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Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

{Editor’s Note: Student informants are an institutional arrangement of the Chinese regime where the universities appoint students as informants to report to the school administration. Although on the surface the purpose is to collect information on academic activities, the student informants are the ears and eyes of the Communist Party authorities in the universities and are an important component of the university’s “ideological and political work.”

As early as the Cultural Revolution, the party committees at the universities organized the students to report on faculty members in their “battles against anti-party and anti-socialist gangs.” After the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, the regime systematically established student informants in key Chinese universities. In 2005, the arrangement was expanded to almost every university and even some high schools. Recent years have seen stories of student informants reporting on teacher’s so-called “reactionary” remarks. One example is Chinascope’s briefing: “Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance” {1}.

The article translated here is a guideline for hiring student informants. It is from the website of the Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, an average university in China.} {2}

A Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law

Article 1 This guideline is developed to mobilize the enthusiasm of undergraduate students to participate in the management of academic activities, (for the university), to provide a timely appraisal of information on academic affairs and management, and, further, to improve the quality of education.

Article 2 The Student Informant’ System is a system in which the Office of Academic Affairs, following particular standards and procedures, appoints undergraduate students to investigate academic activities, and collect and report teaching and management information.

Article 3 The criteria for selecting a student informant:

1. A love of the management of academic affairs, caring about the university’s teaching reform, and having a strong sense of service consciousness;
2. Being responsible, objective and fair, and is one who teachers and students trust;
3. Holds an excellent academic standing with an excess of capability;
4. Has good writing and verbal communication skills, has a strong sense of cooperation and is a team player;
5. Is familiar with the university’s regulations on academic activities and teaching management.

Article 4 In principle, each administrative class shall have one student informant with minimal personnel change. The selection process is as follows:

1. Each class recommends the candidate. After that, the college goes through a review and an approval process. The candidate must fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form.” After the university approves the application and it is stamped with the college’s official seal, it can be submitted to the Office of Academic Affairs.
2. The Office of Academic Affairs will then publicize the list of candidates on the university’s website. For candidates that receive no objection after this exposure, the University appoints them as the student informants and issues a letter of appointment.
3. The Office of Academic Affairs can directly renew the appointment of excellent student informants (skipping step 1 and 2).

Article 5 The term of the offer is, in general, one year.

Article 6 Student informants shall perform the following duties:

1. Collect and report issues in everyday academic activities, especially classroom teaching and academic management; make suggestions to and communicate with academic management;
2. Collect and report issues in teaching facilities, equipment and its management, and on the sanitation of surroundings;
3. Collect and report issues on exam schedules, exam methods, exam contents, exam ethics, and the performance of informants;
4. Collect and report issues in the selection and distribution of teaching materials, as well as settling accounts for teaching material payments;
5. Assist the Office of Academic Affairs in conducting classroom teaching quality evaluations;
6. Collect and report on other academic activities.

Article 7 Student informants shall perform their duties diligently, collect and report all kinds of teaching activities and academic management information at least three times each semester, fill out the “Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form,” and submit it to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Article 8 At the end of each school year, the Office of Academic Affairs shall conduct a performance review of the student informants. After passing the assessment, the student informant can get two extra curriculum credits; for those who actively participate in the teaching management work with outstanding performance. The Office of Academic Affairs will issue the Excellent Student Informant certificate and offer an award.

Article 9 For those who are irresponsible and who fail to perform their duties as a student informant, they will be dismissed following the completion of the performance assessment.

Article 10 The Office of Academic Affairs is responsible for the interpretation of this guideline.

Article 11 The guideline shall be effective on the date of issuance.

Enclosures:

1, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law Undergraduate Student Informant Registration Form
2, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Teaching Information Feedback Form
3, The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law University Student Informant Evaluation Form

Endnotes:
{1} Chinascope, Professor in Exile: Chinese Universities Are under Strict Surveillance, October 1, 2018.
http://chinascope.org/archives/16286.
{2} The Zhongnan University of Economics and Law website, “Guideline for Implementing the Student Informant System at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law,” April 20, 2015.
http://jwc.zuel.edu.cn/2015/0420/c5866a5930/page.htm.

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