China to conduct ideological audit of top universities

Beijing, Feb 23 (IANS) China has announced some of its top universities will face inspections to ensure they are running in line with the ideology of the Communist Party of China, as part of a government campaign to reinforce its control over the academic sector.

The new measure will cover 29 universities, including the prestigious Bijing University, Tsinghua University — both located in the capital — according to a statement published late Wednesday by the CPC’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

In the statement, the commission called for following the principles mentioned by President Xi Jinping during a speech in December, in which he asked the central universities to adhere to the party’s leadership, which requires that higher education must be guided by the principles of Marxism, Efe news reported.

The new measure aims to ensure the universities follow the CPC’s leadership, with Xi as their core leader, and will also monitor possible cases of corruption in the universities, and other government and provincial organisations and institutions, added the statement.

The commission, headed by Wang Qishan is among the principal organisations in Xi’s anti-corruption campaign.

Several experts consider the campaign — launched by Xi immediately after he took office — to be a tool to crack down on opposition and consolidating his power.

All universities in China are under the control of the CPC, essentially the Chinese government, which strictly monitors the selection processes and ensures the education standards comply with the government guidelines.