context: Tighter supervision of administration at universities is increasingly the norm, as is an even wider role for the Party in campus matters. Now, in what may well be a general trend in higher education, a major municipality announced that even candidates looking to enter colleges and having to ensure the rigours of the gaokao will have yet another gauntlet to run.

Chongqing Municipal Education Examination Institute announced that the registration and evaluation processes for this year’s college entrance examination will include a political component, and those who fail will not be considered for admission to colleges and universities.

Chongqing Daily reports that the test will examine local candidates’ political, ideological and moral character and previous practical contributions, to determine whether they are ‘qualified’ or ‘unqualified’, based on at least one of the following

  • opposing the Four Cardinal Principles (upholding the socialist path, the people’s democratic dictatorship, the leadership of the Communist Party, and Mao Zedong Thought and Marxism-Leninism)
  • possessing bad moral character
  • committing any crimes

The school or unit where candidates are located will make a comprehensive appraisal of candidates’ political attitude, ideological and moral character, the article notes, as well as their study and work performance. In addition, public security departments and colleges will re-examine candidates when they apply for military police, public security or other government vocational schools.

For candidates who have been punished by law or have violated discipline, the unit shall provide the facts of the mistakes made, opinions on how to deal with them and materials on how to recognise and correct those mistakes. The article notes that the new guidelines say those who conceal or falsify results of candidates’ political and moral examination will bear legal responsibility for misreporting.