Dawson College entered into an agreement with China and the Université de Sherbrooke in 2007 to open up the first Confucius Institute in Quebec. This week Dawson College rejected the CAUT call saying it was confindent about its control of the situation.
Photo Credit: CBC

University teachers call for an end to Confucius Institutes

Share

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has taken the unusual step of asking universities and colleges to stop collaboration with China’s “Confucius Institute”.

David Robinson is the executive director of the CAUT.

Listen

The Confucious Institutes teach students Mandarin and in cultural aspects of China, but many say it’s a way for China to exert “soft power” and influence public opinion.

null
David Robinson Incoming Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers © supplied

In a note on their website, the CAUT outgoing executive director, James Turk is quoted as saying, ”In agreeing to host Confucius Institutes, Canadian universities and colleges are compromising their own integrity by allowing the Chinese Language Culture International to have a voice in a number of academic matters, such as curriculum, texts, and topics of class discussion.  He adds,

“Such interference is a fundamental violation of academic freedom.” –

David Robinson notes that in the United States, the American Association of University Professors has already taken action similar to that of the CAUT expressing the same concerns.

Schools currently hosting Confucius Institutes include,

  • the British Columbia Institute of Technology (Burnaby, BC),
  • Brock University (St Catharines, Ont),
  • Carleton University (Ottawa, Ont),
  • Central College Collegiate High School (Toronto, Ont)
  • Dawson College (Montreal Qc),
  • University of Regina (Regina Sk),
  • University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon, Sk)
  • Seneca College (Toronto, Ont),
  • St. Mary’s University (Halifax, NS),
  • University of Waterloo. (Waterloo, Ont)
null
Meng Rong, head of the Confucius Institute in Quebec, says the institutes have nothing to do with politics or spying she has been visited by Canadian security officials who attemted to speak to her on three different occasions, Former security service Pacific region head, Michel Juneau-Katsuya is mentioned by the CBC saying the Institutes location on campus puts them close to important centres of research. © CBC

The University of Manitoba rejected proposals to host a Confucius Institute due to concerns about censorship, and McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario ended its agreement with the Confucius Institute this year following a human rights complaint over the Institute’s alleged dicriminatory hiring practices against members of Falun Gong.

The Universite de Sherbrooke (Qc) decided to end its association at the end of 2013 saying the deal no longer met the university’s international plans.

Meanwhile, also in Quebec, both Concordia and McGill (Quebec’s English-language universities) said they have been approached by the Chinese government to start a Confucius program, but did not sign up for it.

McGill’s Faculty of Arts said the proposal called for “too much external or attempted external control by Chinese government authorities.”

Faculty Dean Christopher Manfredi said there were “not enough safeguards to ensure McGill’s autonomy over its academic program and its principles of academic freedom.”

Since it began in 2004, there are now some 320 such Confucius Institutes worldwide, funded by Hanban, a branch of China’s education ministry.

There have been many allegations that the institutes act as propaganda tools that present Beijing’s tightly controlled worldview for international consumption and  limit student discussion of Tibet, the Tiananmen Square massacre and treatment and conditions for ethnic and religious minorities in China.

Share
Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Economy, International, Internet, Science and Technology, Politics, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

2 comments on “University teachers call for an end to Confucius Institutes
  1. Hoang Dinh says:

    University of Waterloo still has confucius insitutute. I don’t see any news on this issue in general media. Is Canada selling out to Communist Chinese money. We should not allow the Chinese government to buy our politicians and higher education.

  2. Peter Ashcroft says:

    Have these universities been CAUT out?