In recent years, scandals such as plagiarism of papers and finding ghostwriters to write papers on behalf of students have been occurring in Chinese academia. Recently, Kyoto University in Japan cancelled a Chinese doctorate for academic misconduct, the first time in the university’s 124 years of existence. On May 28, Shanghai Electric Power University announced on its microblogging site that it had dismissed Jin Jing, who is now teaching Japanese in the School of Foreign Languages at the University.
According to media reports, recently, the net rumor is that “Kyoto University in Japan has cancelled a doctoral degree for the first time due to academic misconduct”. According to the netizens, Jin Jing’s doctoral dissertation on the return of pronouns in Japanese and Chinese, which was published in 2012, was plagiarized. She was awarded a doctorate by Kyoto University after publishing the dissertation in 2012 and successfully graduated from the university. in 2019, Kyoto University launched an investigation after someone reported her dissertation for alleged plagiarism. in August 2020, Kyoto University confirmed that the dissertation did not clearly mark nine citations, borrowed others’ ideas and other total 11 improprieties, so it was deemed plagiarism.
On May 25, Kyoto University announced the cancellation of Jin Jing’s doctoral degree. The head of the university also held a press conference on the incident and bowed in apology to the society.
The incident sparked heated debate on mainland social media. More information about Jin Jing was turned up by netizens. According to the official website of the School of Foreign Languages at Shanghai Electric University, Jin Jing, female, was born in 1979. “In 2012, she graduated from Kyoto University, Japan, Graduate School of Human Environmental Studies, majoring in Symbiotic Civilization, and received her Ph. In May 2013, she joined Shanghai Electric Power University and worked as a teacher in the Department of Japanese in the School of Foreign Languages”. During his tenure, he was mainly engaged in the comparative study of Chinese and Japanese grammar, and published many articles in the publications such as “Eastern Academic Forum”, “East Asia Japanese Language Education and Japanese Culture Studies”, and “Minutes of Lectures on History and Culture Society”. He has received several honorary titles from the university, and has presided over a university-level educational reform project and participated in writing a textbook.
On May 26, Shanghai Electric Power University (SEPU) said that it has paid attention to the public opinion about Jin Jing and is investigating. on May 28, SEPU terminated Jin Jing’s appointment with immediate effect.
Public information shows that Kyoto University is the second Japanese national university after the establishment of the University of Tokyo, because there have been 11 Nobel Prize scholars, the university is known as the “cradle of scientists”.
In the 124 years since the establishment of Kyoto University, there has never been a case of doctoral degree revocation due to academic misconduct. Therefore, many Chinese media, when reproducing the Japanese news report, emphasized that the revocation of Jin Jing’s doctoral degree by Kyoto University was “the first time in the 100 years since the establishment of the university”.
Regarding the cancellation of Jin Jing’s doctoral dissertation, Hong Shihong, a professor at Hannan University in Japan, believes that many Chinese academic researchers have gone abroad and are unable to keep up with the international academic atmosphere, so there are many problems like academic ethics and moral bottom line, in fact, Chinese students should be open-minded to learn and keep up with international standards.
Hong Shihong said that a PhD degree is a knock on the door to find a job in China and has a strong utilitarian nature. Chinese universities compel students to produce as many papers as they can and publish in journals of which grade, and even encourage them to publish abroad. As a result, researchers have to pay for the opportunity to publish abroad in order to get more points. This practice is unscientific and violates the natural rules of academic research, and also seriously interferes with academic freedom; in addition, Chinese universities unilaterally pursue degrees, and a doctoral degree is the minimum requirement for teaching in a university, and a doctoral degree for promotion to professor or associate professor is also the bottom line, which is a very unreasonable practice. In Japan, on the other hand, degrees are not so important. He cited the recent recruitment of teachers in his school, but there is no requirement to propose what degree teachers must be.
Hong Shihong continued to point out that in Japanese universities as teachers, basically a master’s degree is enough, and some places do not even require a master’s degree, all depends on the ability of the candidate or the needs of the school, so the school has a lot of autonomy and freedom. Japan is because of the long history of university autonomy, as well as the tradition of academic freedom, so that Japan has produced more than 20 Nobel Prize winners over the years, and the largest number of Nobel Prizes in Kyoto University.