Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Enrollment Suspension Crisis of National Labor University

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Enrollment Suspension Crisis of National Labor University

Article excerpt

Abstract

In 1930 the Ministry of Education ordered National Labor University to stop recruiting students, which led to a series of incidents. There were complex reasons behind the Ministry of Education's action, which involved with groups beyond education and produced profound influences. The National Labor University Enrollment event was more than an education problem, and it also reflected the penetration of state power into the university, the internal clique conflictions in education field and parties, and the university's loss of independence.

Keywords: National Labor University, enrollment suspension, clique confliction

National Labor University (1927-1932) was the first national university established by Nanjing Kuomintang government after its foundation, and should have made a difference in the favor of Kuomintang government. At its early age, this university was strongly supported by four founding fathers (Wu Zhihui, Li Shizeng, Cai Yuanpei and Zhang Jingjiang), and directly funded by the central government, and thus strong in teacher strength. However, as the enrollment suspension happened, it underwent personnel changes, loss of fund, teachers and students, and eventually collapsed in 1932. The National Labor University Enrollment event was more than an education problem, and it also reflected the penetration of state power into the university, the internal clique conflictions in education field and parties, and the university's loss of independence.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Nation and Political Parties Had Penetrated into Education, and It Became Imperative to Reorganize the University

In 1927, the northern expedition made success, and Nanjing national government was established, and gradually stabilized its regime after many confused fighting between the warlords. Changes happened about the "laissez-faire" policy made by northern warlord's government in the field of education. In 1929 on the third national congress, Kuomintang formulated "the Three People's Education" principle, and the policy of earnestly conduction Party-oriented Education. The then deputy director of the Ministry of Education Ma Xulun said," The former China education policies were almost laissez-faire......as a consequence of laissez-faire, there were bad influences on six aspects, namely school qualities, school runners, teacher resources, teaching materials, enrollments and entering to a higher education. These six bad aspects led to four worse consequences, which could be disasters on three factors, namely individual, society and the whole nation. Given the failures of the past, we should make efforts to correct, change the laissez-faire, into rigorist." (Ma, 2010) The laissez-faire policy had produced many problems such as excessive open of private universities, decadent academic atmosphere, no education funds, cumbersome departments, disorderly curriculum, level low enrollment of students, as well as imbalance between liberal arts and science department, thus created conditions for the penetration of state power into education, and provided the premise to reorganize the university and improve the education quality. In addition, after his betrayal of the revolution, Chiang Kai-shek launched a party purge to prevent communism and other parties that might hindered its ruling party position from entering into university. He often gave blows to liberals and communists of the university in the name of reorganization. Independence of thoughts and academic freedom were at stake.

1.2 Clique Conflictions within Education System

Chinese intellectuals have always formed groups or cliques based on geopolitical reasons or learning reasons. Among many cliques within the education system, the powerful and influential ones are respectively the Anglo-American faction led by Cai yuanpei, and the French-Japanese faction headed by Li Shizeng. During the reign of northern warlord's government, struggle between the two parties became increasingly fiercer due to their battles in Peking University and Women's Normal University, and by the unreasonable removal of President Guo Bingwen of Southeast University from his office. …

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