Deeply rooted in the time-honored tradition and legacy of Tongji University, the School of Marxism pursues excellent academic research, profound and far-reaching social consequences and higher educational standards. Up to now, with a comprehensive and sophisticated system of administration in place, the school has built a strong faculty with rational echelons of teachers and researchers, having laid a solid groundwork for further disciplinary development. The most recent decade has witnessed a growing body of important research outcome and substantial teaching reform and a steady yet striking turnout of outstanding students. Equally striking is the remarkable contribution the school has made to theorizing and publicizing the ideas and ideals advanced by the central and local governments and relating them to the university and beyond, having perfectly fulfilled its obligation of serving the community in particular and the society by and large and having therefore won wide acclaims from both within the academic sphere and without.
The school takes as its central educational philosophy “cultivating man of civic virtues and moral integrity”,striving to edify the students here into open-minded, enterprising, accountable and qualified personnel who are capable of shouldering the task of socialist construction and who are poised to perform their future work with Marxism as an analytical instrument or who are positioned to contribute to further Sinicizing Marxism by taking into account the Chinese reality.
In terms of history, the school took shape in November, 2008 and secured its present status as an independent school in April, 2009. And in June, 2016, it made its way into the first batch of Model Marxism Schools selected from among the universities in Shanghai, having successfully earned more solid support for its construction on all fronts. In January, 2017, the school’s key academic discipline of Marxist theory was measured up to the benchmarks for the peak discipline among its cohorts in Shanghai. In March, 2018, the school was granted the right to enroll undergraduate students majoring in Marxist theory with BA degrees. In May, 2019, its key discipline earned the first-order status and the school commenced its Ph.D. program to train research students in the direction of Marxist theory. And in July, 2019, it ranked among the third batch of national key Marxism schools. In February, 2020, the school was designated to be jointly constructed by both the university and the Department of Publicity, Shanghai Municipal Government.
The school, as a second-tier independent teaching and research institute, is home to all faculty members who are tasked with teaching all the courses, obligatory or optional, on ideological and political thought to the whole body of students from the university and with conducting relevant research and providing social service.
The school adopts transparent, democratic and sound mechanisms to make decisions. So far in order to meet the practical needs and demands concerning the teaching of and researching on ideological and political thought, it has set up six teaching and researching units (T&RUs): they are respectively the T & RU for Introduction to Xi Jinping’s New-Era Theory on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; the T & RU for Mao Zedong Thought and the Theoretical System of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics; the T & RU for Introduction to Modern and Contemporary History of China; the T & RU for Moral and Ethics and the Rule of Law; the T &RU for Current Affairs and Policies.Affiliated to the school are 6 administrative and academic divisions: The Academic Committee; the Disciplinary Construction Board; the Teaching Board; the Faculty Recruitment Panel; the Faculty’s Performance and Conduct Assessment Panel and the Student Enrolment Panel. The school also has in place the Integrated Office; the Teaching Affairs Office and the Student Affairs Office in order to provide quality service to teachers and students alike.
Over the past decade, the school has gradually formed a complete higher education system with its degree-awarding programs ranging from BA degree with a major in Marxist theory to the first-order disciplinary-level MA degree with the same major and the doctoral degree in the same research orientation. It also hosts post-doctoral research projects admitting of research fellows in residence carrying out cross-or trans-disciplinary studies in Marxist theory, enriching and embodying the existing wealth of Marxism with potential implication for, or relevance to, China’s socialist construction.
The school very proactively reaches out to social-network with the counterparts from other universities across China and beyond to ameliorate the effect of teaching and to fully marshal and utilize related research resources so as to better serve more institutions and communities of practice. For instance, it now boasts of a national-level Marxism-related Course-preparing Center operating in collaboration with Hainan Province; a Model Center for Teaching and Research on Ideological and Political Thought Courses under the direction of the Education Ministry of China; the National University-wide Center for Research on the Chinese Communist Party’s Founding Spiritual Legacy Tong University Division; Shanghai Municipal Center for Research on Xi Jinping’s New-Era Theory of Socialist Thought with Chinese Characteristics Tongji University Division. These national- and provincial-level teaching and research platforms and institutions in sync with its other eight interdependent yet individuated research centers solidly shore up the school’s disciplinary and trans-disciplinary studies.
