12 universities to establish “future technology colleges” scholars criticize the lack of academic freedom is doomed to failure

China’s Ministry of Education has announced that the first batch of 12 universities, including Peking University and Tsinghua University, will establish additional “future technology colleges”. According to official media reports, the “Future Technology Academy” will focus on “artificial intelligence”, “data science and big data technology” and other fields to promote the next 10-15 years to achieve technology products “Made in China”.

The U.S. embargo on China’s high-end technology areas such as semiconductors shows no signs of relaxation in the near future. In response, China’s Ministry of Education recently announced the establishment of “Future Technology Institutes” at 12 universities, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Tianjin University, and Northeastern University. In an announcement, the Chinese Ministry of Education said that the establishment of the Future Technology Academy is “to explore a new model for training future leaders in science and technology innovation. Aiming at disruptive technologies in the next 10-15 years, break through the routine, break through the constraints, break through the barriers, and focus on training forward-looking, leading future development of technology innovation leader talents.” Promote the transformation and upgrading from “Made in China” to “Created in China”.

In an interview with Radio Free Asia on Friday (28th), Mr. Jiang, an education scholar in Zhejiang Province, said that it would be difficult to achieve the goal of “China’s creation” if China’s current state of society, in which everything is political, was to be achieved.

“The reason is that Chinese universities, their academic standards are extremely low compared to Europe and the United States. For example, political hang-ups, in colleges and universities, the staff of party and government organs often occupy the top of the pyramid of power, which leads to outsiders leading insiders, as well as seniority, academic fraud, and even more deadly, the lack of freedom of speech, freedom of information, and the increasing number of no-go areas for speech.”

Xinhua reported on Thursday that Peking University’s School of Future Technology will build its discipline around two cutting-edge interdisciplinary disciplines of biomedical engineering and molecular medicine, with key research directions including biomedical imaging, molecular medicine, biomedical engineering, big data and biomedical artificial intelligence. Each year, 50 undergraduate students, 100 graduate students and 50 professional doctoral students will be recruited and trained.

How can Chinese researchers innovate when they don’t even have the freedom to access the Internet?

Mr. Jiang said that nowadays, even logging on to foreign websites has to go through a wall, telling how one can learn the advanced technology of the West. He lamented.

“Many foreign websites are not accessible, and many leading international scientific and technological information, research trends, you have to track up, but also more and more difficult. Because they all need to go over the wall to get access to this information. And the wall is now more and more difficult, the control is more and more tight. In addition, the spirit of originality and challenge is not encouraged, and these are the necessary qualities for the development of high technology.”

Jiangsu Internet commentator Ling Zhenbao told the station that Chinese universities must abandon redundant administrative departments if they want to innovate in science and technology: “Scientific and technological innovation depends on education, especially higher education. The main problem facing China’s higher education is de-administration. Without freedom of thought and academic freedom, it is very difficult, I think, to achieve high technology.”

Ms. Tong, a retired teacher in Beijing, told the station that looking back sixty years ago, when Sino-Soviet relations broke down, the Soviet Union withdrew its experts and destroyed drawings. Chinese scientists came up with the so-called “two bombs and one star”, and after the Cultural Revolution, looking back at history, it was discovered that the technology of the atomic bomb that China researched was originally a program brought back by scientists from the United States: “Where is the future of the Institute of Technology, which cannot even climb over the wall to browse foreign websites?”

Last year, several Chinese technology companies were included in the U.S. list of entities, they could not access U.S. technology, and some had to stop production. In the first half of this year, the U.S. further sanctioned Chinese semiconductor companies, including Chinese supercomputer entities such as Tianjin Feiteng Information Technology Company, Shanghai Integrated Circuit Technology and Industry Promotion Center, and the National Supercomputing Jinan Center, among others. Currently, China’s weakest area is in the field of semiconductors such as chips. Last year, China has been registered around the chip manufacturing enterprises, the results of the lack of European and American technology, within six months almost all lost. Chip companies have become “bad” enterprises.

Peking University, Tsinghua University and 12 other universities set up “future technology colleges”. (Web screenshot)