Chinese students clashed with security forces at a military school in eastern China over a dispute about their degrees. About fifty students were wounded in last week’s dispute at the Artillery Corps Institute in Nanjing. “They mercilessly beat the students” said Liu Qijun, parent of one of those sent to the hospital. The outbreak occurred when 1,000 civilian students who had paid about $7,000 in tuition fees were told they would only receive certificates of graduation rather than formal degrees which are vital when applying for higher income jobs in the modern Chinese economy.
One of the tragedies in China’s development as a modern nation is the inability of the media to report such incidents. The disturbance began when an officer at the Institute pushed a female student which incited other students to become angry. Many Chinese schools take in students for the money due to their poor financial situation and this frequently creates tensions at such Institutes. Officials at the Institute refused to meet with parents who has paid money they can not afford to spend and now face the prospect their child will have a certificate rather than a college degree.
Perhaps, it is time for China to cease allowing military Institutes to offer college level programs.