The school shoulders the duty of offering all courses related to ideological and political thought to students of each and every major of the university at different academic stages. In the process of exploring efficacious teaching approaches around the educational philosophy “cultivating man of civic virtues and moral integrity”, the school has gradually fashioned its own special characteristics and made considerable achievements. It now has two national-level first-class undergraduate courses; one ministerial-level quality on-line course; two Shanghai Municipal-level quality courses; three Shanghai Municipal-level key courses; one university-level quality course. In 2019, the school won one Special Prize and one First Prize in the first national demonstration class competition on teaching ideological and political education courses. In the same year, the school also got one Special Prize, one First Prize and one Second Prize, respectively, in the municipal university-wide competition on teaching courses on ideological and political theories in Shanghai. In 2020, it scored three First Prizes and one Second Prize in the contest of the same kind.
The school has developed a balanced faculty structure, with 19 professors, 26 associate professors in place, among its total of 88 teachers. Out of the whole faculty, now 18 teachers have been accredited to supervise doctoral candidates and 33 ones to direct MA candidates for research. One teacher has been awarded the honorary title of national distinguished teacher; one has been designated as the expert on Central Government’s Marxist Theory Research and Construction Project; two teachers are serving as board members at the Education Ministry’s Advisory Board on Higher Education’s Courses on Ideological and Political Theories Teaching; one has been appraised as the national university-wide standard-bearer of teaching courses on ideological and political theories. In addition, one teacher is selected as teaching expert; one as teacher of great impact in teaching courses about ideological and political theories; and three as nominees for great honors. What is worthy of notice is that currently there are 6 teachers chosen as the best candidates to be funded among almost all middle-aged and young teachers in this field in universities across China. Likewise, at the level of Shanghai Municipality, the school has 4 teachers serving as the board members at Shanghai Higher Education Advisory Board on Teaching Courses on Ideological and Political Theories; 3 teachers working as panelists at the Shanghai Municipal Disciplinary Appraisal Panel; and 3 having won the title of distinguished teachers in teaching ideological and political courses in Shanghai; 4 selected as “distinguished talents among the middle-aged and the young” for teaching and research on Marxist theory in Shanghai; and one Shanghai Municipal Distinguished Teacher’s Studio on Ideological and Political Theories.
Holding high the great banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics and taking Xi Jinping’s New-Era Theory of Socialist Thought with Chinese characteristics as the central guidance, the School of Marxism steadfastly and dauntlessly adheres to the principle of “discoursing on Marxism at the School of Marxism”, and to the educational philosophy of “cultivating man of civic virtue and moral integrity”. It is now endeavoring to achieve the perfect edifying effect, high theoretical relevance and accessibility when instructing on ideological and political theories. It is sparing no effort to upgrade its research level and its capability of constructing the discipline so as to enhance the communication of Sinicized Marxist theory and to enlarge its influence in the international arena.
In sum, the School of Marxism adopts the core precept of “grounding the school in political thought, building the school on institutions, strengthening the school through research and talents” and embraces serving the local and national development strategies as its overriding mission. It is fully committed to forging the students here into highly qualified personnel of civic virtues and moral integrity with firm political belief, solid foundation of Marxist theory, creative mind, enterprising spirit, and action ability. It will, as always, follow the ideological and political guidance, combine moral mind with academic training, take advantage of the university’s unique strength in technology to explore new teaching approaches and techniques, seek teaching and research excellence and gradually but steadily shape the school into an important base, with Tongji University-specific features, Shanghai’ local colors and measurable national influence.
(All data noted above collected by September 30, 2022)