“Opinions concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Propaganda and Ideology Work in Higher Education Under New Circumstances”
The “Opinion concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Propaganda and Ideology Work in Higher Education Under New Circumstances”, published today, is the latest of a series of documents aimed at imposing stricter political discipline and control in China’s academia. The original document has not been published. The following is a translation of Xinhua’s summary.
The Central Committee General Office and the State Council General Office have recently issued the “Opinions concerning Further Strengthening and Improving Propaganda and Ideology Work in Higher Education Under New Circumstances”. The “Opinion” emphatically points out that ideological work is an extremely important work of our Party and our country, higher education is a forward battlefield in ideological work, and shoulders the important tasks of studying, researching and propagating Marxism, fostering and carrying forward the Socialist core value system, and providing talent guarantees and intelligent support for the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Doing higher education propaganda and ideology work well and strengthening the construction of the higher education ideological battlefields are strategic projects, steadfast projects and projects of casting souls, they relate to Party leadership over higher education, relate to the comprehensive implementation of the Party’s educational policies, relate to successors for the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and have an extremely important and profound significance for consolidating the guiding position of Marxism in the ideological area and consolidating a common ideological basis for the united struggle of the entire Party, the entire country and all the people.
The “Opinion” consists of seven parts: I, Strengthening and improving higher education propaganda and ideology work is a major and urgent strategic task; II, guiding ideology, basic principles and main tasks; III, realistically promoting the entry of the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics into textbooks, classrooms and minds; IV, Forcefully raising the ideological and political quality of higher education teaching teams; V, incessantly expanding higher education mainstream ideology and public opinion; VI, Striving to strengthen management of the higher education propaganda and ideology battlefield; VII, Realistically strengthening Party leadership over higher education propaganda and ideology work.
The “Opinion” points out that, under the firm leadership of the Party Centre, the higher education ideology front persists in the correct political orientation and public opinion direction from beginning to end, the ideological and political education of university students has clear achievements, the ideological and political quality of teachers is clearly rising, higher education ideology theory construction has seen new advances, propaganda and ideology battlefield management is strengthened incessantly, Party Committees have unified leadership, structures and mechanisms for joint management by the Party, governments and the Youth League have been progressively perfected, making important contributions to running and education that satisfies the people and safeguarding the bigger picture of reform, development and stability. The mainstream of the higher education propaganda and ideology field is positive, healthy and upward, the broad teachers and students give their wholehearted support to Party leadership, they have full faith in the Party Centre with Xi Jinping as General Secretary, and are brimming with confidence concerning the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the realization of the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
The “Opinion” points out that the guiding ideology for strengthening and improving higher education propaganda and ideology work under new circumstance is: hold high the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, take Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought and the scientific development view as guidance, deeply implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress and its 2nd and 3rd Plenums, deeply implement the spirit of the series of important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping, comprehensively implement the Party’s education policies, strengthen political consciousness, sense of responsibility, sense of the battlefield and sense of the baselines, take virtuous education as the basic task, take deeply moving forward with the entry of the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics into textbooks, classrooms and minds as the main line, take raising teaching teams’ ideological and political quality and teaching abilities as the basis, take strengthening higher education online battlefield construction as a focus point, vigorously foster and practice the Socialist core value system, incessantly persist in firmly broadening teachers’ and students’ self-confidence about the path, self-confidence about the theory and self-confidence about the system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, foster builders and inheritors of Socialism that are comprehensively developed in virtue, wisdom, body and beauty.
The “Opinion” points out that the basic principles of strengthening and improving higher education propaganda and ideology work under new circumstances are: (1) persist in the principle of the Party spirit and strengthen responsibility. Realistically bear political responsibilities and leadership responsibilities, raise leadership levels, strengthen the ability to control, dare to grasp, dare to manage and dare to unsheathe the sword, ensure that people have the responsibility to protect the land, take the responsibility to protect the land, and fulfil the responsibility to protect the land. (2) Persist in putting education central, and moral education first. Put firm ideals and convictions first, persist in using the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm teachers’ and students’ mind from beginning to end, guarantee the Socialist orientation in education. (3) Persist in treating both root causes and symptoms, put the brunt on construction. Strengthen management according to the law, focus on strengthening institutional construction, build higher education into a strong battlefield for studying, researching and propagating Marxism. (4) Persist in reform and innovation, stress real results. Correctly grasp the ideological status of teachers and students, innovate work ideas, methods and means, integrate the resolution of ideological problems with the resolution of real problems, incessantly strengthen focus and effectiveness. (5) Persist in joint control and management, shape joint forces. Promote cooperation and coordination inside and outside of schools, support and participation from all of society, build a new structure of higher education propaganda and ideology work in higher education.
