Miami University in Ohio has announced that it will close its Chinese government-funded Confucius Institute in June.
Amid increased concerns over Chinese money in American universities, Miami University’s decision was particularly sudden, citing funding concerns. With the exception of senior staff, most of the Institute’s staffers are paid by the Chinese government, according to the Miami Student.
“I am very happy to see that Miami has made this move,” Miami University College Republicans Vice Chairman Collin Finn told Campus Reform.
“Our university’s administration has worked diligently to align our institution with state and national priorities, and this move exemplifies that commitment to being an asset to the public. The Miami University College Republicans have had a great relationship with [Miami University] President [Gregory] Crawford and other university officials. We aren’t surprised that Miami did the right thing here, because our administration is always taking action for the betterment of the student body and the community.”
Miami Assistant Provost of Global Initiatives Cheryl Young defended the Confucius Institute in an interview with Cincinnati Public Radio last year, saying “I can’t speak to the experience of other Confucius Institutes but our experience here is we have autonomy. It is a partnership with our partner university and it is a two-sided arrangement.”
The university announced that it will replace the Institute with its own Global Initiatives programs, which will “refocus efforts on a more comprehensive strategy for international student support that is more inclusive and provides a more diverse range of programming to share languages and cultures with the campus and community and to enhance the student experience.”
“The new international student center will continue to support the clubs that were in the Confucius Institute,” Young told the Miami Student.
“We don’t know exactly what the new center will look like. We’re focused on helping our Chinese staff transition right now and recognizing them for the work they have done here,” she added.
The announcement follows a massive pull-back in support from Beijing, which decreased funding to the university by 80 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Miami University did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Read and see the video at: China Woke