The University of Groningen (RUG) has decided not to renew the contract with the controversial Chinese Confucius Institute, outgoing Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (Education) reports Thursday. The minister had previously said she was concerned about Chinese influences at the university.
The reason for her concerns was reports about a professor of Chinese language and culture at the RUG. The Chinese institution pays part of the salary of the professor of Chinese Language and Culture. According to the contract, this may not “damage the image of China”, the U.S out last month.
Van Engelshoven then said he wanted to discuss the matter with the university. The RUG has informed her that the contract with the Confucius Institute will not be extended. “That agreement will therefore expire this year,” said the minister in response to parliamentary questions from the VVD.
The Confucius Institute, which promotes Chinese language and culture abroad, will no longer contribute to the professor’s salary. The decision has no further consequences for the professor’s employment contract.
University changes its mind
Last month, the RUG said that the agreement “did not put pressure on academic freedom”. According to the university, cooperation with the Confucius Institute was in line with “the social task of the RUG”. No abuses with the organization would have been known to the university.
Knowledge institute Clingendael concluded in July last year that most Dutch researchers working with China censor themselves. As a result, knowledge about the country remains poor, because sensitive topics are not investigated, the researchers stated.
Source site www.nu.nl