Goethe University has re-evaluated its contractual cooperation with the Confucius Institute Frankfurt, in place since 2008, and has decided not to extend the cooperation agreement following its expiration at the end of February 2023. Going forward, the cooperation will instead focus on specific occasions or areas – including, for example, the participation of Goethe University members or departments in Chinese language courses.
The realignment is part of a fundamental review of Goethe University’s scientific cooperations with national and international partner organizations, which is based on the premise that all future partnerships should provide concrete added value for Goethe University’s research and teaching profile. Following a fundamental review of existing cooperations, carried out in consultation with the Academic Senate, among others, Goethe University has decided not to prolong the cooperation agreement with the organization sponsoring the Confucius Institutes for the operation of the Confucius Institute Frankfurt.
At the same time, Goethe University plans to expand its institutional and academic cooperation with the renowned Fudan University in Shanghai and has already taken initial steps to this end. The two universities have been engaged in a mutually beneficial student exchange for a while. “We are looking forward to further developing this exchange on an academic basis – without prejudice, but at the same time with an appropriate sense on matters related to the freedom of research and teaching,” says Prof. Michael Huth, Goethe University Vice President Strategic Organizational and Quality Development.
Preceding the re-evaluation of the cooperation with the Confucius Institute was a review carried out by an independent expert commission, which emphasized that there was no discernible influence of the Chinese authorities on either research or teaching at Goethe University. Says Huth: “We thank those responsible at Confucius Institute Frankfurt –especially the management surrounding Ms. Werum-Wang – for the many years of good and trustful cooperation.” Even though Goethe University no longer sees the need for a cooperation agreement, it does not rule out occasion-related collaborations in the future.
Following this fundamental reorientation of the research and teaching cooperation, it is now time to redefine the partnership and continue building on it with the established Chinese experts. Interested Goethe University teachers and researchers can continue to make use of the Confucius Institute Frankfurt’s services on an individual basis and as required.