Cut ties between academic degrees and officialdom

Updated: 2014-07-03 11:17

By Li Yang (

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Government officials should end their blind pursuit of academic degrees, said an article in Southern Metropolis Daily. Excerpts:

Educational background is an important criterion to evaluate civil servants’ ability. But officials’ blind pursuit of higher education also causes new problems. A survey in Dongguan, Guangdong province, showed that 61 percent of officials at county-level and above have master’s or doctorate degrees, of whom, 68 percent obtained their degree after entering government.

A popular concept among officials in Guangdong is that bachelor’s degree holders can work as township officials, master’s are qualified for county-level posts and doctorate degree holders for city-level seats.

It is necessary for civil servants to have professional knowledge and training, especially for posts related to economy, law, environment, public health and education.

But the tendency should not go to extremes.

The problem is that some higher education institutes, which are under the administration of and funded by governments, feel the need to award academic degrees to officials, even if they do not qualify to receive the degrees.

Underpaid professors and the universities can then have better access to the financial and social resources that are controlled by those officials.

The universities’ lack of independence has negative influences on society. The central government and educational authorities must make joint efforts to correct this wrong connection between education and officialdom.