The “Opinion” points out that the main tasks of strengthening and improving higher education propaganda work under new circumstances are: (1) Strengthen ideals and convictions, deeply launch propaganda and education about Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese dream, strengthen the construction of ideology and theory in higher education, strengthen the construction of academic theory systems and academic discourse systems for higher education philosophy and social science with Chinese characteristics and the characteristics of the times, further strengthen theoretical identification, political identification and emotional identification, incessantly stimulate the huge enthusiasm of the broad teachers and students to throw themselves into the undertaking of reform and opening up, and concentrate hearts and minds to build the Chinese dream together. (2) Consolidate a common ideological and moral basis, forcefully strengthen education about the Socialist core value system, make fostering and carrying forward the Socialist core value system into a basic project for concentrating souls and energy, strengthening the basis and consolidating roots, carry forward a Chinese spirit, carry forward China’s traditional virtues, strengthen moral education and practice, improve the ideological and moral quality of teachers and students, internalize the Socialist core value system into hearts and externalize it into deeds, and make it become the value pursuit and conscious act of the whole body of teachers and students. (3) Expand mainstream ideology and public opinion, realistically strengthen higher education ideology guidance and management, expand and strengthen positive propaganda, strengthen national security education, strengthen education about a view of the country and the unity of the nation, manage the orientation well, manage the battlefield well and manage teams well, firmly resist infiltration by hostile forces, closely grasp the leadership power and discourse power in higher education ideology work, incessantly consolidate the guiding position of Marxism. (4) Promote cultural inheritance and innovation, build a university culture with Chinese characteristics that reflects the demands of the times, foster and carry forward a university spirit, build higher education into a demonstration area and source of radiation for the construction of spiritual culture, inherit and carry forward China’s excellent traditional culture, stimulate the construction of Socialist advanced culture, strengthen national cultural soft power. (5) Stand on the comprehensive development of university students, strive to build an education structure involving all persons, all processes and all directions, create long-term mechanisms for education through books, through practice, through scientific research, management and service, strengthen students’ sense of social responsibility, innovative spirits and practical abilities, comprehensively implement the basic task of virtuous education, strive to ensure education that satisfies the people.
The “Opinion” points out that we must realistically promote that the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics enters textbooks, enters classrooms and enters minds. It stresses that we must uniformly use focus teaching materials from the Marxist theory research and construction project, enter the uniform use of project focus textbooks into corresponding specialist training plans and education plans, make project focus textbooks into national-level focus plan textbooks, make the usage situation of project focus textbooks into an important content for educational evaluation. We must construct higher education ideology and political theory classes that students sincerely love and generate lifelong benefits, implement higher education ideology and political theory class construction system innovation plans, comprehensively deepen comprehensive reform of course construction, compile textbooks well, built teams well and grasp education well, and realistically run good ideology and political theory classes. Higher education must formulate ideology and political theory class construction plans, give preference to guaranteeing ideology and political theory class construction in terms of development plans, financial input and public resource use, and give full regard to ideology and political theory course teachers in areas such as talent training, research project establishment, awards and commendations, appointments (professional selection) and other such areas, ensuring the focus construction position of ideology and political theory classes in the higher education system. We must strive to strengthen the focus and effectiveness of university students’ ideological and political education, start projects to enhance the quality of university students’ ideological and political education, deeply launch education about Socialism with Chinese characteristics and the Chinese Dream, strengthen education about the history of the Party, the history of the country, and circumstances, tasks and policies, let the Socialist core value system merge into the entire process of higher education, perfect education about China’s excellent traditional culture, give high regard to education about the unity of the nation, vigorously launch propaganda and education about the Marxist view of ethnicity and view of religion, the Party’s ethnic and religious policies and corresponding laws and regulations, broadly launch all sorts of social practices and public interest activities, strengthen higher education mental health education and the construction of consulting and demonstration centres, and perform professional guidance and financial assistance work for students from households with economic difficulties. We must give full rein to the function of higher education in philosophy and social science, deepen educational and teaching reform in philosophy and social science, fully excavate ideology and political education resources in philosophy and social science courses, establish and complete philosophy and social science talent training and quality standard systems that conform to our national circumstances, formulate and implement national quality standards for teaching in Marxist theory, journalism and communication, law, economics, politics, sociology, ethnic studies, philosophy, history and other relevant specializations, start the implementation of fostering plants for outstanding Marxism theory talents, deeply implement fostering plants for outstanding journalism and communication talents and legal talents. We must enhance the leading rule of the Marxist theory discipline and implement pilot projects for the Marxism theory discipline, improve Marxism theory discipline evaluation methods, focus on the construction of a batch of Marxism theory research and construction innovation basis, compile a batch of core materials for disciplinary Marxism theory research, foster a batch of Marxism theory discipline leaders, train a batch of Marxism theory educators and focus on building a batch of Marxism institutes with a demonstrative influence.
The “Opinion” points out that we must forcefully raise the ideological and political qualities of higher education teaching teams. It stresses that we must strengthen teachers’ ideological and political work, unwaveringly use the theoretical system of Socialism with Chinese characteristics to arm teachers’ minds, further complete teachers’ political theory study systems, implement academic security training systems, deeply move forward with advanced study work of philosophy and social science teaching and research backbone and ideology and political theory backbone teachers, establish social practice and extra-mural detachment systems for middle-age and young teachers, and give high regard to developing Party members among excellent young teachers. We must firmly move forward teachers’ morality construction, implement higher education teachers’ professional ethical norms, perfect long-term mechanisms for teachers’ morality construction, implement veto systems for teaching morality, perfect and strengthen higher education study style construction methods, and complete investigation and prosecution methods for improper academic behaviour. We must strictly keep the teaching appointment and assessment politics gate and explore regular registration systems for teachers.
