RUG silent about freedom at Chinese university
The University of Groningen is working with a Chinese university that is losing its academic freedom. A Groningen Works Council party is sounding the alarm, but the board does not want to respond to the issue. The RUG and Fudan University have offered a joint bachelor‘s programme since 2006. Fudan University was known as one of the most liberal universities in China, which held academic independence and freedom of thought in high esteem. But in December, the statutes of the university were amended. Freedom of thought was abolished. The word 'independent’ has also been removed a few times. At the same time, Marxism and the ideas of Chinese leader Xi Jinping have been added as guidelines.
The student group De Vrije Student in the Groningen Works Council now believes that the RUG should sever its ties with the Chinese university.
The board does not intend to do so for the time being. ‘The RUG has historical ties with universities all over the world, including Asia and China, just like many other Dutch universities’, is stated in a written response to the HOP. We are working with Chinese universities in the scientific field - education and research - and are aware that geopolitical relations are subject to change. (HOP, Bas Belleman)