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FT Chinese: Dutch University Changed Its Plan to Offer Full Degrees in China

Financial Times (FT) Chinese recently reported that the University of Groningen in the Netherlands decided to reconsider its plan to set up a full branch in Yantai, China. According to Sibrand Poppema, Chairman of the University Board, the university will drop its plan to offer full degrees at the Yantai Branch in China. He explained that the University Board “did not provide full support” on providing full degree programs due to the concern about losing academic freedom. Last December, the plan to establish a Chinese branch faced heavy internal criticism because of the requirement of allowing a Chinese Communist Party member to join the board of the Chinese branch. At that time, the Chinese government ordered all universities in China with foreign investment background to establish a Chinese Communist Party Branch and to place a Communist Party member with decision-making power on the board. The West widely considered that this order completely changed the earlier promise of guaranteed academic freedom.

Source: FT Chinese, January 30, 2018