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University of Chicago cut ties with Confucius Institute


oceancalligraphy

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oceancalligraphy

It looks like the University of Chicago will not be renewing its agreement with the Confucius Institute. The original agreement expires on September 29 2014.

Official statement from the university

http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2014/09/25/statement-confucius-institute-university-chicago

Article from Inside Higher Ed

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/26/chicago-severs-ties-chinese-government-funded-confucius-institute

I wonder what this means for the students and faculty at the university.

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That's an interesting development. 

 

A few friends involved with the British Council and Goethe Institute were at pains to make clear that the Confucius Institutes are very different bodies. 

 

I think we are going to see a lot more of this. There are a number of universities uneasy with the current set-up and though the universities welcome what is often an injection of funding, this is essentially allowing the Chinese government some say over academic direction of the universities. 

 

See how this one develops. 

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I came across an interesting article the other day which is worth reading by itself, but which also says that Jean Moulin University in Lyon closed its Confucius Institute last year. Bit of a backlash going on... Conf Institutes need to manoeuver more carefully I think, if they want to keep a foot on the ground in major (and not just small) universities.

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Meng Lelan

Having taught in a Confucius Institute that was set up at local public state university, this is a most interesting development which does not surprise me at all.

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oceancalligraphy

Wow. I had no idea Jean Moulin University in Lyon closed its Confucius Institute. That's one closed in France.

 

Now the count of institutes to close in the U.S. is at two, with Penn State being the latest. It will close at the end of the year.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/01/us-usa-china-confucius-institute-pennsyl-idUSKCN0HQ4UZ20141001

 

This article has an explanation from a professor and previous Confucius Institute director:

 

https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/10/01/another-confucius-institute-close

 

I'm not familiar with Hanban. When the articles refer to "Hanban teaching materials", does it mean materials (like textbooks) actually published by Hanban, or materials endorsed by Hanban?

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I think Meng Lelan is referring to this topic on experiences with CIs. 

 

I keep meaning to join the one here in Edinburgh, although mainly for the access to the university library...

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...
oceancalligraphy

Students for a Free Tibet has launched a campaign against CIs. I first read about the campaign at Tibetan Review, which cited an article from HeraldScotland. The campaign website has more information about institutes that have closed CIs, as well as information surrounding the Toronto schools decision.

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Mentioning of Tibet, I recalled while watching the documentary “Wild China: Tibet” on BB2 last week, I could not help imagining when China would make the tiny population (2.5 millions) of this country disappear by swarming it with  billions of Chinese through some shady economic development and migration programmes. Compared to pandas, Tibetans may not be so lucky!

 

Anyway, here is a webpage on Tibet in relation Confucius classrooms:

http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/pressure-grows-china-sponsored-classrooms

 

Amongst the universities that severed ties with the Confucius Institute from the foregoing posts, I didn’t see McMaster University in Canada, so here is the story for those who are interested:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/mcmaster-cuts-chinese-institute-worried-by-discrimination-1.1321862

 

Closer to home in Europe, there has been quite a bit of news about the 50-year contract signed with Hanban by University College Dublin. Have a read:  http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/ucd-academics-query-plan-for-model-confucius-institute-1.2178891

 

This is a very good example of how Hanban will try to make sure their partners would depend on them  and suffer great penalties in finance or reputation in attempting to leave the partnership.

 

What about the Confucius Institute in the UK? Watch this space and in the next few weeks I’ll bring some first-hand news on a different aspect of Confucius Institute, on how they have been manipulating & using local institutions to do the dirty work for them, as part of their strategy in “ensuring partner institutions to have very high stakes in the partnership”.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi again,

 

Since my promise in the above post to bring some first-hand news on the Confucius Institute's activities in the UK, I've partially posted the news in another, equally relevant thread but I thought I should mention it here in case some readers may have been expecting it.

 

Here's the link to the relevant post:

http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/48499-academic-career-in-chinese/?p=369151

 

In the post linked to, I focused primarily on what China did, but there has been a suggestion that we seem to be too ready to accuse China of wrong-doings but to say very little about local institutions that take part and co-operate with China in such operations. In the case that I outlined, it indeed took three to tango: China's dishonest use of money and power for the replacement of academics in a foreign institution, local senior administrators who use this as an opportunity for dishonest personal gains and as a step ladder for advancement elsewhere, and the type of academics that are vulnerable and likely to be targeted in such operations.

 

I'm aware that disclosing this type of information is not easy and not without risk, but in public interest I should take the courage and lay it all out in the open in the next few posts.

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