Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

UK government may replace Confucius Institutes


Recommended Posts

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Very interesting - although the article only says that the government only wants to phase-out Confucius Institutes; it's a group of non-government MPs that it says are interested in replacing them with Taiwan-sent teachers. I think 简体字 would be required! Following a link in the story:


British schools and universities are reliant on a network of 30 Confucius Institutes - the highest number of any country - to coordinate teaching of Mandarin, funding and expertise.


Almost all UK government spending on Mandarin language teaching at schools - with at least £27m allocated from 2015 to 2024 - is channelled through university-based Confucius Institutes.


Bit weird that we don't set up our own organisation and hire directly from China/Taiwan to staff it. But maybe the Confucius Institutes aren't that important compared to the full-time language training provided at universities for Chinese language degree programmes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To be blunt, and maybe a bit too frank, but the leadership in replacing and reorganizing the undue influence of the Confucius Institutes in the UK (and other countries, as well), can and should be found right here, on this forum.


Get your butts in gear, get serious, and get to work...


Just esspressin' my unsolicited opinion...



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was curious to know what people think. I seem to have taken the Confucius Institute(s) as a necessary evil. When I was in Germany, I did evening classes arranged by the city, but the HSK of course was organized by the Confucius Institute, in Munich in my case. When the translators' and interpreters' college where I had taught started offering some Chinese, it was with the support of the Confucius Institute. But a parallel college which offers a much more advanced Chinese programme seems to do without the Confucius Institute, as realmayo says. It also seems to me that British schools teaching Mandarin do not always use the Confucius Institute - but the article shows a strong financial link.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Continuing to support Chinese learning is important and something will have to replace the Confucius Institutes. The Taiwan Mandarin Centers that are already in some countires could fill that void, and that would come with both positives and negatives. They would increase Taiwanese soft power and could increase public awareness of Taiwan's predicament. Alternatively, this would like further increase tensions with UK-China relations. To avoid this, the UK could set up learning institutes but it would be expensive and may not be all that effective. Would the UK write its own learning materials to stay neutral? Further the teachers would have to come from somewhere and that brings us back to influence of teachers from one country or another. It doesn't appear there is an easy option. If Taiwan Mandarin Centers teach simplified characters and pinyin, instead of traditional characters and zhuyin, then they could at least temporarily fill the role of the confucius centers while other options are weighed and effectiveness is considered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All Confucius Institute operations have been shut down here in Sweden since a few years back. Not by politicians, but by the universities themselves. The headmaster of Stockholm University voiced concerns about how Beijing tried to influence the university's day-to-day activities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/18/2022 at 4:53 PM, dtails said:

something will have to replace the Confucius Institutes


Does anyone know what the Confucius Institutes actually do in the UK? If it's just some beginner evening classes, I don't see why this is such a big deal - do they really need replacing? Do they actually contribute to people attaining fluency in Chinese?

  • Good question! 1
  • Helpful 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I'm aware, they set up in schools (primary, secondary, and university) to teach Chinese language and culture to students and also manage HSK testing. I have no idea if they are effective or not, other than pushing Chinese soft power on children (for better or worse).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The main thing is that the Confucius Institutes provide a lot of money, for teachers, facilities, materials, research etc., not only at their centers but also at other universities and centers to support Mandarin Study.

The questions about politics and dependency are valid, however is the government of the UK or Taiwan really willing to invest that much money into Mandarin teaching as they do?

Because if not, without the Confucius Institutes the quality and availability of Mandarin education in the UK will go down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...