Higher education should serve the people, the CPC's governance of China, the development of socialism with Chinese characteristics, reform and opening up, and socialist modernization.

China's universities and colleges shoulder the responsibility of training new generations who are morally, intellectually, physically and aesthetically equipped to carry on the socialist cause. Therefore, these educational institutions must not waver from the correct political direction. To promote a code of ethical conduct, to set up role models, and to cultivate talent are the fundamental tasks of universities and colleges. Only those that can provide society with outstanding brains can become world-leading institutions. Therefore enhancing the all-round ability of Chinese universities and colleges to generate talent is the key to turning them into prestigious international brain banks, and the driver of all other work in higher education institutions.

Chinese universities and colleges are institutions founded on Chinese socialism under the leadership of the CPC. To build better universities and colleges, we should follow the guiding role of Marxism and thoroughly carry out the CPC's educational policies. We should disseminate the scientific theory of Marxism, further refine Marxist education, and help students lay a foundation of scientific thinking for their lifelong development. We should promote and practice the core socialist values, and guide teachers and students to be firm believers, active communicators, and model practitioners of these values. We should ensure that universities and colleges remain harmonious and stable and nurture a rational, peaceful and harmonious mindset on campus. Humanistic care and psychological consultation should be offered to keep higher education institutions peaceful and harmonious. We should consistently build positive school spirits and academic attitude, and ensure that every campus is well-managed and its atmosphere is honest and upright.

Education in political philosophy is essentially designed to help people adopt the right kind of mindset. This means it focuses on the students, cares for and serves them, and aims at enhancing their moral standards and political awareness and refining their character and manners, in order to facilitate their all-round development towards wholesome and capable individuals.

We should guide students to acquire a clear understanding of international and domestic developments, help them grasp the historical necessity of social progress and Chinese socialism, and build up their faith and confidence in communist ideals and the common goal of building Chinese socialism. We should also foster in them an accurate understanding of Chinese socialism in comparison with other social systems in the world and an objective and comprehensive knowledge of contemporary China and the outside world. We should cultivate their awareness of China's historical mission and the responsibilities of our time, and inspire them, through the Chinese Dream, to pursue their own dreams as their contribution to the causes of our country and our people, and to forge ahead as pioneers. Moreover, we should help them develop a correct understanding of how to integrate great ideals and practical work and stimulate them to achieve their dreams through diligence in acquiring knowledge and skills.

Education in political philosophy at universities and colleges should be adapted to the needs of the times, to new developments and to particular circumstances. We must be committed to improving our work and following the best ways to conduct education in political philosophy and to impart knowledge and foster high moral standards in the best interests of the students. As the main channel of such education, courses on political philosophy should be improved and reinforced, in order to have greater appeal to students and target their needs and expectations for development. Other courses should be coordinated with these courses to contribute to moral and political education.

We should accelerate comprehensive efforts to build a set of academic disciplines and high-quality textbooks of Chinese philosophy and social sciences, and establish a new academic discourse system and an authoritative and transparent system for evaluating the results of research in such fields towards a social science system with multiple levels, elements and facets.

More effort should be made to cultivate morality with a refined moral culture developed through a wide range of inspirational and constructive activities on campus as well as diversified experience of social practice. We should enliven our education by employing new media and new technology, and give it a stronger modern appeal by integrating the strengths of traditional education in political philosophy with information technology.

Teachers are the engineers of the human soul, who undertake the essential mission of molding minds. Preachers must have a thorough understanding of and a firm faith in what they preach. University and college teachers should first receive education themselves to become disseminators of advanced ideas and culture, strong supporters of CPC leadership, and mentors who can lead the students towards sound development. We must strengthen our teachers' ethics and standards, so that they integrate education with moral cultivation, teach by word and deed, devote their attention to both research and social issues, and adhere to academic ethics while enjoying academic freedom. We should encourage teachers to base their conduct, academic studies and teaching on ethics and standards.

To enhance China's higher education, universities and colleges must firmly uphold CPC leadership in higher education. Party committees of institutions of higher education must ensure that their institutions keep to the right path, lead the way in political philosophical education, and make sure that college graduates are prepared to contribute to and carry forward the socialist cause. Party committees should make education in political philosophy at universities and colleges a priority of their work, strengthen leadership and guidance in this regard, and coordinate all departments and parties concerned to combine their efforts.

Secretaries of local Party committees and Party leadership groups of departments concerned should pay more visits to universities and colleges, increase face-to-face communication and exchanges with teachers and students, and address their questions about theory and reality. Party secretaries should also strengthen contact and communication with academics at universities and colleges, give them more careand encouragement, establish and maintain friendships with them, and listen to what they have to say and take their views seriously.

Party committees at universities and colleges must exercise leadership in school work and enforce Party leadership and discipline at the school level. They are responsible for keeping their institutions on the right track, securing overall development and stability,and making major decisions and ensuring their implementation. We should strengthen grassroots Party organizations at higher education institutions, make innovations in their systems and mechanisms, and improve their ways of working, so as to improve their ability to carry out education in political philosophy. We should make sure that the admission of new Party members from among teachers and students of universities and colleges is done properly. We should also strengthen the education and management of Party members, so that all teachers and students with Party membership remain loyal to the Party, follow the Party's guidelines, and work for the Party.

Over the years, people working on education in political philosophy at higher education institutions have worked diligently in a spirit of dedication, making an important contribution to the development of higher education. On our road ahead we should widen the channel for selecting professionals to work in this field, strengthen their education and training by practice, and improve the incentive mechanism. We should make an all-out effort to build a high-quality team of Party and administrative officials in higher education institutions, officials of Communist Youth League organizations, teachers of courses on education in political philosophy, teachers of philosophy and social sciences, counselors, class advisers, and psychological consultants, and we should ensure a steady supply of candidates for this work.


* Main points of the speech at a national conference on education in political philosophy at institutions of higher learning.

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