Confucius Institutes: Higher Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 12th December 2022.

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Photo of Neil Coyle Neil Coyle Labour, Bermondsey and Old Southwark

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of Confucius Institutes on UK universities.

Photo of Claire Coutinho Claire Coutinho The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Like all similar bodies, Confucius Institutes should operate transparently and with a full commitment to the department’s values of openness and freedom of expression. Universities have a responsibility to ensure that any partnership with a Confucius Institute is managed appropriately and that the right due diligence is in place. We encourage any providers with concerns to contact the department.

The government will continue to review its measures as appropriate.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will address concerns about the possible influence of overseas money in higher education (HE) in England, without reducing the ability of our world-class universities to work with global partners.

The Bill will empower the Office for Students (OfS) to require registered HE providers to report certain overseas funding, including of educational partnerships, such as arrangements with Confucius Institutes. The Bill will also allow the OfS to take appropriate action, including issuing penalties, if there is evidence that an HE provider has breached its freedom of speech duties.

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