Central University Of Nationalities

Central University of NationalitiesChina is a unitary and multi-national country. Apart from the Hans, there are 55 minority nationalities. They account for about 8percent of the total population and are distributed widely over 50 to 60percent of the total area of the country.

The Chinese Government has paid much attention to training cadres from the minority people. Early in 1941, during the Anti-Japanese War, an institute of nationalities was set up in Yan’an to bring up minority cadres to serve the Chinese revolution. After liberation a dozen and more such institutes were established in Beijing and elsewhere for training minority cadres.

Since its opening in June 1951, the Central Institute for Nationalities in Beijing has trained over 10,000 students. It has an enrollment of 1,400 students from 53 different nationalities. Fifity-four nationalitites are represented in the institute including the faculty and staff members. There are 5 departments in the institute:

1. Cadre-Training School
The Cadre-Training School takes in cadres from minority regions from the township level up. They are sent here in turn to raise their theoretical level in Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought. The training period for these cadre-students is one to one and a half years. They get their regular pay during this period and return to their original posts after finishing the required courses.

2. Political Department
Its main task is to train cadres specialized in theoretical and pub-licity work for the minority people. The schooling period is four years.

3. Language Department
This department trains language workers and translators. It is divided into five sections specializing in Tibetan, Uygur, Korean, Mongolian and Kazakh languages. The length of schooling for this department is three years. Most of the students are from minority nationalities, but a number of Han students learning minority languages are al-so admitted. Some 60 Han students are studying the Tibetan language here. They will serve the Tibetan people upon graduation.

4. Department of Arts
This department includes three sections: music, dance and fine arts. Students specialize in the study of the culture and arts of the minority people. They will become cultural and art workers in minority areas after three years of schooling. Unlike the other departments, this calls for some special qualifications and its trainees are relatively younger in age.

5. Preparatory School
Those minority students who lack adequate schooling due to historical circumstances may improve their general educational level and learn the Han language here for a short period before taking up regular courses or studying in other institutions of higher learning.
In addition, there is a research department devoted to the study of the history and actual conditions of the minority people.

Most of the students in the preparatory school come from minority nationalities including those inhabiting in remote border regions. A number of Han students learning the languages, culture and art of the minority nationalities will join the minority people in building up the border regions. Cadre trainees are given their regular pay by units from which they are sent. All the students enjoy free tuition and medical care. Customs of various nationalities are duly attended to. The institute has a separate canteen catering to the members of the ten nationalities who have an aversion to pork. On festival days of minority nationalities, the institute would make it possible for them to celebrate such occassions and to enjoy their favourite foods. Representatives of the other nationalities would come to offer their good wishes.
As a rule, the graduates will return to and serve in their home regions. Some will be assigned to units such as the Nationality Publishing House, the Central Nationality Song and Dance Ensemble, etc.

The Chinese Government pays much attention to training students of minority nationalities. During his lifetime Chairman Mao received representatives of the minority teachers and students of the institute on 14 occasions. Teaching programmes have been changed and social investigation has occupied a central place. All the courses are closely linked to the pressing needs of minority nationalities. Students not only study in the classrooms but also learn things from outside the school so as to combine theory with practice.

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