In 1927, Ts'ai Yüan-p'ei, one of China's eminent intellectuals in the first half of the twentieth century, initiated a program to reform Chinese education. In June of that year, the leaders of the Kuomintang government in Nanking approved Ts'ai's recommendation that they establish a new organization, a University Council [ta-hsüeh yüan], in place of a Ministry of Education to direct educational affairs. A month later they appointed Ts'ai to the post of Chancellor of the University Council. In the first issue of the Bulletin of the University Council, Ts'ai accounted for the change. He stated: “Looking back over the past decade, one can see that the Ministry of Education, situated in the midst of the corrupt atmosphere of Peking, was infected by the government agencies around it. There were times when those who headed the Ministry knew nothing about scholarship and education. Those ministers took advantage of their position and put members of their personal cliques into office. Word of this has spread so that the title Ministry of Education is synonomous with corrupt officialdom. It is for this reason that the Nationalist Government has decided to abolish the title ‘Ministry of Education’ and adopted the title ‘University Council’ for the body which supervises scholarship and education.”

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