University authorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region have vowed to oppose the threat of terrorism on campuses and emphasized the importance of political and ideological education, local media reported Tuesday.
"Students who are not politically qualified won't be allowed to graduate," Xu Yuanzhi, Party secretary with Kashi Normal University in Kashi, told Xinjiang Daily, adding that teachers could also be affected, for example by being demoted.
Xu said that it's more important for students to be politically qualified because of the prefecture's geographical position.
The principals and the Party secretaries in local universities agreed that the education system is one of the main battlefields against separatism, so being politically qualified is the prime request.
University students should safeguard ethnic unity and oppose separatism and that is the most important task of Xinjiang universities, said Li Zhongyao, Party secretary of Xinjiang University.
The remarks were made at a recent meeting to promote the mass line campaign among local university principals and Party secretaries.
Willi Barati, president of Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi, said that if students are found to be wearing religious clothing should be dealt with in a timely manner, according to the report.
The three forces, terrorism, separatism and extremism, are infiltrating extremist religious thoughts to universities, said Tashpolat Tiyip, the president of Xinjiang University, adding that their proponents' strategic step will be to gather strength to fight against China to win over the next generation.
Zhang Yuxia, associate professor of Chinese language and culture at Xinjiang University, also in Urumqi, told the Global Times Tuesday that after the riots in the city in July 2009 when 197 people died and more than 1,600 people were injured, students have more negative emotions.
This requires teachers to pay more attention to students in Xinjiang, such as keeping a record of their whereabouts during holidays, said Zhang.
"How to educate students to be politically qualified is important, because otherwise students will get bored of this. Students of Han people will think they are always politically qualified without being educated, and those of Uyghur ethnicity will think the political education is targeted at them," Zhang said.The situation in Kashi prefecture is more complicated and thus college leaders and teachers have more pressure, which explains why there are stricter rules in place, said Zhang.
Manzira, a student of Uyghur ethnicity at Xinjiang Agricultural University said the education is necessary.
"Only by being politically qualified, can we become a good citizen and serve society better," she said.
Li Wensheng, a teacher with Urumqi Vocational University, said that it is necessary to educate students to be politically qualified because young students, who know little about the complicated society, can be more easily used by terrorists or separatists.
"Some people make use of the fact that some students are religiously pious and misguide them into taking extreme actions," Li said Tuesday.