Guo Qiyong: The Humanistic Spirit of Universities is Being Lost with Each Passing Day

Guo Qiyong, Dean of School of Chinese Classics at Wuhan University and eminent authority on Chinese philosophy, recently published a scathing critique of the Chinese education system titled “The Humanistic Spirit of Universities is Being Lost with Each Passing Day.” Guo identifies three trends that harm humanities education:

  1. Quoting a parable from Mencius, Guo criticizes today’s academics who forget their role to speak truth to power.
  2. “Humanities education is replaced or supplanted by political education, and squeezed or obscured by professional education.” It makes it impossible to convey or release the humanistic spirit and its message to society. One solution is that Chinese students should receive a basic education in traditional Chinese culture from an early age.
  3. Campus environment – not only the physical environment, but also the need to restore the connection between students and faculty.

He concludes: “As I said 15 years ago, the humanistic spirit of the universities is being lost under the clutches of government and businesses. Over the past 15 years, it’s gotten even worse. I hope that, with my colleagues, we can make things better despite knowing that the task is impossible”

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