WKU cuts ties to its Confucius Institute

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Western Kentucky University WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) – Western Kentucky University is cutting ties to its Confucius Institute due to a new federal policy.

The report says university President Tim Caboni made the announcement Monday in an email to faculty and staff. Caboni says defense spending legislation passed last year doesn’t allow institutions to host Confucius Institutes if they receive U.S. Department of Defense funding for Chinese language programs.

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Western receives such funding for its Chinese Flagship program, which allows students to study Chinese while also pursuing their undergraduate degree.

The Confucius Institute is a Chinese language and cultural education program that brought instruction to 47 public schools in 20 Kentucky school districts using teachers recruited from China. Western had operated it for nine years.

Caboni says the school asked for a waiver, but was denied.