CHINA: Lax rules aid academic misconduct

The perception of academic autonomy and freedom in China has been distorted with many cases of misconduct reported, writes Professor Cao Xinglong on the China Law & Policy website. Cao says misuses of academic powers for illegitimate benefit such as money, honour and even sex have occurred yet only a small fraction has ever been officially verified or action taken.

China has established a system by which academia largely polices itself, and the law plays little to no role, Cao says. China requires the academic elite to meet high moral and conscience standards, avoiding misuse of administrative power. Yet in some cases, benefit always dwarfs the moral side. "In my view, the perception of academic autonomy and freedom has been distorted and unduly expanded. Academia should be under some rules, even if it impacts its autonomy. The process and procedure of academic activities, including faculty promotion, should be governed by law, a law that requires honesty and fairness."
Full report on the China Law & Policy website