Colleges Must Make Moral Compromises in Dealing with China

Jan 12, 2020 by

Image result for Stephen SchwarzmanAcademic institutions must grapple with the question of when engagement becomes complicity.

Shortly before its first-ever applications period was due to close, the Schwarzman Scholars program held an admissions seminar at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing.The elite China-based graduate program, funded by American businessman Stephen Schwarzman’s personal wealth and fundraising efforts and modeled after Oxford University’s Rhodes Scholarship, had recruited heavily from the world’s top academic institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and Cambridge. It would kick off its inaugural academic year in fall 2016, and was aiming for a cohort comprising the best students from China and around the world. To guarantee a “scientific and fair” admissions process, the program invited a group of experts to participate in the seminar.

The meeting, held on September 20, 2015, was attended not just by academics and administrators, but also by top Chinese Communist Party luminaries, including officials from the CCP’s Youth League, Central Party School, and the State Council, as well as a high-ranking member of the United Front Work Department—the party’s political-influence arm. These participants “conducted an in-depth discussion on how to select China’s future leaders,” according to an article posted to the Tsinghua University website. The fact that such officials helped guide the Schwarzman Scholars admissions process reflects both the importance China’s leaders ascribe to the program and the party’s desire to leave nothing to chance.

contune: Colleges Must Make Moral Compromises in Dealing with China – The Atlantic

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