BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's top universities should not copy the standards of their Western counterparts in the new push for excellence through the country's Double World Class project, a university's Party secretary said Tuesday.
"The selected universities must represent Chinese characteristics while reaching world-class levels," said Xu Wu, Party secretary of the University of Science and Technology of China, based in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province.
"The most important thing is the adherence to Party leadership," said Xu, one of the more than 2,200 delegates to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which will open in Beijing on Wednesday.
"Universities must stick to the mission of training the builders and successors of the socialist cause," said Xu.
In September, China unveiled the Double World Class project aimed at building 42 world-class universities and several hundred world-class disciplines covering 95 universities.
Prior to the project, the Chinese government evaluated its universities via the "211" and "985" projects launched in the 1990s. The 211 project aimed to raise education standards in about 100 colleges and universities during the 21st century, hence the number 211, and the 985 project, named after its launch date in May 1998, endeavored to select the cream of the crop from those institutions.
According to Xu, the Double World Class project comes at a time when the 211 and 985 projects have already greatly bridged the gap between Chinese and international universities over the past two decades.