Challenges of creating world-class universities in China

The obsession with internationalisation in China had resulted in priority being given to overseas scholars and graduates and has diminished graduates of many top domestic universities to second- or third-class status, writes Jia Song for Inside Higher Ed.

Creating ‘world-class universities’ is a national strategy of the central government of China. In October 2015, the State Council issued the “overall plan to push forward the world-class universities initiative and the first-class subject construction”. In October 2017, the ministry of education launched the final list of universities and subjects that would be funded by the world-class universities (WCUs) plan. Forty-two universities were selected for world-class status and 108 subject areas at 137 universities were selected for preferential support. The WCU initiative emphasises the development of science and, as a result, the humanities face a crisis.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has emphasised that Chinese WCUs should serve the socialist system and insisted on the guidance of Marxist theories. The president has pointed out that academics have responsibility for creating subjects and textbooks reflecting Chinese philosophy and social science and that they should try to exert a greater influence in global academic society; otherwise university students will be overly influenced by the Western ideology and values that permeate the textbooks edited by Western scholars.
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site