The “Opinion” points out that we must incessantly expand mainstream ideology and public opinion in higher education. It stresses that we must firmly move forward the construction of higher education ideology and theory, move forward the construction of higher education philosophy and social science innovation systems, vigorously participate in Marxist theory research and construction projects, strengthen the construction of the Research Centre for the Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and other such focus bases, establish and set up a batch of authoritative academic Marxist theory research journals, deeply implement the “Young Marxist Fostering Project”, foster a large batch of political cadres among young teachers and students, and bring up a line of ideology and theory construction teams with firm politics, profound accomplishments and a great influence. We must enhance the ability to research and respond to major questions, implement plants to move forward the construction of new kinds of higher education think tanks with Chinese characteristics, regularly launch surveys on the ideological and political status of teachers and students, establish and complete higher education philosophy and social science research classification and appraisal systems, and perfect evaluation mechanisms with quality and contributions as guidance. We must strengthen the construction of philosophy and social science academic discourse systems, organize the organization of lectures by famous higher education teachers, that famous theoreticians go into society and other such activities, promote higher education philosophy and social science to “march out”, support Chinese and foreign scholars to launch cooperative research around China’s development and major questions of a global nature. We must realistically do higher education news and propaganda work well, perfect structures for news information dissemination and news spokespersons, further enhance writing styles and work styles in higher education news and propaganda, establish joint propaganda mechanisms with three parties: higher education, propaganda departments and news media, to create a beneficial public opinion environment for higher education reform and development. We must innovate online ideology and political education, launch special trials for online culture construction on higher education campuses, forcefully move forward the construction of digitized school newspapers and periodicals, explore the establishment of accreditation mechanisms for excellent online articles in research achievement statistics and professional evaluation, strive to foster a batch of famous online teachers with the correct orientation and a broad influence, construct and run a batch of famous online websites and columns that stick close to teachers’ and students’ study and life based on campus websites, establish a line of online propaganda teams composed of students and young teaching backbones, create demonstration ideology and theory educational resource websites, student’s topical education websites and online interactive communities, and move forward the construction of new online media such as student coaching blogs, ideology and political theory course teachers’ blogs, educational affairs microblogs, public campus WeChat accounts, etc.
The “Opinion” points out that we must strive to strengthen higher education propaganda and ideology battlefield management. It stresses that we must strengthen campus cybersecurity management, strengthen the construction of higher education campus website unions, and strengthen the construction of higher education online information management systems. We must strengthen higher education classroom discipline, formulate rules to strengthen higher education classroom management, and complete classroom management systems. We must perfect propaganda and ideology battlefield management systems, strengthen higher education philosophy and social science achievement dissemination management, establish higher education publishing quality supervision and inspection systems, formulate he establishment of student communities and annual inspection systems, strengthen the management of teaching and research bodies specialized in religious studies and strengthen anti-superstition propaganda and education work on campuses.
The “Opinion” finally stresses that we must realistically strengthen Party leadership over higher education propaganda and ideology work. We must perfect higher education propaganda and ideology work mechanisms, higher education Party Committees must strengthen their political responsibility and leadership responsibility, Party Committee secretaries and heads of schools must stand in the first line of ideological work with clear banners flying, fully give rein to the leading core role of higher education Party Committees, persist in and perfect head of school responsibility systems under the leadership of Party Committees, establish and perfect work mechanisms with uniform leadership by higher education Party Committees, in which the Party, government and the Youth League grasps and manages affairs together, in close coordination with Party Committee propaganda departments, and participation from relevant departments and institutes (faculties), fully give rein to the role of institute (faculty) Party organizations in guaranteeing supervision, strengthen the construction of the Communist Youth League in higher education, accelerate the formulation and approval of higher education codes of conduct. We must jointly build strong higher education propaganda and ideology work teams, comprehensively plan and move forward with the construction of higher education Party and government cadres and Communist Youth league cadres, ideological and political theory course teachers and philosophy and social science teachers, tutors, class teachers, mental counselling teachers and other such propaganda and ideology work backbone teams, organize awards and commendations for advanced collectives and advanced individuals in the nationwide education system, persist in high standards for higher education propaganda and ideology work cadres, that the post of head of propaganda in higher education Party Committees is held by a standing committee member of the school’s Party Committee, and strengthen the fostering of higher education propaganda and ideology work talent. We must build a large structure for higher education propaganda and ideology work, all levels’ Party Committees and governments must, from the heights of strategy and the overall picture, fully understand the extreme importance and real urgency of strengthening and improving higher education propaganda and ideology work, put this work in an important position from beginning to end, and realistically strengthen leadership.