HIGHER ED FACULTY

Recent Confucius Institute Closures

January 24, 2019 / Phil Lesch

To date, twenty one (21)  universities and one (1) school board in six countries, including U.S.A., Canada, Sweden, France, Germany, and Denmark, have ended their relationships with the Confucius Institutes funded by the Chinese Communist Regime.  The most two recent closures are University of Rhode Island and UMass Boston. 

UMass Boston ended their 12-year relationship with CI on January 16, 2019.   Like many other CIs, the CI at UMass offered non-credit classes in Chinese language and culture, funded UMass students to study in China, and conducted professional development programs for Chinese language teacher.  Although UMass Boston has not provided a specific reason for the closure, concerns raised by UMass students, professors, and alumni, over issues of academic censorship and self-censorship due to the presence of CI, were considered in the closure decision. 

University of Rhode Island announced in December 2018 that it will end its partnership with CI by the end of May, 2019.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has warned that "there is across-the-board agreement that these institutes do not serve freedom of expression and freedom of inquiry."  University of Rhode Island decided to cut ties with CI because continuing with CI could jeopardize funding from U.S. Department of Defense, an important federal funding source for language academic programs. 

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