Confucius Institute at Troy University has closed

Published 6:22 pm Monday, March 6, 2023

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Troy University has closed its Confucius Institute and ended the agreement with its sponsoring institution in China following action in February by the Board of Trustees.

The Trustees voted on Feb. 2 to discontinue the partnership with Confucius Institute citing federal regulations that will limit the availability of funding to institutions that maintain their agreements with Chinese partners. The closure was effective March 1 and TROY officials have completed notification of the partner institution in China and have formally closed the office at the Troy Campus.

Troy University’s Confucius Institute opened in 2007 as a joint venture with educational partners in China to provide language and cultural learning opportunities to citizens in Alabama. At the time, there were more than 500 such institutions worldwide and more than 100 in the U.S. The TROY Confucius Institute was twice named the Confucius Institute of the year and hundreds of Alabamians have taken part in learning opportunities offered by the institute.

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In recent years, the federal government has taken steps to discourage some kinds of Chinese partnership agreements, notably the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which gives universities a deadline of October 2023 to discontinue Confucius Institute programs or lose eligibility for defense funding.

“Troy University’s strategic goals include continued growth and development as a research institution, which relies in part on access to federal funding, including from the Department of Defense,” said Dr. Lance Tatum, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “We feel it is in the best interest of TROY’s long-term vision to transition away from our partnership with the Confucius Institute.”

China will remain an area of focus for the institution, Tatum said. TROY will continue to recruit students from China and maintain relationships with Chinese universities through initiatives including the Sino-American Cooperation in Higher Education and Professional Development (CHEPD) 1+2+1 Program, which brings Chinese students to the U.S. for two years of study.

The TROY Confucius Institute’s two full-time employees and one student employee will all be transferred to new roles following the closure.