On June 4, students from a number of independent institutions in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces held rallies, sit-ins and marches on campus, refusing to change the nature of operation of their independent institutions to vocational undergraduate programs. Under the pressure of the school wave, the education departments of Zhejiang and Jiangsu issued announcements to announce an urgent halt to the merger, and the students’ protest action achieved an initial victory. However, protests by thousands of students at Zhongbei College of Nanjing Normal University in Jiangsu Province were violently suppressed by police, and a number of students are currently missing.
Protests break out at independent colleges in Jiangsu and Zhejiang
The Ministry of Education of the Communist Party of China has issued a policy calling for the merger of independent colleges and vocational universities into vocational and technical universities, sparking this recent wave of student protests in several mainland provinces.
Students pulling banners and shouting slogans during a protest at Zhijiang College of Zhejiang University of Technology. (Internet photo)
On June 4 (June 4), the anniversary of the Tiananmen student movement, students protested at Zhijiang College of Zhejiang University of Technology, pulling banners on campus with messages such as “Publicly run general education, nothing else”. “Zhijiang students will never bow down, changing the name is unacceptable”, “30,000 tuition fees, 550 score line, not for this to switch to college”, etc. They demanded that “the transfer can be done, the public general education, refuse to work this “.
At the same time, parents collectively went to Zhejiang Education Bureau to express the same demands as the students.
On June 5, students from Hangzhou Business School of Zhejiang University of Technology marched on the campus to protest. They walked with an umbrella in their hands and shouted slogans such as “reject the vocational school, give me back the general school”.
The Hangzhou Business School called the police and blocked the students from leaving the campus, and also prevented the parents from entering the campus in solidarity. Many parents raged against the school outside the campus gates.
On June 6, there were disgruntled female students trapped inside the dormitory, saying that male teachers barged into the female dormitory at will and that there were many male teachers and staff outside the dormitory monitoring students’ movements; when they went out of the dormitory for dinner they had to be signed by the security guards looking at their photos.
Zhejiang independent colleges involved in this wave of student protests, and Hangzhou University of Electronic Science and Technology College of Information Engineering, Zhejiang University of Finance Oriental College, Zhejiang University of Technology and Commerce Hangzhou Business School, China University of Metrology Modern Institute of Science and Technology, etc..
On June 6, there was also a student protest at Zhongbei College of Nanjing Normal University in Jiangsu Province. Wu Hua (a pseudonym), a female student of the university, told Epoch Times on the evening of June 7 that the protest started on the evening of June 6, and many students gathered at the entrance of the teaching building, demanding the leaders to give an explanation, and chanting slogans such as “reject the vocational school, return me to the general school” at the protest site. The protest lasted until the early morning of June 8.
She said, the total number of students in the school is 8,000 to 9,000, and it is estimated that there are 3,000 to 4,000 people at the scene. Students also protested peacefully at the north entrance of the school and at the library.
Wu also described that many police officers came to the school last night, stationed inside and outside the school, about 200 people. “The school gates were sealed this morning, not allowing us to go out, and then the students and the auxiliary police and the security guards, started pushing and shoving. The auxiliary police were very violent with individual students, poured water on us and pushed us to the ground, then, many auxiliary police dragged one person to a place where a student was bruised and bleeding from the head. No students were arrested and taken away, but some were locked up in classrooms.”
She added, “We don’t necessarily go out of school because we’re going to cause trouble, they shouldn’t restrict this freedom for us.”
Thousands of students held out until the early morning of June 8, Wu said, after authorities issued a red-headed document to stop the transfer, at around 4 a.m. on the 8th, a large number of SWAT officers stormed directly into the school, beating students and spraying pepper water, and the campus is now sealed off and many students are missing. The authorities threatened the students on the grounds that the video was streaming to the extranet. Wu said that they did not have anyone on drugs (the police cracked down on the students with someone on drugs), nor did any foreign forces intervene.
On the evening of June 3, Zhijiang College official microblogging short article said that the College is currently working on a variety of transfer path research and study according to the national and provincial arrangements for the transfer of independent colleges, has not yet formed a specific program, but also to ask for more comments and suggestions. But the microblog closed comments, leaving only the school email.
And there are still 186 independent colleges like this on the mainland as of late January this year.
According to the “Implementation Plan on Accelerating the Transfer of Independent Colleges” released by the Ministry of Education of the Communist Party of China on May 18 last year, the independent colleges were required to develop a transfer plan by the end of last year, while promoting the transfer of a number of independent colleges, and mentioned three transfer paths including transfer to private, to public and termination. Among them, the transfer of independent colleges and high school, high school twinning, merging, transfer to become a vocational and technical university.
According to the official microblogging site “University Fresh” on June 4, many students expressed their dissatisfaction with the “transfer of Zhejiang IIT Hangzhou Business School”, which is a similar situation in many schools. The microblogging also attached various petitions and comments from students.
The students’ petition letter put forward five reasons for refusing to transfer, including the entrance score of 550 points; the school charges tuition fees of about 30,000 per year, 120,000 for four years; but after graduation, the academic credit network registration is first a general undergraduate, and then a vocational education undergraduate. This has a serious impact on the future employment of students, but also affects the students to graduate school, the examination App has not been able to find Zhejiang University of Technology Hangzhou Business School, etc.
The petition letter also makes it clear that if the school does not give a reasonable solution, it will launch a strike. If the summer vacation directly concealed from the students to set up a successful transfer, that students directly refused to pay tuition, and will take the legal right to assemble and march, if from the undergraduate to specialist, this degree do not want to stop.
On June 7, the petition of Zhongbei College of Nanjing Normal University in Jiangsu Province made three requests, 1. The information of graduates on the academic credit website will always be general undergraduate, not vocational undergraduate. The information on the website of the graduates will always be general bachelor’s degree, not vocational bachelor’s degree. It will remain unchanged now and forever; 2.
Zhejiang shouted to stop “transfer” Jiangsu followed up with a red-headed document
Under the pressure of this wave of Zhejiang, the Department of Education of Zhejiang Province issued a notice on June 5: “After studying and deciding, our province completely suspended the work of merging independent colleges and vocational colleges to transfer to vocational and technical universities.”
On June 6, Zhejiang University of Technology and Industry also issued an announcement saying that the school decided that Zhejiang University of Technology and Industry Hangzhou Business School would not merge with a higher vocational college to be converted into a vocational and technical university.
In reporting the above two documents, Punch.com did not mention the protesting school wave in Zhejiang.
In the evening of the 7th, the Global Times posted a one-sentence news story with a one-sentence picture of the announcement, “On June 7, the Education Department of Jiangsu Province issued an announcement that Jiangsu Province suspended the merger and transfer of independent colleges and higher vocational colleges.”
For now, at least the students of independent colleges in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces have won their protests, which ended with the official retraction of the order.
Wu said, “Turning a bachelor’s degree into a vocational bachelor’s degree, which is no different from a specialist, will definitely reduce the gold value of the diploma, and will have a great impact on our future examinations or job hunting, which is what we are not satisfied with.”
As a student who has taken the college entrance exam, I can fully understand the feelings of these independent students. They are discriminated against as vocational students. Now the pressure of work and further education is so great, and this kind of thing happened, so I can say that it is worse for them, I would also fight with all my might.
He said, “The root cause of this big issue is that the administrative and educational system under the Chinese Communist Party is used to changing every day and making sweeping changes, while jobs and graduate studies are highly linked to academic qualifications.