USF shutters controversial Confucius Institute on New Year’s Eve

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TAMPA ‘ The University of South Florida has closed its Confucius Institute, a language and culture teaching center sponsored by the Chinese government that some had labeled a potential a threat to the ‘

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However, shuttering the institute had more to do with declining enrollment in Chinese studies than national security concerns, USF Provost Ralph Wilcox said on Wednesday.

USF said only 65 students total were enrolled in its four Chinese courses this fall, compared to 191 in spring 2014.

The center, which opened as Florida’s first in 2008, was simply no longer benefiting USF enough to be worth sustaining, Wilcox said, as it strives toward becoming a “top-tier research university.”

When president Judy Genshaft asked him and others to prioritize resources, the Confucius Institute ended up on the chopping block.

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  • Publisher: Tampa Bay Times
  • Date: 2019-01-02T19:53:18Z-04
  • Author: Howard Altman Megan Reeves
  • Twitter: @TB_Times
  • Citation: Web link (Learn more)

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