Students: “University Groningen must end cooperation with Chinese Confucius Institute”
Students at the University of Groningen have drawn up a petition calling on the University of Groningen to terminate cooperation with the Confucius Institute. According to the concerned students, it is unacceptable that only books approved by the Chinese authorities can be used at that institute, reports the GIC.
The petitioners also say that the institute is a threat to the freedom of students and employees. RUG students from various backgrounds are calling for this, supported by the university council party De Vrije Student.
The Groninger Confucius Institute, which presents itself as a center for Chinese languages and culture, has been under discussion for some time. For example, employees are not allowed to practice religion, a CI director has been arrested in Brussels for espionage and only textbooks that have been approved by the Chinese authorities can be used.
The Institute also actively contributes to self-censorship among students, administrators and scientists, for example, students were previously prohibited from putting up posters calling attention to the human rights crisis in Hong Kong.
The RUG would not be the first university to end its collaboration with the institute: Leiden University, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 30 American universities and all Swedish universities have already stopped their collaboration as a result of these signals. The petition can be signed completely anonymously on gcipetition.nl and is to be presented to the Executive Board of the University of Groningen.
The petition on gcipetition.nl was drawn up by a group of concerned students from the University of Groningen. They wish to remain anonymous and have approached De Vrije Student to contribute to the publicity of the petition and their concerns.