Tuesday 25 June 2024

University applicants' morality is the 'second exam' before entering

You may remember the case of the highly intelligent, star-student, Xu, in China who wanted to take a masters degree at Lanzhou University's School of Nuclear Science and Technology. He was ranked first of all students during his professional course results and therefore was eminently qualified to begin a masters degree at this university. He passed the written exam with flying colours but according to this university failed the second exam which was to demonstrate the requisite degree of morality.

Xu was allegedly a known cat abuser. It had been fairly widely reported as I understand it that this candidate had allegedly abused and killed cats in his school dormitory and uploaded videos of his cruel acts online. Allegedly he is one of those people who enjoys hurting and killing cats and videoing it at the same time to publicise his cruelty. Most bizarre considering that this person is highly intelligent.

Clearly, intelligence does not always go with morality which is surprising since a lack of education is often a cause of a lack of morality or good behaviour.

Anyway, there are two exams in order to be allowed to enter a university to follow a course there; one is the written exam and the other is the moral exam.

And it appears that in a poll of I presume Chinese students, 90% agree that "graduate admissions should strengthen moral assessment". What that means is that assessing the morality of an applicant needs to be strengthened in future applications. It isn't just about being intelligent enough and getting top marks.

The Global Times remarks that "Good grades may be a sign of being a good student but they certainly do not equate to good character. A student with poor character but good academic performance may pose a significant threat to society in the future."

The statement indicates that universities should also be focusing on developing young people to become useful citizens within society. The role of university is to develop students holistically as I see it. The academic side is obviously the primary target but there's also the morality side on developing students with good character.

The suggestion is that admissions brochures at universities should make this clear. The need to tell applicants that moral character is crucial universities when selecting talented applicants.

Some might argue that it is indeed more important to excel "in the invisible exam of moral character outside the examination hall" as stated by the author of the Global Times article to which I have referred in writing this article.

There is one postscript point to make in this short article which is this. China is known for its animal abuse because there are no animal welfare laws in China of note. 

And therefore it is doubly interesting to see this university focusing on moral character in the context of animal abuse in order to select suitable applicants. 

It's interesting that they find it unacceptable that a person who abused cats should be a student at their university. 

And yet there is a well publicised dog festival in Yulin, China, which takes place annually, during which dogs are horrendously abused and killed in the most brutal way. 

How can we reconcile this legalised and formal acceptance of animal abuse in full view of everybody including news media cameras while at the same time this university makes a stand against animal abuse? 

It seems that Chinese society is somewhat schizophrenic but perhaps it is a sign that Chinese society is developing into being more animal welfare aware.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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