Minister: Concerns about Chinese influence in the University of Groningen | Interior

This is called the Confucius Institute. These organizations are obligated, among other things, to transmit the Chinese language in culture to other countries. They receive money for this from China.

Van Engelshoven will discuss the matter with the RUG as soon as possible. The minister says universities have a legal duty to guarantee academic freedom, and they should not “compromise” about that. For me, academic freedom is not affected. “

If universities fail to comply with this commitment, then it is the turn of the Education Inspectorate, says a spokesperson for the Ministry of Education. First, the inspectorate talks with the institution. If the university does little after that, then a “corrective task” must fulfill it. If this also fails, the ministry can in extreme cases close the money tap.

According to the RUG, the agreement “does not put pressure on academic freedom,” says NOS. According to the university, the cooperation with the Confucius Institute is in line with the “social mission of RUG”. The university will not know of any violations with the organization.


The Clingendael Knowledge Institute concluded in July of last year that most Dutch researchers working with China were censoring themselves. As a result, knowledge about the state remains weak, because sensitive topics are not investigated, the researchers said.

However, at the end of last year, researchers Van Klingendel did not see any direct indications that the Confucius Institutes, of which the Netherlands has one in Maastricht as well as Groningen, are affecting universities politically. They called for vigilance, because it is not transparent how China runs the institutes.

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