WKU ends agreement with Confucius Institute
- WKU News
- Monday, April 22nd, 2019
WKU has notified its partners that the University has ended its agreement with the Confucius Institute Headquarters to operate the CI at WKU.
The decision to close the CI, which has operated at WKU since 2010, came when the University could not secure a waiver from the Department of Defense that would allow WKU to operate both the CI and the Chinese Flagship Program. Defense spending legislation passed in 2018 prohibits institutions from hosting Confucius Institutes if they receive DOD funding for Chinese language programs.
“Though activities will phase out over the next several weeks, we will continue our dialogue with key partners to work toward a solution that allows WKU to continue our programming,” WKU President Timothy C. Caboni said. “We hope to strengthen, deepen and broaden our relationships with partner institutions in China throughout this process.”
WKU is also committed to ensuring each of the six graduate students currently enrolled in a WKU degree program has the opportunity to complete their degrees.
“WKU and our partners will look for ways to continue collaborating to support our school districts and to continue our pipeline for students and instructors from China,” President Caboni said. “Having a diverse student population, we remain strongly committed to international education and creating opportunities for our students to broaden their horizons. A hallmark of the WKU experience is our students being able to see the world and cultures different from our own.”
In 2018-19, the CI at WKU provided Chinese language and culture instruction to 47 K-12 schools in more than 20 school districts in Kentucky using teachers recruited from China. It also facilitated bringing students from China to study at WKU.
The details of the transition are being finalized.
At least three other universities with Chinese Flagship Programs have closed their Confucius Institutes: Indiana University, University of Minnesota and University of Rhode Island.
Contact: Bob Skipper, (270) 745-4295