Campus Reform | William & Mary, U of Southern Maine become latest schools to close down Confucius Institutes

William & Mary, U of Southern Maine become latest schools to close down Confucius Institutes

American officials consistently warn that Confucius institutes functionally exist to justify the ideology of thus Instite Chinese Communist Party.

The College of William & Mary and the University of Southern Maine became the latest schools to shut down their Confucius Institutes.

The College of William & Mary and the University of Southern will close their Confucius Institutes, Campus Reform recently learned.

The College of William & Mary wrote that its Confucius Institute, which was launched in 2011, will close on June 30 “at the completion of the current agreement with the university.” 

[RELATED: Tennessee governor moves to end Confucius Institutes]

“William & Mary will continue to explore and strengthen its independent collaborations with Beijing Normal University (BNU) and other universities in China in order to maintain robust language, cultural and research opportunities for our students, faculty and the wider Williamsburg community,” the school said. 

The school’s Confucius Institute “is a collaborative program in partnership with Beijing Normal University (BNU) and the Office of Chinese Language Council International (Hanban), a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.”

[RELATED: Senate passes bill to combat Chinese Communist Party propaganda on campus]

William & Mary Director of News and Media Suzanne Clavet told Campus Reform that they will maintain their relationship with BNU “in order to maintain robust language, cultural and research opportunities for our students, faculty and the wider Williamsburg community.”

According to the William & Mary Confucius Institute agreement, the center has a mandate to “increase mutual understanding among people in China and in the United States.” 

[RELATED: Calls to close CCP-funded Confucius Institutes grow louder. Here's what's fueling them.]

The University of Southern Maine likewise shuttered its Confucius Institute, stating that it “reached too few students to be sustainable,” as the Press Herald reported.

[RELATED: Students at Tufts successfully organize to get their school’s Confucius Institute scrapped]

Leading American officials consistently warn that despite these seemingly benign intentions, the Confucius Institute program functionally exists to propagate and justify the ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.

Most recently, Sen. Marco Rubio proposed passing the Foreign Influence Transparency Act, which would officially recognize that Confucius Institutes are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and would require “institutions that have entered into an agreement with a Confucius Institute to disclose the full agreement on its website and to the Department of Education or risk losing their Student and Exchange Visitor Program.”

[RELATED: House Republicans urge Biden to reconsider rule on CCP's Confucius Institutes]

Likewise, House Republicans asked the Biden administration to reinstitute Trump-era regulations that would compel universities to reveal their ties to the Confucius Institute.

Under pressure from top lawmakers, other schools, like Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, shuttered their own Confucius Institutes in recent weeks.

Campus Reform reached out to the College of William & Mary and the University of Southern Maine for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

 Follow this author on Twitter: @BenZeisloft