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Central inspections find faults at ministry, universities

This photo shows the entrance of the Ministry of Education in Beijing, China, March 14, 2018. (CAI YANG / XINHUA)

Central inspectors have notified the Ministry of Education and 31 universities of problems found in the latest round of discipline inspections, urging them to deepen education reform and promote high-quality development of higher education.

The seventh round of routine inspection was launched by the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee in April, targeting the Party units in the ministry and 31 top universities, including Tsinghua University and Peking University.

Fifteen teams of disciplinary inspectors spent around two months focusing on the oversight of the functions and responsibilities of Party organs in universities and major issues that hinder the high-quality development of higher education.

The main problems included insufficient implementation of the Party's education policy and the decisions of the CPC Central Committee on education as well as the new development concept, and the lack of an accurate grasp of education in the new era

The inspection report was deliberated at a CPC Central Committee Political Bureau meeting on Aug 31. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, presided over the meeting.

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The CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Supervisory Commission, the country's top discipline agencies, said on Sunday that major problems found during the inspection have been forwarded to the leaders of the ministry and the universities.

The main problems included insufficient implementation of the Party's education policy and the decisions of the CPC Central Committee on education as well as the new development concept, and the lack of an accurate grasp of education in the new era.

Ideological and political education was found to be weak in some universities, and the building of school spirit and teachers' ethics needs to be strengthened, according to the feedback.

Qin Bin, former deputy head of the supervisory commission of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, headed the inspection team to the Ministry of Education, the only ministry inspected in this round.

When notifying the ministry of problems in a meeting on Thursday, Qin said the ministry hadn't done enough to study educational work based on the requirements of the new era.

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He said the ministry's efforts to deepen reform in the education sector were not strong enough, and there is still a gap in addressing the urgent, difficult and worrying problems facing the public in terms of education.

The feedback to the universities showed that the subsidiary units of the universities, including university-owned enterprises, affiliated hospitals and cooperatively-run education programs, had integrity risks in the areas of infrastructure, logistic services, bidding and purchasing.

Three universities were found to have probity risks in research funding, while three others were found to be in violation of the eight-point regulation on improving Party conduct.

The inspection teams said they had received some clues of suspected breaches of disciplines by Party officials and leaders and had transferred them to the top discipline watchdogs for further handling.

The discipline inspectors ordered the Party committees of the ministry and universities to investigate and punish corruption in the education sector, improve the supervision mechanism for the exercise of power, and maintain strictness throughout the process of college reform.

They were told to deepen education reform, strengthen the governance system and capacity of universities, and promote high-quality development of higher education to cultivate students to be the builders and successors of socialism.

zhangyi1@chinadaily.com.cn