Beijing vies for greater control of foreign universities

The Chinese Communist Party has ordered foreign-funded universities to install party units and grant decision-making powers to a party official, reversing an earlier promise to guarantee academic freedom, as President Xi Jinping strengthens political control over all levels of education, writes Emily Feng for the Financial Times.

More than 2,000 education joint ventures between Chinese and overseas universities have been established since 2003, when they were first allowed. Some, such as New York University Shanghai or University of Nottingham Ningbo China, have their own campuses. Others, such as the University of Pittsburgh’s collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, operate institutes within a Chinese campus.

According to the directive from the education ministry, party secretaries at each education joint venture will be given vice-chancellor status and a seat on the board of trustees, two people briefed on the new regulations told the Financial Times. The directive was drafted by the party’s Organisation Department, which oversees appointments to top party and government posts.
Full report on the Financial Times site