China establishes discipline inspection colleges to cultivate anti-corruption talent
Published: Oct 11, 2022 11:06 PM
Inspectors scrutinize village account books to combat economic corruption in Shouxian, Anhui Province on July 6, 2022. Photo: VCG

Inspectors scrutinize village account books to combat economic corruption in Shouxian, Anhui Province on July 6, 2022. Photo: VCG

Many universities in China have set up discipline inspection colleges or research institutes, which experts believed will help train talent for the country's further anti-corruption drive.

A new edition of the graduate education subject catalogue was issued in September, and discipline inspection and supervision has been added to the new catalogue, becoming a first-level discipline under the category of law.

Discipline inspection and supervision is a kind of activity whose main function is intra-party supervision and national supervision. At present, there is no discipline that takes the Party, the national supervision system and the discipline inspection and supervision system as its independent research object, Wang Xipeng, an associate researcher at the China Institute for Discipline Inspection and Supervision, said in an article published in the Journal of Southwest University of Political Science and Law. 

"In this sense, it should be an independent discipline in Chinese universities," Wang pointed out.

The establishment of relevant courses can improve the standardization and rule of law of discipline inspection and supervision, and improve the scientific level of anti-corruption work, a director of a local discipline inspection commission in Inner Mongolia, who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The discipline inspection and supervision system is a comprehensive and innovative theory integrating politics, the rule of law and management. Only by establishing the first-level disciplines parallel to politics, law, sociology and public security can students meet the requirements of the current anti-corruption work.

The Chinese people and the world have witnessed the determination and efforts of the CPC to fight corruption in the past 10 years, and the achievements were remarkable with the political environment of China overwhelmingly improved. "Our education system should respond to that as well," he said.

It should be noted that some organs and units are arbitrary in enforcing discipline and law enforcement, and some do not know how to perform their supervision duties. One of the important reasons for this is that the current discipline inspection and supervision is not specialized enough, and it lacks specialized discipline support, the director said. "Therefore, universities with resources can consider setting up relevant courses under the support of law schools."

Before that, many universities and research institutes had already attached great importance to construction of related classes, relying on each university's political science, law, Marxism and other advanced subjects to improve discipline cultivation. In August, the Ministry of Education announced that 16 universities will add discipline inspection and supervision undergraduate programs.

Since 2008, some universities have begun to explore the design of discipline inspection and supervision classes. In 2013, approved by the Academic Degree Commission of the State Council, the China University of Political Science and Law (CUL) adopted discipline inspection and supervision as an independent second-level discipline under political science for enrollment. In 2020, the graduate enrollment directory changed its name to "National Supervision" for enrollment, which consists of three research directions - national supervision theory, Party discipline inspection and China's supervision system.

The same month, Guizhou Normal University decided to set up an incorruptible culture research institute on the basis of the original research center. Different from the ordinary enrollment policy, this college is an independent enrollment school for scientific research, with its own faculty and resources, the director of the publicity department of the university told the Global Times on Tuesday.

According to incomplete statistics, there were more than 100 research institutions related to discipline inspection and supervision set up by universities and research institutes in China as of October 2022. 

In February, Inner Mongolia University became the first higher education institution in China to set up discipline inspection and supervision undergraduate programs.

According to the official website of the university, the undergraduate program of discipline inspection and supervision aims to cultivate high-quality interdisciplinary, professional and innovative professionals who are familiar with the basic knowledge of law and have the theoretical knowledge and practical ability of discipline inspection and supervision to promote the discipline inspection and supervision work in the new era.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the country has been fighting against corruption. Statistics showed that by the end of April this year, discipline inspection and supervisory organs nationwide had registered 4.39 million cases, and 640,000 people were given administrative punishments, according to data from the CPC's top disciplinary agency. The country's new requirements for anti-corruption have spawned the emergence of the discipline.

In August, Hainan University established the province's first college of discipline inspection and supervision. The Global Times learned from the university that the first group of 30 students was all selected from undergraduates of the class of 2021 whose grade point average at the end of the fall 2021 semester ranked in the top 30 percent of their original majors. The law school also provides one-on-one academic tutors for them and explores the integration of discipline inspection and supervision in curriculum setting and practice.

Setting up discipline inspection and supervision institutes is an urgent need to speed up the training of related talent and support academic research on discipline inspection and supervision, Ma Huaide, president of the China University of Political Science and Law, said on September 22. 

"With the deepening of comprehensive and strict governance of the Party and the deepening of the reform of the supervision system, the Party and the country are in urgent need of a large number of theoretical and practical personnel for discipline inspection and supervision," Ma said.

Zhu Haoning contributed to this story