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After ten years of existence, the Confucius Institute at the Stockholm University will be phased out. In late December, the university officially announced on its website that the Institute established in 2005 at its Department of Oriental Languages will cease to exist as an independent unit on 30 June 2015. The Rector of the Stockholm University informed that the Confucius Institute Headquarters of China has been already notified of the decision.
The Confucius Institute, one of the hundreds of Chinese government-funded centers for Chinese language and cultural education established at universities around the globe, is run by money from the Chinese government and most of the teachers are trained, and paid, by the Chinese state. The University of Stockholm has started to question the practice to establish institutes within a university that are financed by another state.
Stockholm University is not a solitary case. In fact, also the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have recently closed their Confucius Institutes because of the Chinese government influence in matters of curriculum and staffing and, as we recently reported (ACA Newsletter Education Europe, Edition December 2014) the U.S. Parliament has recently began a hearing presenting the growing concerns about whether the Chinese cultural Institutes are threatening the freedom of hosting universities.