Confucius Institutes

Department for Education written question – answered on 14 September 2023.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate she has made of the number of Chinese nationals that are working in Confucius Institutes in the UK; and how many and what proportion of these people have diplomatic immunity.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

The employment of staff within Confucius Institutes is a matter for the UK university at which the Confucius Institute is based and their partner Chinese organisations. We do not hold data on the number of visa holders who work in Confucius Institutes.

Like other international bodies that operate in the UK, Confucius Institutes are required to operate transparently and within the law, and with a full commitment to our values of openness and freedom of expression. The government is taking action to remove any direct or indirect government funding from these institutions in the UK.

Working at a Confucius Institute does not in itself confer any privileges and immunities under the Vienna Conventions. However, it is possible that a spouse of a serving diplomat at the Chinese mission to the UK, who therefore enjoys privileges and immunities on that basis, is employed at a Confucius Institute. The government would not hold such information.

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