April 30, 2017 1239 GMT
Beijing has campaigned against the spread of 'Western values' at universities, and the ruling Communist Party's anti-corruption watchdog last year sent inspectors to monitor teachers for 'improper' remarks in class, Reuters reported.
In December, President Xi Jinping called for allegiance to the party from colleges and universities, the latest effort by China to tighten its hold on education.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament, Education Minister Chen Baosheng said Xi had made 'important comments' on political education for students in December, but that there were problems on the ground.
"When we go and investigate at colleges and universities, attention levels at thought and political theory classes are not high. People are there in body but not in spirit," Chen said.
"Why is this? The contents do not suit their needs. Perhaps mainly the formula is rather outdated, the tools are rather crude and the packaging is not that fashionable," he added.
Students need to be led by the core values of Chinese socialism to ensure their healthy moral growth, and they should also study traditional Chinese culture, revolutionary culture and 'advanced socialist culture', Chen said.
That is the best way to get students ready to shoulder their responsibilities to society, he added.